Audi unveil their new skysphere concept electric car of the future
Zero-emissions luxury roadster features touring and sports modes with adjustable wheelbase and offers 311 miles (500km) of range
Audi has unveiled their skysphere concept electric car which is the first member of a new family of concept vehicles. The racy looking roadster is an electric-powered, two-door convertible whose lines lead to the Audi design of tomorrow. Aesthetically, it’s a truly beautiful and elegant looking car. This 5.2-metre-long e-roadster is fit for a superhero.
With the skysphere concept, Audi is illustrating its vision for the progressive luxury segment of the future. What’s unique here is the interior becomes an interactive space. This is being made possible thanks to autonomous driving, a revolutionary redesign of the interior and a seamless digital ecosystem.
The concept car was designed with the clear objective of offering its occupants captivating experiences. To give passengers the maximum amount of freedom, the skysphere concept was designed for two different driving experiences including a grand touring experience and a sports experience.
To achieve this the skysphere concept has a variable wheelbase to dial in the perfect handling for the experience. Electric motors and a sophisticated mechanism with body and frame components slide into one another making it possible to adjust the wheelbase and the exterior length of the car by 250mm. Plus, the vehicle’s ground clearance is adjusted by 10mm to enhance comfort and driving dynamics.
In sports mode, the wheelbase is shortened and rear-wheel steering ensures that the vehicle remains agile despite its dimensions. Conversely, in touring mode the wheelbase extends and occupants can be chauffeured around in autonomous driving mode while enjoying the scenery. It offers maximum legroom and the services offered by a seamlessly integrated digital ecosystem.
In this mode, the steering wheel and pedals move into an invisible area opening up the luxury interior space that uses sustainable modern fabrics. Meanwhile, the skysphere automatically keeps an eye on the road and traffic with its sensor system and drives the occupants safely to their destination. It’s this ability to change the feeling of the interior, or sphere as Audi refers to it, that gives the car its name.
The skysphere is driven by an electric motor positioned on the rear axle which is responsible for delivering power to the wheels. It produces a total of 465 kilowatts of power and 750Nm of torque and will accelerate from 0-62mph (0-100kph) in just four seconds.
The battery modules are primarily positioned behind the cabin to help with the centre of gravity, agility and road handling. Further modules can be found between the seats in the centre tunnel of the skysphere’s interior. The battery’s capacity is expected to be more than 80kWh, giving the car a range of more than 311 miles (500km) in the economical GT mode.
Along with the skysphere, Audi will be launching the grandsphere and urbansphere concept cars. All will three electric cars are designed for level 4 autonomous driving. This means that in certain defined road and traffic situations, the driver can delegate complete responsibility to the car and no longer has to intervene.
Andrew Doyle, director of Audi UK, said: “Audi is renowned for its progressive concepts cars that demonstrate remarkable foresight and technological ingenuity.
“The skysphere concept is the first of a family of three, that will help shape the vision and direction of our brand as we electrify our business operation and future model lineups.”
It’s hard not to love the skysphere with its beautiful lines, futuristic concepts and zero-emissions electric powertrain. Attention to design has been key and we like the fact that the long front end is a direct nod to Audi’s past with the legendary Horch 853 convertible launched back in 1937. The Audi skysphere concept will make its public debut on 13 August at Monterey Car Week.