The Audi Lunar quattro is undergoing a range of testing on Earth before it begins the long journey to the Moon. But what might a Moon rover for a future crewed mission to the Moon look like? Two designers from Audi Concept Automotive Design present their visionary designs.
The designers’ imaginations were given free rein, allowing them to come up with the idea of a Moon rover with spherical wheels that rotate like human arms and allow it to drive between two sheer, vertical rock faces.
The design by Senior Designer Ramon Sellers-Sirvent looks utopian, prompting the question: when exactly would a drive concept like this be needed? But who can predict today what the unknown terrain of other worlds might be like? Ultimately, it would be disastrous if a research vehicle got irretrievably stuck during a mission hundreds of thousands of kilometres away from Earth.
“This is my vision of a maximally efficient and technologically advanced quattro with optimum grip on the lunar surface. It can rotate 360 degrees and freely move all four wheels like arms.”
“This rover can drive in extreme conditions. Even in a valley with walls of rocks on the side and no ground underneath it.”
Designer Sven Vollhardt’s concept for an extraterrestrial rover is also packed with innovative ideas. For example, it has both a “driving mode” and a “working mode” that allows an astronaut to collect samples from a planet without leaving the protective interior of the rover. Like a supple lizard, the vehicle leans forward to “nibble” at the planet’s stony ground.
When Audi designers set their imaginations free, things from the far future become possible.
“An initial, rough design for a Moon rover that seats one to two passengers. It moves like an animal and can collect samples.”