Audi’s latest sphere concept car is just like a four-door crossover coupé - but one key difference. It maintains the usual form factor of one, but can be turned into a ‘truck’.
And it reimagines how one interacts with a car. These characteristics are a result of building it on its upcoming Premium Platform Electric (PPE), allowing for enhanced capabilities regardless of the terrain you are traversing on.
To further reinforce this concept, the elegant coupé form factor can be transformed into a utilitarian vehicle with a cargo bed at the touch of a button. There’s enough capacity in this configuration for transporting top-class sports gear, and even up to two e-bikes.As with almost all future-forward concept cars, the activesphere concept will come with fully autonomous driving capabilities. Audi has taken it up a notch though; when in self-driving mode, the steering wheel, and pedals disappear into an invisible position. This gives the front occupants a better view of the road ahead through the car’s fully glazed Singleframe.
If the driver wants to take over the wheel, driving controls swivel out from its flush position below the windshield. The car also comes with augmented reality technology for viewing virtual content, which initially will be for information only. This innovative operating concept, dubbed Audi dimensions, combines the physical and virtual worlds (i.e., mixed reality) by displaying digital content in the occupants’ fields of vision in real time.If the user focuses with his or her eyes on the information, thus signalling interest, the system displays more detailed information. Depending on their needs and tasks, passengers and drivers are provided with very individual content in their respective mixed reality headset. With the driver concentrating on steering while active behind the wheel, passengers can begin looking into and even preparing activities at the destination.
Activesphere occupants can also take his or her headset out of the car and onto the ski slope to help navigate the bike trail or to find the ideal descent when skiing downhill.
Elsewhere in the cabin, the designers have demarcated each zone with horizontal contrast colouring. The seating surfaces, door and front panelling are finished in warm lava red, which contrasts with the dark exterior even when looking through the side windows.
Even the seats are a departure from what you’d been used too - they blend the designs of a lounge chair and a traditional car seat. These are then paired with an all-new centre console, which has since been repurposed into storage and an on-board bar.Powering the activesphere concept is a drivetrain combination that consists of two electric motors with a total output of 325 kW. System torque is rated at 720 Nm. All electronic components are rated for 800-volt charging technology, allowing for rapid charging at 270 kW chargers. Up to 300 kilometres of range can be added in just 10 minutes, and a 5 to 80% recharge just takes about 25 minutes.
The 100kWh battery pack is good for a total range of over 600 kilometres.
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