The Audi skysphere is the first of a range of design and engineering concept vehicles lined up this year. For the Audi skysphere concept, the designers are redefining luxury in the future that is not just about driving.
Apart from the retro-inspired long-bonnet/short trunk shape, the Audi skysphere also features a technical masterpiece of a variable wheelbase. The sophisticated fully automated mechanism at the front section slides forward or rearward to adjust the wheelbase by up to 250 mm, where GT mode is akin to the length of an Audi A8L and Sports mode like the Audi RS 5.
At a touch of a button on the dashboard, the driver can pilot the Audi skysphere with traditional hand and feet controls as well as a much more agile setup of the chassis with stiffer and lowered air suspension setting plus rear-wheel steering in Sports mode.
Back to the urban commute or long-distance driving, the two-seat sportscar can engage into GT or Grand Touring mode, where the steering wheel and foot pedals are hidden away, as well as the dashboard moving forward together with the front section of the concept car. A contrasting decorative piece in bronze on the fender indicates its drive mode, where it’s exposed in long-wheelbase GT mode.
Occupants can sit back, relax and enjoy the sky and scenery in maximum legroom and interact with the digital ecosystem in the vehicle. Various sensors, high-resolution cameras and high-speed data connections feed precise real-time information to the Audi skysphere for Level 4-type autonomous driving.
The multiple LED lighting units on the front Singleframe grille is meanwhile used to communicate on the driving mode, kind of like a ceremonial light show display transitioning between the GT and Sports driving modes.
The rear end is also dominated by a digitally controlled LED surface, with the red lights scratted like rubies across the low height of the tail.
New-generation sustainable materials are used for the interior, such as environmentally-certified eucalyptus wood, “vegan” leather wrapping plus sustainably produced microfibre fabric. A fully digital dashboard with the main display measuring close to 1.5 metres in length allows for various consumption of digital content and even video conferences.
Audi has also designed a pair of golf bags to perfectly fit in the front trunk or “frunk” of the skysphere concept.
Under the variable-wheelbase chassis is a fairly standard-sized 80 kWh battery, enough to provide the concept car with more than 500 km of range. Power is fed to just the rear wheels with an electric motor mounted on the rear axle. Total power output is 632 hp and 750 Nm of torque and completes the benchmark sprint in a humble four seconds. The Audi skysphere certainly looks like an art piece when charging at Audi’s first-class luxury charging lounges.
The next concept vehicle to be unveiled is the Audi grandsphere later this year and the Audi urbansphere set to unveil in 2022, and the trio of concept vehicles lead directly to the future of Audi design. The company is planning to only launch new fully electric cars as soon as 2026.