“I believe the children are our future,” philosopher Whitney Houston once opined. Well, if she was talking about car design, she wasn’t wrong.
OK, not ‘children’ exactly. But certainly students. Audi has today unveiled the results of its ‘Design Universe’ think-tank, in which young designers at four top universities have explored how the Audi of tomorrow might look.
Take the car above, as an example. It’s called the Audi Quantum, and was designed by a pair of students at the Scuola Politecnica di Design in Milan. Looks suitably futuristic, no? There are retina scanners that, um, scan the driver’s retina and configure the interior settings before he or she climbs in.
Then there are the reconfigurable seats (four in total), different colours for the Audi logo and wheels like an ‘office chair’. No lie.
“Successful design is bold and timeless,” explains Audi’s design boss Marc Lichte.
With that in mind, have a scan through the other eight designs submitted by students, and pick your favourite. WARNING: one of them is a CHAIR.
No, it’s not inspired by that, but instead by the Auto Union Type C Streamliner from the 1930s. And also viscous liquids. Yep, really.
Timely, don’t you think? Like an extra from the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie, this was built for the year 2045, when we’re told space travel will be a ‘hobby’. Features the signature single-frame grille set to tailgate your spacecraft in the future.
Audi Type 53
Again, another taking inspiration from Audi’s 1930s racing heritage, the roofline on this model is said to be “reminiscent of the classic designed by Ferdinand Porsche”. The model envisages a petrol engine, but in the future will be run by ‘electric drive’.
Inflatable metal is the theme here, though not literally; more that the “customer should feel like [they are] in an inflatable airspace”. Also, the wheels change colour depending on “the intention of the driver”. Sounds ominous.
‘The Iconic Seat’
You’ll notice quite quickly that this is not actually a car of the future, but a seat. It is a seat that adjusts to the “wishes of the occupants”. We shall leave that there without comment.
This was modelled on sailboats and catamarans, while we’re told the interior is dominated by a silver cylinder, “reminiscent of a sail mast”. Some internet is available inside, apparently.
In the future, “ordinary doors do not exist”, at least in the minds of the students who built this model. Nope, entry is achieved via an opening on the top of the car. Naturally.
“Autonomous driving in the future is nothing special anymore,” we’re told. Actually looks the closest like a future Audi SUV we’re likely to see in the next 20 years. There are apparently three screens inside this autonomous machine.