Getting a look at Audi’s newest cars is like stepping into a science-fiction movie.
First, you take an escalator ride into the heart of a sculpted four-story pavilion. Then you enter a long hallway with glowing neon lights. At the end of the corridor, you enter a refrigerated room with Audi logos carved into walls made of ice. Beyond that, you discover a huge hall with Audi’s latest cars swiveling along enormous video walls, blazing with color and light.
This isn’t overkill. Audi’s cars are doing science-fiction-like things with digital technology. And Audi was just one of the major automakers — including Mercedes Benz, Porsche and Bentley — showing off cars this week with NVIDIA-powered cockpits at the IAA International Auto Show in Frankfurt.
Let’s look at six of the cars grabbing eyeballs at the show.
For Audi, Digital Cockpits Becoming a Signature Feature
Audi is turning an Iron Man-inspired cockpit experience into a signature feature throughout its carline. Audi unveiled an all-electric, four-wheel drive SUV concept with a stunning digital interior modeled on the Prologue concept the company revealed earlier this year. It also showed off its new A4, featuring an NVIDIA-powered virtual cockpit that gives drivers they information they want — when they want it.
A Mercedes That Transforms as You Drive It
The digital theme continued in the Mercedes-Benz hall. Computer-controlled balloon drones equipped with LED displays opened the show and highlighted how digitized information, robotics and simulation are transforming how they’re designing cars. Using the power of NVIDIA GPUs in workstations, the cloud and onboard its vehicles, Mercedes-Benz is merging the digital world and the physical world.
The NVIDIA-powered cockpit of the sleek new Mercedes-Benz IAA — Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile — is just the start of Mercedes’ digital story. This digitalization of its entire design and production pipeline lets the automaker roughly halve its concept development process to just 10 months.
The result: a sleek concept car that transforms depending on the speed of the vehicle. Various vents on the front of the car and the wheels shift. And the vehicle’s tail extends an additional 40 centimeters to create an even more aerodynamic design. It’s a like a Transformer brought to life.
New Porsche 911 with NVIDIA Tech
Porsche’s latest concept is packed with digital wizardry, too. The all-electric Mission E super car looks spectacular on both the outside and the inside.
Porsche’s other highlight: the launch of the new 911 Carrera. It’s loaded with an infotainment system built on a modular infotainment platform driven by NVIDIA technology.
Bentley Unites Sci-Fi Capabilities, Timeless Glamor
Of course, automakers aren’t abandoning tradition. The new Bentley Bentayga, Bentley’s first SUV, features a Breitling clock laden with diamonds and mother of pearl inlay on its dash. Bentley complements this stunning jewel-box timepiece with an NVIDIA-powered modular infotainment system. So drivers will never be without the latest digital conveniences.
It’s a contrast that sums up the IAA Frankfurt International Motor Show at a glance. Carmakers are driving digital technology deep into the automotive experience, without leaving behind any of the excitement — and glamour — the car industry is known for. Come see it for yourself.
The IAA Frankfurt International Motor Show opens to the public today and runs through Sept. 27.