At Audi’s “Celebration of Progress” event held on 26 January 2023, the luxury German automaker presented a crossover study of an electric drive and quattro. The result of this idea was the Audi activesphere concept, which is essentially part luxury coupé part pickup.
As the fourth model in the series, the Audi activesphere concept marks the culmination of sphere concept vehicles brought forth by the brand with the four rings. Following on from the Audi skysphere roadster in 2021, and both the Audi grandsphere sedan, and the Audi urbansphere space concept in April 2022, this four-door crossover coupé with an astonishingly versatile body design is now introduced to the world.
According to Audi, it’s latest concept vehicle is designed to offer the ultimate freedom on four wheels. The activesphere concept offers ultimate variability for all activities, making it the perfect companion for ambitious outdoor adventures. The vehicle itself is unique as it stands as a new type of crossover that cleverly combines the elegance of an Audi Sportback, the practicality of a SUV and true offroad capabilities.
Vision Of An Electric Future
Like all four members of the Sphere family, each model presents Audi’s vision for the premium mobility of tomorrow. The concept vehicles are united not only by a fascinating design, but also by the electric drive and the design for the possibility of automated driving.
The Audi activesphere concept embodies this approach with electric motors on the front and rear axles of the all-wheel drive vehicle. Together it delivers a total output of 325 kW and a system torque of 720 Newton meters. The front and rear wheels are connected via a five-link axle. The concept car features Audi adaptive air suspension with adaptive dampers.
The heart of the drive technology in all future Premium Platform Electric (PPE) models will be the 800-volt charging technology. This ensures that the battery, like the one in the Audi e-tron GT quattro before it, can be charged with up to 270 kW in a very short time at fast-charging stations.
This revolutionary technology will enter the high-volume mid-range and luxury segments with the PPE for the very first time. Just 10 minutes is sufficient to take enough energy on board to power the car for more than 300 kilometres. And in less than 25 minutes, the 100 kWh battery charges from 5 to 80 percent. Together with its range of well over 600 kilometres, the Audi activesphere thus positions itself as unconditionally suitable for long distances, when need be.
Streamlined Versatile Design
Standing 4.98 meters long, the highly elegant car is more than a mere luxury-class sports car, with impressive ground clearance, and large 22-inch wheels announcing its off-road talent. The Sportback rear of the activesphere can turn into an open cargo bed (“active back”) at the touch of a button – perfect for carrying recreational equipment such as e-bikes or water and winter sports gear.
By combining opposites in perfect synthesis, the Audi activesphere proves to be a versatile crosser of boundaries, with a drive system and suspension which make it equally adept on both on and off the road. The steering wheel and pedals allow the driver to actively control the car, while also offering autonomous driving for a more relaxed time on the road.
As a coupé that is as elegant as it is dynamic, it features classic proportions and lines, but in just a few seconds, the car transforms into a pickup for transporting top-class sports gear – there is even enough space for two e-bikes in the cargo bed.
While the concept car combines extraordinary elegance with outstanding off-road performance, its communication technology creates a unique experience – beyond the car itself. The autonomous chauffeuring capability on suitable terrain gives drivers and passengers a new level of freedom, which, thanks to the new display and operating technology, can be used in the activesphere in a variety of ways.
This innovative operating concept along with Audi dimensions, combines the physical and virtual worlds (i.e., mixed reality) by displaying digital content in the occupants’ fields of vision in real time. High-tech headsets provide a view of the real environment and the route, while simultaneously displaying 3D content and interactive elements – individually configurable for drivers and passengers.
This means all driver-relevant information, such as driving status and navigation, can be displayed. And in the interior, headset users can see control panels and other virtual displays in a tidy, minimalist design that remains hidden to the unaided eye. Mixed reality optics gives users the ability to interact precisely with these real, yet invisible, touch-sensitive zones, as the headsets display and carry out functions by reacting in real time when users touch them.
As a perfect all-rounder, the Audi activesphere concept is ideally suited for the high demands of a future-oriented generation of Audi customers – people for whom individual mobility and sustainability are not mutually exclusive.