Cars

Audi urbansphere concept

Audi's urbansphere concept offers a radical vision for the future of urban travel, systematically designed from the inside out.

Audi urbansphere concept. Photo by Audi AG Photo by Audi AG
Audi urbansphere concept. Photo by Audi AG Photo by Audi AG
Audi urbansphere concept. Photo by Audi AG Photo by Audi AG
Audi urbansphere concept. Photo by Audi AG Photo by Audi AG
Audi urbansphere concept. Photo by Audi AG Photo by Audi AG

Designers and engineers initially created the Audi urbansphere for use in traffic-dense Chinese megacities, although the concept is also suitable for any other metropolitan center in the world. In these urban areas, where personal space is in particularly short supply, the concept car offers the largest interior space of any Audi to date. It intelligently coordinates this with technologies and digital services that appeal to all the senses and offer a whole new level of experience.

The result can be seen in the Audi urbansphere concept and its particularly striking interior. The spacious automobile acts as a lounge on wheels and a mobile office, serving as a third living space during the time spent in traffic. To this end, the Audi urbansphere combines the luxury of complete privacy with a comprehensive range of high-tech features on board, even during the daily rush hour. Automated driving technology transforms the interior, in which a steering wheel, pedals, or displays are notably absent, into a mobile interactive space that provides a gateway to a wider digital ecosystem.
Audi sphere - first class to the power of three

Audi skysphere, Audi grandsphere, and Audi urbansphere are the three concept cars that the brand with the four rings has developed to showcase its vision for the world of premium mobility of tomorrow. In the process, Audi is creating a vehicle experience that goes far beyond the purpose of merely spending time in a car to get from point A to point B.

Sphere number 1: The electrically driven roadster Audi skysphere concept debuted in August 2021. It presented a spectacular vision of a self-driving GT that transforms into a self-driving sports car with a variable wheelbase.

Just a few weeks later, Audi unveiled the second model in the sphere series, the Audi grandsphere concept, at the IAA 2021. This large four-seater sedan exemplified the brand's ambition to define the future of progressive luxury.

What both concept cars have in common with the Audi urbansphere is that the entire concept is based on level 4 autonomous vehicle technology. Audi is currently working with CARIAD, Volkswagen Group's software business, to introduce this technology within the second half of the decade.

The architecture - from the inside out
Even the “sphere” in the name sends a signal: the heart of the Audi skysphere, grandsphere, and urbansphere concept vehicles lie in its interior. That makes the inner space the foundation of the vehicle's design and technology and therefore the occupants' living and experience sphere while on the road.

Their needs and desires shape this space, its architecture, and all of the integrated functions. As a result of this shift, the design process itself also changes. At the beginning of all discussions, the focus is solely on the interior. Only then are the package, exterior lines, and proportions designed, along with the technological specifications, turning the automobile into a complete work of art.

Sustainability as a guiding principle
Many of the materials in the interior of the Audi urbansphere concept, such as the hornbeam veneers, come from sustainable sources. This choice of material makes it possible to use wood that has grown close to the site, and the entire trunk can be utilized. No chemicals are used during the manufacturing process.

The seat padding is made of ECONYL®, a recycled polyamide. This material can also be recycled after its use in the automobile - without any loss of quality. The fact that the respective materials are installed separately also plays an important role in the ability to recycle them, as mixing them would drastically reduce the potential for recycling.

Bamboo viscose fabric is used in the armrests and in the rear of the vehicle. Bamboo grows faster than ordinary wood, sequesters a great deal of carbon, and doesn't require herbicides or pesticides to grow.

Audi urbansphere concept interiorThe Audi urbansphere concept interior

Space concept for the luxury class - exterior design
A grand, undoubtedly self-assured appearance - the Audi urbansphere concept is certain to leave a lasting first impression. A length of 5.5 meters (18 feet), a height of almost 1.78 meters (5.8 feet), and a width of more than two meters (6.6 feet) are undoubtedly prestigious enough to rub shoulders with the automotive elite.

The flowing silhouette of the vehicle body features traditional Audi shapes and elements, which are combined here to create a new composition featuring the distinctive Singleframe, with the digital eyes of the adjacent lighting units, a widely curved, dynamic roof arch, a massive rocker panel that conceals the battery unit, large 24-inch six double-spoke wheels (a reference to the iconic 90's Audi Avus concept car) which convey lightweight design and stability, reminiscent of functional motorsport wheels and the Bauhaus tradition of the brand's design.

The implied wedge shape of the vehicle body is emphasized by the large, flat windshield. At the front and also at the rear, there are large digital lighting surfaces that leave their mark on the design and at the same time serve as communication elements.

The Audi urbansphere defies classification into conventional vehicle categories. Nevertheless, it reveals itself to be a typical Audi at first glance. The similarities to the Audi grandsphere concept are particularly eye-catching. The monolithic design of the vehicle body shares commonalities with these two concept cars, as do the sculpted, soft shape of the wheel arches. A long wheelbase of well over three meters (9.8 feet) and short overhangs indicate that this is an electric vehicle. Elegance, dynamism, an organic design language - these are the attributes that immediately spring to mind despite the stately proportions of the Audi urbansphere, just as they do in the significantly flatter grandsphere.

Fast charging, high range
The heart of the drive system is the 800-volt charging technology. It ensures that the battery can be charged with up to 270 kilowatts at fast-charging stations in the shortest possible time. As such, charging times approach those of a conventional stop to refuel a car powered by an internal combustion engine: just ten minutes are enough to charge the battery to a level sufficient to power the car for more than 300 kilometers (186 miles). In addition, the battery, which holds more than 120-kilowatt hours, can be charged from 5 to 80 percent in less than 25 minutes. This means that a range of up to 750 kilometers (466 miles) can be expected according to the WLTP standard - and even when used for more energy-intensive city and short-distance trips, it is generally possible to avoid making unexpected stops to charge.



Written by: Mathias Haegglund
Published: