Set to make its debut at Monterey Car Week 2021, Audi‘s new Skysphere Concept is a spectacular roadster – the first of three future design vehicles. Audi Skysphere concept is the name of the electric-powered, two-door convertible shines the spotlight on the brand’s new design direction, focusing on creating captivating mobility experiences through the exterior and interior.
To give passengers the maximum amount of freedom, the Audi Skysphere concept was designed for two different driving experiences: a grand touring experience and a sports experience. This makes use of a spectacular technical detail – the variable wheelbase. Electric motors and a sophisticated mechanism with body and frame components that slide into one another make it possible to vary the wheelbase itself and the exterior length of the car by 250 millimeters. At the same time, the vehicle’s ground clearance is adjusted by 10 millimeters to enhance comfort and driving dynamics.
With the touch of button, the driver can take advantage of their freedom and choose their own driving experience– either they pilot their 4.94-meter-long e-roadster themselves in “Sports” mode with a reduced wheelbase, while the rear-wheel steering ensures that the vehicle remains extremely agile despite its dimensions. Or they can choose to be chauffeured around in a 5.19-meter GT in the autonomous “Grand Touring” driving mode while enjoying the sky and the scenery, maximum legroom, and the services offered by a seamlessly integrated digital ecosystem.
In this mode, the steering wheel and pedals move into an invisible area; the feeling of space in the concept car opens up completely new realms of possibility for such a sporty convertible. Meanwhile, the Audi skysphere automatically keeps an eye on the road and traffic with its sensor system and drives the occupants safely to their destination.
The concept car takes inspiration from the 1938 Horch 853 roadster, specifically the long front end and compact cabin in its proportions. The wide curved, flared wheel arches as well as the long front foot are organically formed, contrasting with short overhangs across the body. In typical AUDI fashion, the front end features the singleframe and four rings emblem. Combining elements of a speedster and shooting brake, the streamlined rear end is dominated by a digitally controlled LED surface that extends across the entire width as if countless red rubies scattered. The light signature reflects the change in character in the driving modes.
The clean interior is inspired by art deco, especially noticeable in the grand touring experience when the steering wheel and pedals are retracted and hidden. The comfortable seats boast visual elegance whilst actually being upholstered in sustainably produced microfiber fabric. Environmentally certified eucalyptus wood and synthetically produced imitation leather are also used throughout the cabin. Large touch monitor surfaces – 1,415 mm wide and 180 mm high – on the dashboard and upper area of the center console can be used for vehicle and infotainment options, where passengers can video conference, stream movies and more.
With performance to match its undeniably dynamic exterior design, the electric motor delivers a total of 465 kw of power and 750 nm of torque. This pushes the car from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 4 seconds. The battery modules are positioned behind the cabin to aid the center of gravity and agility. It has a capacity of more than 80 kWh to generate a range of more than 310 miles (500 km).