The Audi Aicon concept just made its world debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, representing the four rings’ vision for zero emissions and driverless mobility of the future. Its footprint is significantly larger than the new A8 and the dimensions are borderline ridiculous – 5,444 mm overall length, 2,100mm wide, 1,506 mm tall and a wheelbase of 3,470 mm, which is 240 mm longer than the long-wheelbase A8.

As previously reported, the Aicon will be completely autonomous (Level 5) without requiring driver intervention. There’s no steering wheel or pedals, instead it gets a host of sensors and relays to constantly interact with surrounding objects and vehicles. This removes the need for conventional seat belts, because Audi says accidents will soon be a thing of the past.

Propulsion comes from four electric motors with a total system output of 260 kW (349 hp) and 550 Nm of torque. Each axle will receive a pair of motors that enable quattro, which gets electronically controlled for variable torque distribution. The energy storage units are integrated into the floor and are made of solid body batteries that are considerably higher in density than lithium-ion batteries. Audi aims to achieve between 700 to 800 km of range on a single charge.

The Aicon is equipped with fast charging and wireless charging. Audi says an 80% charge can be achieved in under 30 minutes, and the car will automatically pull up to a charging station without any human assistance. This however, works only in AI Zone. Energy recuperation via braking is standard, of course.

Because there’s no steering wheel, mechanical components such as steering shaft and the accompanying hydraulics have all been removed. This allows the front and rear axles to be identical in length, and with all-wheel steering, manoeuvrability will not be a concern, especially not with a turning radius of just 8.5 metres. Comparatively, the Mazda3‘s turning circle is approximately 10.6 metres (with 18-inch wheels).

Other notable points are the relocation of the disk brakes (now moved inwards, closer to the drivetrain) and fitment of fully active suspension with pneumatic springs, designed for maximum comfort.

On the design front, the signature Singleframe grille continues to headline the fascia, although inverted to denote its all-electric footing. Surrounding it are over 600 3D pixels for various graphical projections to warn pedestrians or other motorists of danger. It can even be customised to resemble wide pupils or “squinted eyes” for a more aggressive look. When occupants leave the car in dark conditions, mini drones from the Aicon will follow and illuminate the path ahead.

Opening the coach doors reveal two lounge chairs that swivel up to 15 degrees. They turn outwards to aid ingress and egress, and inwards so passengers can converse better. The head restraints can also be folded to act as an arm rest. Both seats slide up to 500 mm fore and aft, not by conventional rails but on a platform covered in high-pile carpet. The platform height varies and can act as an ottoman for your legs.

The seats themselves look much like a classic home sofa, with the cushions and backrest visually separated from each other. As for storage, the boot and bonnet reserves give a collective volume of 660 litres, which is far from the Tesla Model S’ 900 litres.

While mobile, passengers are able to relax, watch a film or even take naps. Video conferencing can also be an option, with the visuals displayed at the upper sections of the windshield. The panoramic glass roof with integrated OLED technology can alter opacity, from fully transparent to completely blocking out sunlight.