• Jul 2, 2007
Audi has seen the future, and the future is exciting; at least in Ingolstadt. Engineers at Audi have cooked up the automotive equivalent of the Focusrite Liquid Mix. An A8L has been pressed into service as the basis for Audi's emulator, having been modified with extra hydraulics, an active steering system and hardware to steer the rear wheels, as well. Dubbed HORST, for Handling Online Research Simulation Tool, the car was initially developed to ape the dynamic responses of an E-Class Benz. More cars have been added as "presets," and engineers can switch from a range of vehicles, including a VW GTI, a Lotus Elise, even a Hyundai Getz, all at the behest of a laptop.

[Source: Auto Express]


While the thought of a vehicle with software-tweakable ride, handing, and braking settings gets our salivary glands going, this particular Audi is a one-off development mule, and the cost is amplified by a factor of 10. Of course, the Audi is a mimic, and not an exact copy of the cars it's dynamically benchmarking. It's the same thing as those emulator rigs for guitarists - you get a flavor reminiscent of your target, but it's not the exact same thing. A fully-adjustable car, such as the HORST, may not ever see the light of day. All that hardware definitely adds weight, and that's not the most effective way to get an already hefty vehicle to act like the flyweight Elise. The tried and true method of vehicle customization through springs, shocks, and other hardware tweaks is still the way to go for the forseeable future. While not it's not cheap to go at your vehicle with wrenches, the cost of Audi's setup is far, far out of the realm of sanity. Besides, if you had that kind of cash to drop on a car, you can get a Ferrari tailored to your liking.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      Bryan
      • 7 Years Ago
      That is one dull looking car. I know what to think about to help me get to sleep at night now..aside from the Accord and Camry.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This would be pretty cool when you have the car valeted--just switch from Elise to Hyundai Getz mode before turning over the keys.
      • 7 Years Ago
      if you switch it to saab-mode, will it break down?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Eh, probably does that just fine running "native" as an Audi.
          • 7 Years Ago
          Actually, Audi's reliability leads ALL other European makes and rated higher than a well known Japanese plate (Nissan) In all fairness to Saab, they have better reliability than Porsche, Cadillac, Mercedez-Benz. Then again, Benz is rated numero 36 out of 36, so there wasn't a single carmaker that didn't have better results than them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I am curious... how can they make a car that heavy act like an elise....
        • 7 Years Ago
        The cabin is pumped full of marijuana smoke on command, giving you the feeling of going 80 when in reality, you're going 5 under in a school zone.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I like the boy racer sponsorship stickers on the most expensive Audi sedan.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Decades ago Lutus had that sound emulator thing going that would make an Elan sound like V8 if you wanted. It worked on the same principle as noise cancelling headphones, or something. I wonder what happemed to it?
        • 7 Years Ago
        It's probably just a well calculated exhaust resonance. In other words, the Elan's exhaust is of a length and diameter than causes a particular frequency of sound waves to propagate. This particular frequency is similar to one that is commonly emitted by V8 engines. I don't think anything "happened to it," I just doubt anybody cares.