The engineers over at Audi
have either been eating some serious brain-food, or they've got those extra bright light bulbs floating over their heads, because the company's new A8 concept car is kind of amazing. The idea behind the the vehicle is satanically simple: what if you could "tweak" a car electronically so that it drives like other makes and models? The A8 achieves this function by tacking on additional hydraulics and an active steering system (including hardware to steer the rear wheels), which allows the car to emulate the feel of an E-Class Mercedes-Benz, a VW GTI, the Lotus Elise, and strangely enough the supermini Hyundai Getz. Audi calls the system HORST, or Handling Online Research Simulation Tool, and uses the single prototype in operation exclusively for developmental purposes. As it stands, the automaker probably won't be taking this project mainstream (certainly not at its cost of ten times
the sticker price on the A8, which is between $70,000 and $120,000), but the possibilities it suggests for modern vehicles makes the future of driving seem a little more interesting.