Ingolstadt, Germany - Audi has released a teaser picture of its upcoming AI:TRAIL quattro concept car, which will be revealed in full at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 10.

Audi is looking relatively far into the future with this concept car, which it describes as an electrically driven off-roader.

Judging by its lounge-like cabin, we would guess that it has full self-driving capability, although there is still a steering wheel in place for when the driver actually feels like taking control of things.

Those wheels point to some serious off-roading ability too, and the huge windows will give occupants a spectacular view of the wilderness. Is this how people will explore the countryside in 20 years from now? If so the future looks good.

Audi says the AI:TRAIL concept completes a quartet of visionary concept cars that started with the Audi AICON back in 2017.

The fully autonomous AICON was designed to provide the luxurious ambiance of a first-class airline cabin. The space normally reserved for a steering wheel and pedals is used to ensure maximum passenger comfort.

With an exterior length of 5.44 metres the AICON is substantially bigger than even the A8 sedan, while its large windows, a transparent roof and low waist line emphasize the feeling of spaciousness. The variable transparency glass roof panels can block out the sunlight if needed.

The four passengers sit in comfortable lounge chairs that don’t slide on rails, but rather on a carpet-covered platform that can be moved longitudinally, while the individual seats can also be swiveled by up to 15 degrees so they can be turned outward to make it simpler for passengers to get in, or turned inward to make it easier for passengers to socialise.

There are multiple input modes for engaging with the car including a touchscreen, voice control and eye tracking. 

Audi AICON concept's cabin.

Expect the AI:TRAIL to offer similar levels of luxury, just in an off-road-capable format.

IOL Motoring