Audi’s Urbansphere Concept points towards future of city mobility

Audi has released its third concept in its ‘sphere’ series, following on from the Skysphere and Grandsphere.

Called Urbansphere, it has been designed primarily for use within the traffic of ‘Chinese megacities’ and, as a result, incorporates a large interior that allows its occupants to stretch out and relax away from the hustle and bustle.

Designed with collaboration between Audi’s design studios in Ingolstadt and Beijing, the Urbansphere concept’s creation was also helped with input from potential customers in China.

Photos: PA Media

Going off this feedback, the cabin of the Urbansphere ‘acts as a lounge on wheels and mobile office’, giving people a place that they can work in away from their home or office. It also incorporates Level 4 autonomous technology, which means that the steering wheel, pedals and displays fold away when not required, leaving the car to drive itself. In fact, Audi says that the Urbansphere will pick up passengers from home and then independently park itself or find a charging location.

A physically large concept, the Urbansphere measures 5,510mm long. For context, Audi’s A8 flagship saloon measures 5,320mm. These measurements make the Urbansphere Audi’s largest concept ever. Passengers are able to customise the interior too, with seamless integration of music and video streaming platforms that the user already accesses into the car itself.

The doors of the concept are also counter-hinged at front and rear – with no B-pillar included – allowing easy entry and exit to the vehicle. A red carpet of light is also projected onto the ground next to the vehicle, while the seats swivel to allow for easier access to the cabin. There are four individual seats, too, while those in the rear can be tilted up to 60 degrees to provide maximum comfort. Each seat has its own ‘sound zone’ with speakers mounted into the headrest.

Underneath the Urbansphere sits two electric motors – one on each axle – bringing 396bhp and 690Nm of torque. With a 120kWh battery, it is claimed to be able to return up to 466 miles on a single charge, while 800-volt charging capability means that 186 miles of range can be added in 10 minutes.

The entire Singleframe grille on the exterior car can be used to communicate with other drivers, while the 24-inch wheels on all four corners hark back to the Audi Avus concept of the 1990s.

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