Audi Teases AI:Trail Quattro Ahead Of Frankfurt Show

Audi is teasing their latest concept for the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. Called the Audi AI:Trail Quattro, it’s an off-road vehicle that Audi says will be all-electric. 

That’s all Audi is saying about it, other than teasing the concept with this dark image. At least they’re showing us a good portion of the concept with this photo, right? Off-the-bat you can see that there are virtually no overhangs; this is a tight, compact vehicle. Its proportions show that it’s almost all interior volume.

Electric Proportions

In many ways this speaks to the future of how electric vehicles will be proportioned. You don’t need engine compartments, and you can incorporate trunks and storage space into the passenger area, which is very SUV-like. So in many ways this is a more honest design, at least for an EV

Also note that it looks like there won’t be any bumpers. In some ways the huge off-road tires being pushed out to the far corners of the car could function as bumpers to a certain extent. Adding to the idea of a rugged off-road concept is that without protrusions extending out from the front and back other than the tires, it would appear the approach and departure angles won’t be an issue out on the trail. So things like giant rocks and vertical hills can more easily be conquered.

Future e-tron?

Could this be a precursor to a future uber-Allroad Quattro or e-tron? Their most recent Allroad and e-tron were more like semi-off roaders rather than lifted, big tired, brush guarded off road warriors.

But, no worries. Audi has a solid background in off-road safari racing going back decades, so assume nothing. We’d like to think the Trail Quattro more than hints at what an aggressive, one-box, Bladerunner-like Audi off-roader could be in the near future. 

Actually an electric off-road vehicle makes perfect sense by carrying its battery weight low in the vehicle. On the trail this helps to plant the vehicle and make for a less tippy tuna can. 

How Windows Work

What is very murky is how the windows would function. Sure, the cockpit may not need ventilation through the windows, but what about In-and-Out Burger drive throughs or drive-up ATMs? They can’t toss your burgers through the sunroof. And with the height of the side windows and the neat crease running through the middle of the windows, which we like, how would they roll down?

The lower side windows look to be longer than the doors they’re supported in, so they don’t look like they can retreat into the door frames. Concepts don’t have to be completely functional, but they at least need to be believable. 

Scrutinizing the image some more, we are glad to see a steering wheel. Two years ago Audi debuted their Alcon concept which was a completely autonomous vehicle. It lacked a steering wheel. So, by seeing a steering wheel in the teaser of the AI:Trail Quattro we can be assured this is not to be another autonomous electric-pod exercise. 

The Frankfurt Motor Show begins September 22. We are expecting a lot mre news from the show so come back to for sneak peeks and lots of show news when it happens.