The Audi Urbansphere is essentially an autonomous SUV EV concept joining the Skysphere Coupe and Grandsphere Sedan concept range, giving us an idea of what to expect from Audis in the future.
The Audi Urbansphere will have a rather large footprint measuring at 5500 mm in lenth and 1780 mm in height, while it will be more than 2000 meters in width. The front end in dominated by the large singleframe grille behind which lies a digital light surface. The three-dimensional light structure is arranged dynamically and the upper and lower edges of the singleframe are made of aluminum. The vertical connections are formed by LEDs as part of the light surface. The entire surface of the Singleframe becomes a stage or canvas which is termed- the “Audi Light Canvas”. Audi says that it can be used for communication – with dynamic lighting effects to clearly signal to other road users in order to improve road safety. Low beams and high beams are implemented via light segments in the outer sections of the singleframe and a similarly functioning matrix LED surface is integrated at the rear. And the lighting units to the right and left of the Singleframe look narrow, like focused eyes. The illuminated surfaces can be adapted to the traffic situation, environment, or even the mood of the passengers. As a daytime running light, the gaze can be focused or open, and the iris can be narrow or wide.
As the name suggests, the Audi Urbansphere has been designed for urban usage. The company had primarily designed the new Urbansphere concept for the Chinese market, but later announced that the production model will be sold around the globe. On the inside, the materials of the Audi urbansphere concept, such as the hornbeam veneers come from sustainable sources. The seat padding is made of Econyl, a recycled polyamide and this material can also be recycled after its use without any loss of quality. Audi has also used Bamboo viscose fabric in the armrests and in the rear of the vehicle.
The Audi Urbansphere will also have the largest interior space which will be more than we have seen in Audi so far, courtesy 3400 mm long wheelbase. The concept version has a very modern and curvy minivan design with suicide doors and two row-seatings offering a generous amount of knee room and headroom. The seating surfaces and backs of both seats with integrated seat belts are visually separate. The centre console between these seats also contains a water dispenser and glasses.
Then, there are seats that swivel outward along with a red carpet of light that is projected onto the ground. The front seats also have a touchscreen neatly integrated into them. There is a large-format and transparent OLED screen as well that is positioned vertically from the roof area into the zone between the rows of seats. Well Audi calls it “cinema screen” which can be also used for video conferencing or to watch a movie, while even split-screen use is possible. When the screen is not in use, it offers a clear view into the front thanks to its transparent design.
The concept vehicle comes to life at the touch of a button and has a number of displays in the form of wooden surfaces below the windshield. Depending on the driving status – whether manual with a steering wheel or level 4 – they are either distributed across the entire width of the dashboard or segmented for the driver and front-seat passenger, displaying all of the necessary travel information in ultra-high resolution throughout the journey. A sensor bar is integrated under the projection surfaces for quick switching between content, like for music or navigation. The MMI touchless response is located near the interior cladding and the seats can fully recline so that passengers can make use of this feature, thanks to a combination of eye-tracking and gesture control.
The Audi Urbansphere will be spawned by the Premium Platform Electric or PPE platform which is designed exclusively for battery-electric drive systems. It has space for a 120 kWh battery pack and has flat layout for the battery by using almost the entire base of the vehicle between the axles. It will also be equipped with two electric motors delivering a total output of around 295 kilowatts or 390 bhp and 690 Nm of peak torque. It also uses an 800 volt charging technology and can be charged at any fast-charging stations in the shortest possible time. The company claims that just 10 mins are enough to charge the battery for a 300 km drive range. Moreover, the battery which holds more than 120 kilowatt hours, can be charged from 5 to 80 percent in less than 25 minutes, delivering a range of up to 750 km. It will also come equipped with a five-link axle that has been specially optimized for electric vehicles. In the rear, there is a multi-link axle that, like the front axle, is made of lightweight aluminum. It also features the adaptive air suspension with semi-active damper control.
We expect more details to surface when Audi gears up to reveal the production-spec models, closer to 2025.