Audi grandsphere Concept Is a Self-Driving Luxury Sedan With 466 Miles of Electric Range
04. September 2021 - autoevolution
Only a few days away from its debut at the bi-annual 2021 Munich Auto Show (IAA Munich), Audi has revealed its second of three "sphere" concept cars: the grandsphere.
Described as a "private jet for the road," grandsphere is a spacious, luxury sedan with Level 4 autonomy that shows us a glimpse of the brand's EV future.
The grandpshere concept follows the recent debut of the futuristic skysphere concept, an automatically driving GT that turns into a self-driving sports car with a stretchable wheelbase. The brand new concept shares some elements with its sibling, looking like a finely designed four-door GT.
The hood's upper edge is drawn far into the side of the chassis in a horizontal line, implying a large engine compartment. That line extends at the same height over the rear wheel well, enveloping the entire interior and accentuating its spaciousness. All lines and surfaces appear to merge into a single cohesive structure.
While the exterior is undeniably impressive, the expansive interior, with no B-pillar, is where this design study really shines. The open interior contributes to the impression of a unique setting. In level 4 driving, the steering wheel and pedals are no longer present, and the front part of the cabin becomes an entirely free space.
The Audi grandsphere is a 2+2-seater. In the back, an upholstered two-person bench with an armrest that wraps around the side is integrated, while both front seats are designed for first-class comfort and space. When the two individual front seats are pushed all the way back, the cabin seems to be even more spacious.
Aside from the feeling of space that you get, the interior is jam-packed with new tech. There are projections on the wooden surfaces beneath the windscreen that serve as displays. Depending on the driving status, they are either spread out through the entire width of the interior or segmented for the driver and front-seat passenger.
When the vehicle is in automated driving mode, the projection surfaces can also be utilized as CinemaScope screens for infotainment content or as video conference screens. Control panels are also built into the door armrests. As a result, the car always provides passengers with invisible touch surfaces. Moreover, the armrests will also have VR glasses that can be used in combination with other infotainment options.
Powered by two electric motors, the grandsphere concept has a maximum output of 710 hp (530 kilowatts) and a maximum torque of 960 Newton meters. Thanks to the high torque, the grandsphere can go from 0 to 62 mph (100 kph) in just over four seconds. With a 120 kWh battery, the vehicle also has a range of more than 466 miles (750 kilometers).
While the grandsphere is just a concept vehicle that will not make it into production, it gives us a glimpse into what Audi cars will look like in the near future. The third concept, called urbansphere, is expected to make its debut in 2022.