Concept Cars

Audi teases sharp AI:me design study for Shanghai Motor Show

Audi's wild design studies all have "AI" somewhere in the name, because it's the future, duh.

Audi

Audi's tradition of incorporating "AI" into the names of its futuristic concepts will continue at the 2019 Shanghai Motor Show, with the addition of the AI:me design study.

Audi on Tuesday released a set of teaser sketches for the AI:me design study concept, ahead of its debut at the 2019 Shanghai Motor Show on April 15. Audi didn't offer up too many details, saying only that it shows off Audi's idea of an automated car for "the megacities of tomorrow."

Its intended purpose is evident in its design. The wheels are stretched as far to the extremes of the body as possible, both longitudinally and latitudinally, leaving oodles of space for its occupants. It doesn't stray too far from Audi's design language, though, retaining some semblance of a grille and a set of headlights that look like they could have come from any recent Audi concept.

The grille is a dead giveaway that it's an Audi. But the rest of it? Not so much.

Audi

There's a retractable steering wheel inside with a futuristic design that's closer to an aviation yoke than a traditional steering wheel. Audi made generous use of wood in the cockpit, and it's offset with leather and other materials, in addition to a series of small screens integrated in the door panels. Looking forward, there's a single screen that seems to occupy nearly the entire width of the dashboard.

Audi's "AI" concepts are all pretty wild in different ways. The Aicon concept was a wildly styled autonomous EV with 500 miles of range and its own drone, and it did away with traditional headlights and taillights. And then there's the spongeworthy Elaine concept, which relied a little less on autonomy and carried a more traditiona shape akin to Audi's Sportback crossovers.

If only interesting steering wheels were able to graduate to production. Silly regulations...

Audi