If Audi is making an MPV/crossover that looks this, it’ll be the best-looking one we’ve ever seen. It’s called the ‘urbansphere concept’ with a lower case ‘u’ but nothing about it is low-key at all.
It’s huge! It’s as long and wide as a BMW X7, but with a much longer wheelbase. According to Audi, the goal is not to squeeze as many seats and storage compartments. Instead, the focus is on providing ample space as a ‘comfort factor’.
The Audi urbansphere concept comes with suicide doors and as a result, there is no B-pillar. The seats swivel outward and a red carpet of light is projected onto the ground next to the vehicle to elevate the experience of climbing on board. In addition, each seat has its own speakers in the headrest area while individual monitors are built into the backs of the front seats.
A “cinema screen” occupies the entire width of the interior, and when not in use, it offers a clear view of the front thanks to its transparent design. The seats in the rear can be reclined up to 60 degrees while leg rests extend at the same time. Even with the seats fully reclined, passengers can operate the infotainment using gesture control, eliminating the need to reach for physical controls.
Between the rear seats is a center console that contains a water dispenser and glasses. Wood and wool, as well as synthetic fabrics, are used on the panels, seats, and floor carpets which Audi says have a high-quality feel and are pleasant to the touch.
Control panels are even integrated into the armrests on the doors. That way, the car always offers passengers invisible touch surfaces using only an icon to show its position. Even the steering wheel, pedals, and dashboard can be hidden when the car is autonomous driving mode.
The fully-electric urbansphere sits on 24-inch wheels and air suspension, along with an 800 volt charging system. This ensures that the battery can be charged with up to 270 kilowatts at fast-charging stations in the shortest possible time. Just ten minutes of charging gets you about 300 km of range. Fully charged, the urbansphere can return up to 750 kilometers of range.
The urbansphere is driven by two electric motors – one in the front and back – effectively giving it Audi’s quattro permanent all-wheel drive capabilities along with rear-wheel steering. Together, the electric motors produce 401 hp and 690 Nm. When it’s coasting, the car can disengage the front electric motor to save power.
Outside, large digital light surfaces aren’t just aesthetically striking but also serve as communication elements. The entire surface of the grille becomes a canvas (known as the “Audi Light Canvas”) with dynamic lighting effects to signal to other road users. The headlamps are known as Audi Eyes – a new, unmistakable digital light signature.
The Audi urbansphere was co-developed with the input of Audi customers in China and as a result, the Audi Light Umbrella, a self-illuminating umbrella was created with inspiration taken from traditional Chinese umbrellas. When crossing the road or in dangerous situations, it activates a flashing light together with sensor technology to warn other road users.