Audi Designed A Concept Off-Roader With Hovering Drones In Place Of Headlights

Frankfurt hosts the international Motor Show (IAA)
Audi AI:TRAIL is pictured at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany, September 10, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski)

Audi's AI line of concepts has a new addition, and it's arguably the most outrageous design the automaker came up with so far. The company calls it Audi AI:Trail Quattro, which is quite a mouthful but should give you enough idea how outlandish this vehicle is supposed to be.

One look at the Trail Quattro and the Wrangler-style flat fenders and chunky tires on enormous 22-inch wheels will shock you. It reminds you of those cars in futuristic movies - the middle area has suspended pod with glass on nearly every surface.

The tires are panned to the very edges sans bumpers, which should make the approach and departure angles impressive. Ground clearance is at 13.4 inches, which is more than either a Land Rover Defender or a Jeep Wrangler.

According to Audi, the AI:Trail is capable of driving through up to 1.5 of water. The tires are a combination of the Michelin Tweel and conventional pneumatic tires capable of adjusting pressure for the best traction.

The AI:Trail is an all-wheel drive. Each wheel has an electric motor, which allows for easy torque vectoring in order to direct power to where the traction is. The futuristic off-roader also has an impressive 429 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque.

The glassy interior of the AI:Trail makes it's interior airy, extending down to where you would expect a grille to be. When it comes to off-roading, this should provide enhanced visibility.

Audi's concept car can accommodate four people. The front seats look conventional, but the back features hammock-style seats. The fun part is you can actually remove these seats and prop them outside. The front and rear of the car are equipped with storage areas, and the front opens up like the rear hatch. As for the dashboard, it's short of screens, but you can use your smartphone to access features and whatnot.

Here's where it gets crazier: in place of the headlights are drones with lights on them - and yes, they can hover in front of the car to provide ample lighting. To charge the drones, simply dock them on the roof rack.

Given the gizmos this car has, we're guessing it won't be mass-produced. The AI:Trial is too outlandish in many ways, and it doesn't quite fit in any of Audi's line of cars. However, it is a fantastic concept and offers insights on what carmakers are able to pull off.

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