Electric off-road Audi teased ahead of Frankfurt debut

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Audi AI:TRAIL quattro Audi

Set for a reveal at the upcoming 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show in September, Audi has dropped an image of the AI:Trail Quattro, a battery-powered off-road-capable SUV, completing a quartet of EV concepts with the previously introduced AI-con sedan, PB18 grand tourer, and AI:ME hatchback.

Audi didn’t include much information about the new e-SUV, other than describing it as an “electrically driven off-roader—designated for future mobility,” but we can discern a few things from the image and the concept’s name.

It’s called a “Quattro,” so that means it’s going to be driven by all four wheels, and the AI part probably stands for artificial intelligence, so, like the AI:ME concept, it will likely be autonomous capable, though at what level of autonomy it will operate we can only guess. From the “Trail” part, we can assume it can handle off-road duties.

Electric vehicles don’t really need an engine bay, so to use space most efficiently, the passenger and cargo compartment has been stretched out to the large off-road-lugged tires. Visibility should be outstanding, as the side glass extends just about as far as the cabin does. With the stretched cabin and large, exposed wheels coupled tight to the body, the AI:Trail Quattro has a compact but squat, muscular look; an automotive halfback, if you will. The jet-black paint augments that aggressive stance.

Should the AI:Trail Quattro make it to production, it could compete against electric utility vehicles proposed by Rivian and Detroit-based Bollinger, which will reveal its B1 and B2 electric SUV and pickup next month.

In the meantime, if you want an electric Audi utility vehicle without waiting for a concept to become reality, you can get an e-tron crossover.

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