The compact electric vehicle hints at Audi's equivalent of the Volkswagen I.D.

The Volkswagen I.D. Roomzz isn’t the only new fully electric concept VAG is introducing at the Auto Shanghai 2019 in China as Audi is also attending the event to showcase the new AI:ME. Sending out a futuristic A2 vibe, the new showcar carrying the Four Rings takes the shape of a compact zero-emissions hatchback developed primarily for city use.

You can think of it as Audi’s posh version of the Volkswagen I.D. or the SEAT el-Born as it rides on the same newly developed MEB platform tailored to pure EVs. Power comes from an electric motor at the rear axle that can develop as much as 168 bhp, but Audi argues the hatchback only needs a fraction of the electric motor’s power for city use.

2019 Audi AI:ME concept
2019 Audi AI:ME concept

Speaking of the city, the Ingolstadt-based marque says that with the AI:ME being developed for an urban environment, “extreme acceleration values and top motorway speeds are just as obsolete as high cornering speeds and ranges that are suitable for driving long distances.” Audi believes an equivalent production version would mostly travel at speeds between 12 to 43 mph over short distances. With that in mind, the AI:ME was conceived with a simple hardware configuration encompassing a 65-kWh battery pack ideal for city use, although the actual range isn’t specified.

2019 Audi AI:ME concept
2019 Audi AI:ME concept

The design is as futuristic as you’d expect from a concept, complete with rear suicide doors and the absence of conventional B-pillars. Intricate LED headlights and taillights lend the electric hatch a high-tech look, while the use of real plants inside the minimalist cabin is a first in an automobile, according to Audi. Not that it comes as a big surprise, but the AI:ME has been envisioned with a highly advanced autonomous driving system with level 4 capabilities.

The AI:ME follows the 2017 Aicon and the 2018 PB 18 concepts, and is part of a quartet that will be completed in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show with the unveiling of a fourth concept car.

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Gallery: 2019 Audi AI:ME concept

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Mobility for Megacities: the Audi AI:ME

  • Vision of an autonomous city car of the future
  • Small traffic area, maximum spatial comfort
  • High-tech refuge during rush hour

At Auto Shanghai 2019, Audi is introducing a visionary mobility concept for the megacities of the future: The showcar, known as the Audi AI:ME, offers compact dimensions, a spacious, futuristic interior, and the ability to drive autonomously at level 4. This allows the occupants to do what they like with their time on board. The Audi AI:ME offers a broad range of high-tech features for communication, entertainment, or simply relaxation.