No, it’s not exactly a car, or even close, but the Audi e-tron hydrofoil surfboard is nonetheless an entertaining bit of brand extension, and as you’d expect from the German firm, there are some neat touches in both design and engineering which made us think it was worth a quick look.
The concept is simple – it’s a surfboard with a battery built in, and an electric motor on the end of a mast underneath, fitted with ‘wings’ that give lift above a set speed. You can trundle along slowly flat to the water surface, then once you accelerate, thanks to a handheld Bluetooth controller, you rise up out of the water, leaving just the prop and wings submerged. Apparently it’s got a maximum speed of 45kph, and a range of around 30 kilometres which should be enough for an hour or so’s fast, soggy fun.
There are some nice Audi-centric touches on the design, including ‘e-tron’ badging on the alloy trim and a very slick clip for the battery pack, and its colour scheme of dark grey cubist camo and orange matches the e-tron design cues rather well.
Audi is claiming that it’s the brainchild of one of their engineers, Franz Hofmann, though it’s not quite as original an idea as they’re making out, judging by the fact that this firm from Puerto Rico have been selling them for a little while now. We’d still like a go though. Just not on the River Thames in January, thanks.