The Audi AI:ME is revealed in Shanghai, previewing an autonomous electric city car designed to transport you round the cities in the future.
One of the joys of an electric car, even a pretty prosaic electric car, is that it feels more lively to drive than its equivalent ICE model thanks to the instant torque delivered by an electric motor.
But if Audi’s view of the future for EVs in cities – the Audi AI:ME – revealed in Shanghai is anything to go by, that’s going to be irrelevant, Because you’re not going to be doing the driving – the car is.
The Audi AI:ME is Audi’s take on what will be transporting is round the City – especially big cities like Shanghai – at some point (a point which does seem to be getting further away, rather than nearer), able to leave you to put your feet up whilst the car takes the strain in geo-fenced, fully mapped areas.
All of which makes the 168bhp from the electric motor a bit irrelevant, as Audi say the AI:ME is designed to perfectly cope with speeds of 12-43mph in the city, and that actual performance, top speed and handling are almost irrelevant.
It looks rather like an Audi take on the VW ID Hatch – which it effectively is – with a compact body and interesting design features like windows which are wider at the top than the bottom so there’s more room for your head, windows which only open at the bottom to you get a breeze to your body, not your face.
There are exterior LEDs to signal the car’s intent to pedestrians, and the interior gets a retractable steering wheel, a pair of tables, a food storage area, real foliage and magnetic bits so your food and utensils don’t disappear when the car decide to turn.
It’s an Audi car of the future. But is it a car?