Audi has presented the latest concept car in its Sphere range — and this time they really mean it. In 2021, the Skysphere Concept kicked off an originally three-part series of visions of the future. The Grandsphere followed shortly after and was joined by the Urbansphere in 2022, and we thought that was the end of it. Still, the Sphere story in Ingolstadt must have felt a bit like an unfinished chapter, and this Activesphere should finally put an end to that.
From coupe to pick-up
From the outside it looks as if Audi’s design department has sent a wish list to all its employees with the question ‘what would you like to see in our next concept car’, and they have then integrated all the elements into the Activesphere. For example, the study model takes the form of a five-door coupé, in which it even seems quite pleasant to stay thanks to a full glass roof. However, the whole was placed as high as an off-road vehicle and fitted with 22-inch off-road wheels. The complete rear section can then be transformed at the touch of a button into the loading bed of a pick-up, in which you can store three e-bikes if desired. In other words, it is a jack of all trades, this Activesphere.
Those off-road ambitions are apparently not entirely unfounded either, because the Activesphere Concept seems to have all the ingredients to make life miserable for many a Defender, Wrangler or Land Cruiser. For example, its ground clearance is already 20.8 centimeters as standard, and you can increase it by another 4 centimeters by means of air suspension. When you do that, a kind of metal teeth slide out of the bumpers, the practical use of which eludes us, no matter how cool it looks. The rims, on the other hand, feature active valves that close at high speeds to optimize air resistance, while opening for better brake cooling when off-roading. The placement of the glass should also benefit the latter, because you can see the ground unimpeded through both the bottom of the doors and the glass Singleframe grille.
Not for tomorrow
There is also a lot to say about this Activesphere Concept on a technical level. Audi built the study model on its new PPE basis, the platform that will soon be hidden under the Q6 e-tron and A6 e-tron, but also under the electric Porsche Macan. As a result, the concept car has two electric motors, which spread 442 hp and 735 Nm of torque over the four wheels. These motors get their power from a battery with a capacity of 100 kWh, good for a driving range of about 600 kilometers. It can be charged at speeds of up to 270 kW thanks to a modern 800 V network.
If that all sounds pretty concrete, then we have to disappoint you. As with the other Sphere concepts, Audi has no plans to actually take the thing into production, although some individual elements could offer previews of future models. For example, that PPE platform is now quite concrete and the design of this Activesphere is immediately reminiscent of the A6 e-tron that should be launched on the market next year. Things like the VR glasses to operate the floating buttons of the infotainment or the folding steering wheel of this study model are of course not for tomorrow …
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