If the current position of the Doomsday Clock keeps you up at night, there’s a Frankfurt Motor Show concept for you. Sharing its stand with the new RS7 is something rather less expected from Ingolstadt: the Audi AI:Trail.
It’s an all-electric buggy, and it looks perfect for roaming the post-apocalyptic wastes and tackling the associated hazards.
With the battery pack sitting under the floor and the four motors pushed almost out to the wheels, the AI:Trail is able to have super-short overhangs. Factor in the 340mm ground clearance and the 22-inch wheels with their 850mm tyres, and you have a vehicle capable of smashing over whatever terrain you drive at.
It’ll be fast enough to outrun any pursuing War Rigs, too. At 1750kg the AI:Trail is relatively light for a vehicle of this type, thanks to the extensive use of carbonfibre an aluminium in its construction. Moving that structure along is a 430bhp, 737.6lb ft electric powertrain.
Instead of headlights, the AI:Trail has drones. No, really - a quintet of rotor-less ‘Audi Light Pathfinders’ can autonomously fly ahead, lighting the way while providing a video feed of any desert bandits/War Boys/zombies that might be approaching.
If you can find enough intact roads, the AI:Trail is good for a range of up to 310 miles. If you’re only driving over rougher ground, you can expect the battery to last more like 155 miles.
The AI:Trail is a Level 4 autonomous vehicle, so there are limits to where it can drive without any human input. There’s still a steering wheel plus two pedals for when you need to take over.
The unusual vehicle completes a set of four concepts - the others being the Aicon, AI:Me and AI:Race - that are intended to “embody an entirely new mobility concept” for Audi. With the concept of owning one car for many potentially making way for shared ownership in the future, the company reckons it’ll be possible to make all kinds of “use case” vehicles like these. If that means we’ll have access to dystopia-ready, off-road weapons, then bring it on.