Here to give a glimpse at the future of its sedans and AI technology, Audi has taken the wraps off the Aicon concept car at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show.
Measuring 5,444 mm long, 2,100 mm wide and 1,506 mm tall with a wheelbase length of 3,470 mm, the massive four-door 2+2 sedan, which is 240 mm longer than the new A8, features large glass surfaces at the front and rear, curvy windows, darkened side sills, as well as giant 26-inch wheels.
As with the Audi e-tron Sportback concept, the Aicon front features the inverted hexagonal grille, a typical feature of the upcoming generation of electric cars from Audi.
Adding to the futuristic exterior are the fully digital lights which actually comprise hundreds of triangular pixel segments, enabling versatile graphics, animations and information visualizations in any colour.
Featuring opposed doors that open to the front and rear, the Aicon has no B-pillar, no steering wheel, no pedals, or even a dashboard, which means that the entire breadth of the interior is exposed to the passengers as they enter the car.
While the two front seats can be pushed 500 millimetres back and forth between the forward and rear positions, swiveled by up to 15 degrees, the rear seats resemble a bench. There is plenty of space for luggage too - roughly 660 litres.
The Aicon's PIA electronic vehicle assistant recognises a specific passenger by his phone and activates all of his personal settings, including air conditioning and seating position, interior light colour and the infotainment screen layout.
The navigation system awaits entry of a destination, and all accessible channels of communication are ready for use, connected via the fastest available standard.
There are multiple input modes available for engaging with the car. Besides the haptic-manual layer, there are also voice control and eye tracking, in which sensors in the front end of the interior track where the passenger is looking. The passenger locks his onto a control element in the area of the front main display to select it and performs fine adjustments using his hand or voice.
Powering the autonomous car are four electric motors producing a total of 260 kW and 550 Nm of torque, where each drives one wheel, enabling electronically controlled, variable quattro all-wheel drive.
Capable of achieving ranges of between 700 and 800 km on a single charge, the Aicon’s battery can be charged to 80 percent of capacity in less than 30 minutes.
The car is also equipped with wireless charging, which is so smart that it can function without a driver. In an AI Zone, it can pull up to a charging station on its own and charge its battery without any human assistance.
Mechanical components such as the steering shaft and the hydraulics have been eliminated as well. The car is therefore equipped with a complete all-wheel steering system without compromising the available space and thus the passenger compartment.
Despite its long wheelbase of nearly 3.47 metres, the car's turning radius of 8.5 metres makes it somewhat agile for its size, making it suitable for city centre driving.