Cars

The Audi Urbansphere Concept has been Revealed

The new Audi Urbansphere concept is the third of Audi’s three next-generation concept cars, with the Skysphere and Grandsphere preceding it.

Audi has unveiled its new Urbansphere concept. It’s the third of Audi’s three next-generation concept cars, all of which were created to demonstrate the future of autonomous vehicle design using an electric architecture.

  • Urbansphere is the third and final concept in the “sphere” trio
  • It is the biggest Audi vehicle yet
  • Gets level four autonomous driving features

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Following the Skysphere, a shape-shifting roadster concept, and the Grandsphere, a sedan described as a “private jet for the road,” the Urbansphere takes the form of a large SUV. The Urbansphere, like the two previous concept vehicles, is based on level-four autonomous driving.

Design and Styling of The Audi Urbansphere

It’s the German company’s most powerful vehicle to date. The Q7 SUV, which is almost 500mm shorter and has a wheelbase of 2,994mm, is currently Audi’s largest model. An octagonal visor replaces the traditional grille on the front of the car, and it’s made of an LED ‘digital light surface,’ which Audi calls the Audi Light Canvas. The back of the car has a rectangular arrangement similar to the front.

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Despite its size, Audi claims the Urbansphere was created with megacities in mind, with a focus on the Chinese market. The design was finalized through a ‘co-creation’ process with the firm’s Beijing design studios, which considered the ‘human needs’ of real customers in the city.

According to Audi, the end result is a “completely new approach” to car design. “This is a car that was designed from the ground up,” Audi said. “For the interior, we took the requirements that our customers have for the cabin of such a car. They were at the heart of our development efforts.”

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Interior and Technology of The Audi Urbansphere

The front and rear doors of the Urbansphere are counter-hinged, and there is no B-pillar. The seats swivel outwards for easy entry, and a “red carpet of light” is projected onto the ground. The car, according to the company, can be used as a lounge or a mobile office, giving owners a third living space when stuck in traffic. According to Audi, many of the materials used in the model’s construction came from sustainable sources. The model’s seats are made of recycled polyamide, and the wood used throughout the cabin was sourced from areas close to its manufacturing site.

When using autonomous functions, the steering wheel, driver pedals, and dashboard can all be hidden, in keeping with the self-driving ethos.

Level four functions, according to Audi, include making dinner reservations or shopping online, as well as picking up passengers from their homes, finding a parking spot, and charging the battery.

The Urbansphere has two rows of two seats, each of which can rotate to create a shared space for the driver and passengers. There is up to 1,780mm of headroom available to passengers, as well as speakers in each headrest and privacy screens.

All passengers can use a large, transparent OLED ‘cinema screen,’ which pivots vertically from the car’s roof and can be used to watch movies or participate in video conferences. The Urbansphere also calculates a passenger’s feelings and suggests ways to relax using stress detection technology, voice analysis, and facial scans.

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The Powertrain and Platform of The Audi Urbansphere

The Urbansphere is propelled by two electric motors positioned on the front and rear axles, each producing 400 horsepower.

It also has rear-axle steering and 24-inch wheels, as well as adaptive air suspension, according to Audi, which provides “outstanding comfort not only on city highways but even on the uneven, often patched asphalt of downtown streets with no noticeable body movement.”

The same 120kWh battery that powers the Urbansphere provides power, with a range of up to 749 kilometers. Audi claims it can charge at up to 270kW, allowing it to go from 5% to 80% in less than 25 minutes.

Despite the fact that the Urbansphere is aimed at the Chinese automotive market and the country’s megacities, Audi claims that the model can be used anywhere in the world.

“The idea was to have development done in China specifically for Asian metropolitan areas, but we believe this is a concept that could benefit other megacities around the world,” said Sike Guse, Audi’s brand and communication strategy boss.

“Really, a European design wouldn’t be that different.” Our argument is that this car must work anywhere on the planet. The final touches and fine tuning were done with Chinese customers, and the product is geared toward the Chinese market.”

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