IT'S that time of year when you really have to dissect the information put out by car makers - April 1 is rapidly approaching after all!
However, Audi insists that this entirely electric, fully automatic concept "for horizontal and vertical mobility" isn't an April Fool's joke and not even a "flight of fancy".
It does, however, fly and the company insists that the aptly-named Pop.Up Next modular concept could, in the distant future, transport people in cities quickly and conveniently both on the road and in the air, and make a major contribution to solving traffic problems.
Pie in the sky? Well, maybe - but then who thought we'd have fully autonomous cars a couple of decades ago?
The concept has been "imagined" by Italdesign and plane-maker Airbus and features an ultra-light, two-seater passenger cabin which can be attached either to a road car or to a flight module - a kind of super-drone. Audi is supporting the project with its extensive know-how on autonomous drive, battery technology and automation.
The futuristic interior is dominated by a huge 49-inch screen running the width of the cabin. Controls are few and far between and interaction between the driver and vehicle is performed by speech and face recognition, eye-tracking and a touch function.
According to Dr. Bernd Martens, Audi Board Member for Procurement and President of Italdesign: "Creativity is needed where new mobility concepts for cities and people's diverse needs are concerned.
"Italdesign is an incubator for innovative technologies and radical prototyping.Pop.Up Next is an ambitious vision that could permanently change our urban life in the future,"
The famous design house now develops future-oriented vehicle concepts for Audi and customers around the globe.
According to the company, the concept "combines the flexibility of a small two seater ground vehicle with the freedom and speed of a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) air vehicle, thus bridging the automotive and aerospace domains."
The company's CEO JÃ¶rg Astalosch says: "Various players will define the rules of urban mobility in the future. We are proud to collaborate with Airbus, the leading company in the aerospace industry, to investigate solutions for future mobility."