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Audi shows the future of emission free off-roading with a buggy style concept
Audi showcased the AI Trail Quattro concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show, designed to connect the occupants with nature, the car does away with large displays to make way for a glass cabin all around, it will be level three autonomous on forest roads and level four on paved roads. It’s packed with four electric motors driving each individual wheel, with a targeted range of 400-500km on paved road.
The AI Trail Quattro will be equipped with four electric motors powering each individual wheel, output figures are 429bhp and a time warping 1,000Nm of torque. All that power is not tuned for speed though, but to tackle off-road terrain without compromising on the range. With four individual motors the AI Trail Quattro does away with differentials and locks, the electronics onboard adapt to the situation. The system will try to reduce wheel slippage to save power, however in situations in which slip is useful, such as low-grip uphill stretches, the system permits it automatically.
The AI Trail Quattro concept is designed solely for off-roading where there are no charging stations so Audi tuned the motor in a way to maximise range when off the beaten path. The car has a targeted range of 400-500km on paved roads and on rough terrain where there is usually a lot of power loss due to wheel slippage the range stands at approximately 250km (WLTP cycle).
The AI Trail Quattro measures in at 4150mm in length, 2150mm width and a height of 1670mm, the concept rides on huge 22-inch wheels and 850mm tyres. It has a ground clearance of 340mm and a water wading depth of 490mm. The body is a mix of steel, aluminium and carbon fibre in order to make the car light. Weighing in at 1,750kg, It’s definitely on the lighter side of electric cars. Instead of conventional headlights, self-contained light sources sit below the A-pillars and can shine both outward and inward, the concept also has a set of drones called ‘Audi Light Pathfinders’ with LED Matrix lights that can fly ahead of the car to light the path in front. The Trail Quattro looks futuristic, really swanky and very capable on the outside.
The interior of the AI Trail Quattro’s interior is a big change from what we’re used to with the usual Audi tech fest. There are no screens on the inside; a smartphone is sat behind the steering wheel to act as the instrument cluster. The materials used inside are sustainable and recycled, including recycled wool carpets and recycled leather. To further continue the nature theme the grab handles are made of climbing rope using traditional techniques, the rear bench has been transformed into hammock like chairs that are also removable from the car. The cabin is surrounded by a glass canopy to give a sense of connection with nature and to provide an uninterrupted view of the outside.
The AI Trail Quattro concept is one of the most exciting concepts from the Frankfurt Motor Show this year and paves the correct path for the future of emission free offroading. Will it make it into production? We certainly hope so.
Words by Karan Singh