A team of four students from Politecnico di Milano, Italy, have designed the Atlante concept as their Master thesis project for the Audi brand.
“The Audi Atlante takes its origin from the sky and a theme so indissolubly connected with the brand and its history: sport,” says the design team, consisting of Alessandro Ren, Nicola Siepi, Alvaro De Almeida and Giacomo Vagge.
The thinking behind the vehicle started from a new sport, specifically space exploration.
In every sport there’s the right equipment, in this case a space suit perfectly fitted on the human body with shape memory alloys woven into fabric. The Audi Atlante was born with this material and concept in mind, creating a connection between human beings and vehicle.
The fabric opens up to reveal the cockpit and let the passengers in; it closes around the figures and lifts behind the passengers’ heads to connect in a visual and aerodynamic way.
The concept’s overall shape is pure and simple, with very few calculated lines to create order and break points in some specific parts of the surfaces and give the feeling of a spaceship, while the fabric and the metal body create the main division.
This division was defined from the top view, which is important, as the vehicle is very low. Audi’s defining single frame has gained more depth by the deconstructive aesthetic on different surfaces, but it is still recognizable from different angles and it creates a connection between metal and fabric.
While the fabric covers the front wheels, the rear wheels are left exposed to create a visual connection between the driver’s hands and the moving parts, underlined by a different texture. The back rims follow the surface of the flanks and let air out from the central part.
Since the future vision of luxury is connected with time and outstanding experiences, the vehicle can be accessed and driven by two people wearing the suit and helmet.
“The North Star was the experience that people want to live when they fly to space thanks to companies like Virgin Galactic,” says the team. “This target is the elite, forward looking people who want to be pioneers and be at the forefront of human discovery, like astronauts.”
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