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All-Terrain Swagger

The Audi AI: Trail Concept

Despite not being the brand of choice when it comes to the off-roads, Audi is looking toward a dirty future with their AI Trail off-road concept, launched at this year’s Frankfurst Motor show.

Like the Audi AI:Con, AI:Me, and the AI:Race before it, the Audi AI:Trail is an all-electric, all-terrain beast – with the kitchen sink and every utensil thrown in.

Like today’s Audi’s, it possesses permanent Quattro all-wheel drive, but unlike today’s Audi’s, this 4 metre long carbon/aluminum/steel moon buggy comes with on-road autonomous capabilities and major astronaut swagger.

With chunky 22 inch wheels and 13.4 inches of ground clearance, this thing could easily monster over 1.6 rising floods. The steepest of descents and the roughest of gravel also pose no issue as the drive train is equipped with four electric motors kicking out 320kW output and 737.6 lb-ft of torque.

Audi have come good with comfort too, with that massive glass passenger pod featuring both shell seats and hammock-like seating. Just don’t expect any traditional gauge setup here though, as a mobile phone holder with an app-based digital cluster turns your smart phone into the dash you never thought you needed.

Did we mention the drones for headlights? Rather than your standard low/high beams, there are five rotorless drones with integrated LEDs. Called Audi Light Pathfinders, they can fly in front of the vehicle, and illuminate the path ahead, becoming replacement headlights or really trippy spotlights. On-board cameras could also generate a video image in front of the driver, turning the Pathfinders into race cams in the sky.

Is this impractical? Absolutely. Cool as hell? Hell yes. Depending on Audi parent company VW, this concept could either be built in the near future for limited, exclusive customers – or show up on a Marvel movie set as product placement.

For the full article grab the December 2019 issue of MAXIM Australia from newsagents and convenience locations. Subscribe here.

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Elaine Stella