Audi promises its fully autonomous concept will boast a “spectacular and groundbreaking” design.
Audi’s flagship A8 luxury sedan is currently the most technologically advanced car to ever bear the iconic four-ring badge. In fact, it's the first production car in the world to offer a level 3 autonomous driving system before any of its main rivals, the Mercedes S-Class and Tesla Model S, thanks to Audi’s Intelligent AI technology. It will doubtless dominate the automaker’s stand at Frankfurt next week, where Audi will also be unveiling two concept cars offering a glimpse at the fully autonomous car future.
The first concept will be a coupe-style SUV based on the Audi e-tron Sportback concept shown at the Shanghai Auto Show earlier this year. Like the Sportback concept, it will be 4.9 meters long and come powered by three electric motors delivering a combined output of 496 horsepower. It will feature numerous Audi AI technologies designed to reduce the driver’s workload such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. These technologies will link to the cloud to connect with other cars, allowing them to “learn and think in a proactive and empathetic way.” Level 4 autonomy will also allow the all-electric SUV to take care of highway driving at speeds of up to 81 mph and change lanes automatically.
The other concept car promises to be more advanced and futuristic, featuring full Level 5 autonomy designed for long distance journeys. The full-size D-segment concept will have a range of 435 to 497 miles and a “spectacular and groundbreaking” design inside and out. Also making its debut at Frankfurt will be the new Audi RS4 Avant that will pack the same 2.9-liter V6 as the Panamera 4S producing 450 horsepower and 446 lb-ft of torque. The biggest surprise, however, is that we can also expect to see a new limited-edition rear-wheel drive performance car from Audi’s Sport division, likely to be the rumored R8 V10 GT.