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Audi Activesphere Concept

Audi has recently communicated its ideas for the design and technology of future EVs rather actively in the concept car game. The Activesphere, the fourth and perhaps most bizarre member of Audi's sphere concept family, combines a coupe-like design with plenty of ground clearance, off-road tyres, and the potential to convert into a pickup. To employ the cutting-edge Audi dimensions system, it also has mixed reality glasses for the driver and every passenger.

 

A Sleek Crossover Coupe With Tough Features

The latest concept from Audi combines the worlds of coupes, pickup trucks, and SUVs while providing mixed reality headsets for everyone inside the four-seater interior.

Audi designers designed the Activesphere an elevated four-door coupe posture in order to follow the Skysphere two-door grand tourer, the Grand Sphere flagship sedan, and the Urbansphere minivan. In our opinion, it is a future A5 Sportback that has been given the Allroad treatment. The unusual 22-inch wheels and grippy tyres (285/55R22) are paired with the aerodynamic, nearly single-volume design, and the powerful, svelte bodywork has a lot of protective shielding.

The model offers a larger view of the surroundings thanks to its huge glass surfaces and clear portions on the singleframe grille and above the rocker panels. The back glass lifts over the roof, revealing the cargo area and converting the Activesphere into a pickup, which is more significant. According to Audi, the back bed can accommodate two e-bikes and other sporting goods, and the roof includes a built-in ski carrier. Other high-tech features include the fancy mirror-replacing cameras, the fancy LED lighting units on both ends, and the six-spoke alloy wheels with opening and closing holes.

The Activesphere has changeable ground clearance because to the adaptable air suspension. In order to improve handling and aerodynamics, the conventional height of 208 mm (8.2 inches), which is identical to that of the Q5, may be increased to a substantial 248 mm (9.8 inches) while driving off-road or down to a car-like figure of 168 mm (6.6 inches) when driving on pavement.

In terms of innovative features, the Activesphere's interior design is just as stunning as its exterior. The absence of b-pillars and two sizable suicide doors make it simple to enter the four-seater compartment. The four separate seats include built-in headrests and armrests that resemble those of lounge chairs. The dashboard, which is floating and devoid of any displays and serves as both a big soundbar and a temperature vent, has a yoke-shaped steering wheel.

In autonomous driving mode, the whole dashboard structure, including with the steering wheel and pedals, swivels and vanishes completely. This frees up space in front of the driver and front passenger and gives them a wonderful view of the road via the transparent grille. A translucent cover with heated or cooled food and drink storage is located over the central tube, which is located between the people.

The concept's ceiling is where the concept's coolest technological component is kept: four separate mixed-reality headsets that resemble fashionable pairs of spectacles. Without the need of displays or physical controllers, those provide all inhabitants access to a new range of possibilities for human-machine interaction. By merely donning the headsets, users can easily and intuitively use the new technology, known as Audi dimensions.

By engaging with 3D images through touch, gestures, or eye movement, any user may access infotainment functions. It's interesting how each menu and function is shown adjacent to the important features; for example, the music menu is shown next to the speakers and the climate settings are next to the vents. Every interior surface has the ability to transform into an invisible touchscreen that displays the preferred information for each user. Additionally, users of the headsets may keep using its augmented reality features outside of the car while still wearing them.

The Activesphere is built on the PPE architecture, just as the preceding sphere designs. With a wheelbase of 2.97 m, it has a large footprint that is 4.98 m (196 inches) long, 2.07 m (81.5 inches) broad, and 1.60 m (63 inches) tall (116.9 inches). These numbers, according to Audi, are essentially the same as those of the future A6 e-tron production model, which will be available in more traditional sportback and avant body styles.

The design has two electric motors that together provide 436 horsepower (325 kW / 442 PS) of power and 720 Nm (531 lb-ft) of torque, enabling all-wheel drive. The 100 kWh 800 Volt battery pack installed between the axles provides a driving range of more than 600 kilometers (373 miles). More crucially, it allows charging speeds of up to 270 kW, allowing it to charge from 5 to 80% using a suitable ultra-fast charger in less than 24 minutes. The chassis has air suspension, adjustable dampers, and a five-link arrangement on both axles.

Similar to the earlier Sphere ideas, it is not anticipated that the Audi Activesphere will be turned into a production vehicle. Though ideally not too soon, some of its features will most certainly make their way into next EVs. The first PPE-based cars from Audi will be unveiled in 2023, progressively extending the company's portfolio until it becomes an EV-only carmaker by 2033.

TopGear Magazine February 2024