Audi’s Lunar Quattro Rover Will Explore the Moon Next Year

The Audi Lunar Quattro is ready to explore the Moon.

Over the past few months, the German automaker’s team of experts has been working on the rover’s intelligent all-wheel-drive power distribution, optimizing its high-performance electronics and contributing their piloted driving expertise to the development process. The Audi Lunar Quattro has also shed 17.6 pounds (eight kilograms) while gaining Audi e-tron power as it gets ready to tackle one of the most difficult terrains of all in exploring the Moon.

The German space travel team “Part-Time Scientists” have announced that it plans to complete the trip to the Moon from the end of 2017, using a launcher booked with Spaceflight Inc.

Audi has helped the rover shed some weight by using an optimum mix of materials as well as aluminum 3D printing. Currently it weighs a total of 66 lbs (33 kgs). Once it gets on the Moon, the Lunar Quattro will use four cameras to help find its way around, as well as examine objects and take 3D and 360-degree pictures. Before that can happen however, the team will conduct extensive stress testing of the two Audi Lunar Quattro vehicles and the landing probe by simulating the entire mission in the Middle East over the next few months.

“We are proud that we have given the moon rover important aspects of the four rings’ DNA: It is a quattro, has an e-tron battery on board, drives in piloted mode and offers an intelligent mix of materials,” remarked Michael Schöffmann, head of Audi transmission development and development coordinator of the Audi lunar quattro. “The collaboration with the Part-Time scientists is also very enriching for us: We are breaking new technological ground with the Audi lunar quattro and can learn much about how automotive components behave in extreme conditions.”