11 May 2022
The Audi urbansphere concept, which debuted in April 2022, is the final instalment in the brand’s sphere trilogy, joining the Audi skysphere concept and Audi grandsphere concept which were launched in 2021.
The sphere concept cars marries avant-garde design, maximum performance and Level 4 autonomous vehicle technology across all models. These concept EVs were created to go beyond just being a means to get to the destination — Audi wants every ride to be an experience that defines progressive luxury.
Let’s take a look at how the Audi urbansphere complements the sphere concept.
Space is in short supply in urban areas and the Audi urbansphere aims to provide passengers the luxury of space while on the road. Although specifically designed for traffic-dense Chinese megacities, this EV concept is also suitable for any metropolitan centre in the world where being stuck in traffic is common. To address this, the Audi urbansphere acts as a lounge on wheels, a mobile office, and a luxurious “third” living space that provides a haven in the heart of the rush hour.
Measuring 5.51 metres long, 2.01 metres wide, and 1.78 metres high, the Audi urbansphere is the largest model in the sphere family and all of the brand’s concept cars. Instead of squeezing in as many seats or storage compartments as possible, its roomy interior was designed to prioritise the passengers’ comfort and needs.
First, both doors are hinged at opposite directions and the absence of the B-pillar opens up the entire expanse of the interior providing ample space to get in and out of the car. The car also has generous glass surfaces to enhance its exceptional spatial experience, giving passengers unrestricted views both within and outside of the car.
On top of that, individual seats have the ability to swivel to offer luxurious first-class comfort to passengers, and each of the four seats even has its own privacy screen and sound zone with built-in speakers in the headrest area.
Like the previous two sphere concept cars, the Audi grandsphere has an interior that has simplicity at its core. To maximise its interior space, the steering wheel, pedals, and conventional dashboard can be hidden during automated driving, which enhances the feeling of transparency and spaciousness.
True to the premium luxury that the brand is known for, the Audi grandsphere incorporates wood, wool, and synthetic textile fabrics for its panelling, seat covers, and floor carpets to elevate the car’s high-quality feel. Many of the interior materials are made from sustainable sources such as ECONYL, a material that can be recycled without any loss of quality.
The interior is further complemented by the EV’s innovative use of technology such as the MMI touchless response, which allows passengers to either physically touch the digital icons and buttons or to engage eye-tracking, gesture or voice control to operate.
On the outside, the Audi urbansphere is unmistakably Audi with a silhouette featuring traditional Audi shapes and elements. One of the concept car’s key design elements is its reinterpreted Singleframe. While the grille no longer functions as an air intake in this electric vehicle model, its entire surface can be used as dynamic light display for communication with various light settings and controls.
Powering the Audi urbansphere is the Premium Platform Electric (PPE), which was designed exclusively for battery-electric drive systems. Its battery module can hold around 120 kW hours of energy and its two electric motors are capable of delivering a total output of 295 kW and a system torque of 690 Nm. The EV also uses the brand’s quattro four-wheel technology and adaptive air suspension to amplify performance.
In terms of range, the Audi urbansphere is capable of up to 750 kilometres at full charge and its battery can be charged from 5% to 80% in just 25 minutes.
The Audi urbansphere’s goal of creating an unparalleled space experience in an urban setting is a fitting conclusion to the sphere concept, complementing the Audi skysphere’s self-driving GT and the Audi grandsphere which is the brand’s automobile interpretation of the private jet experience.
The Audi skysphere kicked off the sphere concept with a bang, with its focus on speed and power — the two-seater convertible EV only weighs approximately 1,800 kg and has 465 kW of power and 750 Nm of torque. To top it off, it can go from 0 to 100km/h in just four seconds. All these is powered by its 80 kWh battery which gives the car a range of around 500 kilometres. Its variable wheelbase is a key feature, giving the Audi skysphere two distinct personalities — a luxury sports car at its 4.94-metre long electric roadster “Sports” mode and a GT when expanded to its 5.19-metre autonomous Gran Touring driving mode. And don’t let its sleek appearance deceive you, it has a spacious front trunk big enough to fit two golf bags, especially designed for the Audi skysphere.
The Audi grandsphere concept launched soon after and this long electric sedan offers the comfort and luxury of first-class air travel while on the road. At 5.35 metre long, 2 metre wide and 1.39 metre high, it is not so much a sedan but a tightly drawn four-door GT that has the design characteristics of a GT. It uses Audi’s quattro technology and its two electric motors can deliver up to 530 kw of power and 960 Nm of torque. It’s also designed for long distances and its 270 kW battery has a range of about 750 kilometres. Not to be outdone, the Audi grandsphere can go from 0 to 100km/h in just over four seconds.
At its core, all three spheres were designed to redefine how we approach the interiors of automobiles, allowing comfort and living experience to lead the way in the car’s design — instead of the drive system taking priority.
When it comes to redefining premium luxury mobility, Audi has always been in the forefront of innovation. Remember when the first Audi e-tron concept car was revealed in 2009? Fast forward to 2022 and these cars which were once just ideas and sketches on a page have now been in the market for four years, along with a full-fledged range — with more models set to be released in the future.
With Audi, the future of premium luxury electric mobility is in good hands.