Internal combustion is so yesterday, and Tesla’s not the only company that knows it. German car manufacturer Audi, which has long daydreamed of an electric future, took yet another baby step toward gasoline’s obsolescence with the unveiling of a new concept car at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
It’s called the Aicon, and Audi claims the sedan has a range of 435 miles on one charge. That’s just a wee bit over Tesla’s Model S P100D with an official range of 337 miles. Oh, and the Aicon is designed to be fully autonomous.
Like, take-a-nap-behind-the-wheel autonomous.
“With the four-door design vision Audi Aicon, the brand with the four rings is presenting a autonomous Audi of the future – with no steering wheel or pedals,” reads a press release. “As a design concept, the four-door 2+2 boldly leaps ahead to show the exterior and interior design of the next decades.”
And the inside of the ride is certainly something to behold. Aspiring to so-called level 5 autonomy — meaning the car should theoretically be able to completely operate itself with no active human control — Audi has decided to do away with pesky things like steering wheels and brakes that would otherwise clog up the Aicon.
What might you do instead of drive while cruising in this slick future pod? Audi’s not 100 percent sure, but it wants you to know that you can work if you need to (fun!).
“The Audi Aicon opens up a new world of mobility to its passengers,” continues the release. “Freed from the tasks of driving, they can choose how to spend their time in the car. Working, communicating or simply just relaxing and even napping: Anything is possible while the car autonomously and safely finds its way.”
And, with Audi claiming it takes just 30 minutes to charge the battery to 80 percent capacity, the Aicon is sure to grab the attention of some die-hard Tesla fans.
Hey, a little competition is a healthy thing. Maybe the Model S and the Aicon can race for the title of “best electric car.” That is, if Audi ever gets around to making them.