What does the future of mobility look like? As regards premium vehicles, the development department at Audi certainly has its own ideas – as witnessed more than once by interested parties over the past twelve months when the brand presented three concept cars in quick succession¹⁾, all belonging to the all-electric sphere family.
The youngest concept bears the name Audi urbansphere concept¹⁾ and was specially developed for use in traffic-dense Chinese megacities. Of course, the concept could also showcase its merits in many other metropolitan centres around the world. In these urban areas, where personal space is in particularly short supply, the concept car¹⁾ offers the largest interior space of any Audi to date – and combines this with intelligent technologies and digital services.
For the first time, potential customers could also take part in the development process of the Audi urbanshpere concept¹⁾, contributing their own desires and experiences.
The luxury tourer of the future
The Audi grandsphere concept¹⁾ is just as progressively designed but conceived for a completely different range of uses. As soon as you take your seat in this saloon, it immediately feels like stepping aboard a first-class flight: oodles of space, lots of comfort and numerous digital services are yours to behold. At 5.35 metres long, 2.0 metres wide and 1.39 metres high – the measurements reveal this saloon to be a potential exponent of the luxury class automobile. The 3.19 metre wheelbase sets a record, which even overshadows the long version of the current Audi A8. But even more striking than what these figures suggest is the visual impression that it makes upon seeing it for the first time. That is because the Audi grandsphere concept¹⁾ looks nothing like a traditional saloon, rather more like a streamlined four-door Grand Turismo (GT) with sleek lines borne of the wind tunnel.
The design process behind the sphere concept cars¹⁾
The classic features of drive or driving dynamics are no longer the central focus of Audi’s concept cars¹⁾: Audi skysphere concept¹⁾, Audi grandsphere concept¹⁾ and Audi urbansphere concept¹⁾. Instead, attention focuses on the interior, in other words the living and experience sphere of the users. With this reassessment, the design process itself also changes. All discussions start by focusing on the needs and desires of the passengers, as they shape the space, the architecture and the functions. Only then are the package, exterior lines and proportions designed, which along with the technological premises shape the car into a total work of art.
Roadster for the luxury segment
The designers and technicians have built in an abundance of exclusive and progressive features into the Audi skysphere concept¹⁾. Their inspiration came from a milestone in the company’s history, namely the prestigiously defined Cabriolet Horch 853 from the 1930s. The new version is pretty much identical to the classic in terms of length (5.19 m) and width (2.0 m). Yet the Audi skysphere concept at a height of just 1.23 metres is significantly flatter (by 54 centimetres believe it or not); it is also extremely aerodynamic and has an optimised centre of gravity. The lines are different, too: take the wide curved and flared wheel arches and the brand’s typical Singleframe with the three-dimensionally designed, illuminated emblem of the four rings. This vehicle positively draws the eye.
Whether or not the concept cars¹⁾ presented go into production remains open at present – however the technologies and innovations nonetheless have the potential to find their rightful place in selected production models.
Ob die vorgestellten Concept-Cars¹⁾ in die Serienproduktion gehen werden, ist aktuell noch offen – die verwendeten Technologien und Innovationen haben aber in jedem Fall das Potenzial, ihren Platz in ausgewählten Serienmodellen zu finden.
Find out more about the sphere family
1)The vehicles presented/described here are concept vehicles that are not available as production vehicles. The automated driving functions shown are technologies currently under development, are not available for production vehicles, and only work within system limits. All possible uses of the technical systems and functions shown represent only a possible concept and are dependent on the respective legal regulations in the relevant country.