Audi has finally given the public a look at its latest Audi activesphere concept vehicle, which follows up from the Audi skysphere roadster in 2021, Audi grandsphere saloon, and the Audi urbansphere space concept in April 2022. This new concept incorporates familiar and traditional vehicular elements and mixes them up a bit with newer, more forward-thinking features – let’s take a quick look!
Conceptualized and designed at the Audi Design Studio in Malibu by Studio manager Gael Buzyn and his team, the new concept is built on a four-door crossover coupé design that stands at 4.98 meters long, evoking the appearance of a luxury-class vehicle with the added versatility of off-road handling thanks to its large 22-inch wheels. The activesphere also features an all-wheel drive system, alongside adjustable ground clearance that can be increased by 40 millimetres from the basic height of 208 millimetres, or lowered by the same amount when driving on-road.
The activesphere essentially merges a hatchback design with design elements and technical equipment found in an allroad vehicle. Audi calls this new body variant “active Sportback” in contrast to the allroad. It’s an interesting approach for sure, and one that we undoubtedly want to see more of.
A single button press converts the activesphere’s Sportback rear into an open cargo bed, making it ideal for carrying equipment for sports and outdoor activities, and there’s even room on top for additional equipment. Likewise, its drive system and suspension are designed for off-road handling, as well as navigating through urban areas. The dynamic roof arch and specially-designed contours also make the activesphere aerodynamic, reducing drag while on the move.
The activesphere is also built with an electric drive and quick-charging technology from Audi’s PPE modular system, allowing it a range of over 372 miles, and extremely fast charging times with 800-volt technology. Audi has also gone the extra mile and incorporated its Audi Dimension operating concept, which combines physical and virtual interfaces that displays digital content in real-time within the user’s field of view.
The activesphere also displays driver-relevant information, 3D content, as well as interactive elements which can be configured by drivers and passengers. Headset users will also be able to view control panels and other virtual displays, and the control panel even incorporates mixed reality controls which are touch sensitive.
Audi’s “Sphere” series concepts are named as such because the vehicles are focused around the interior, with an emphasis on passenger comfort and experience. The company says that “Kilowatts and mph or lateral acceleration are no longer at the top of the design specifications for this new generation of cars.”
Special focus is given with regards to the interior and its design, which works in harmony with the rest of the vehicle. Glass surfaces make up a significant part of the vehicle’s body, with the front-end of the activesphere featuring the brand face and the Singleframe, which gives passengers an unobstructed view of their surroundings as they’re seated in one of the four individual seats onboard. On the rear, the wide tailgate comes with extensive glazing for optimum lighting, adding to the natural light that passes through the transparent roof.
Integrated with Tech
The activesphere concept is also fully-envisioned to take full advantage of connectivity with modern smart hardware and software, such as VR headset technology and smart devices. Audi says that while current technologies allow for connectivity between vehicles and computers or tablets for example, the activesphere will be able to utilize mixed reality tech and VR headset hardware to plan routes, keep an eye on vehicle maintenance, and such.
Additionally, information about the car, battery range, and nearby charging stations can also be accessed inside and outside the vehicle. Everything from a modernized dashboard to door controls have been fitted with newer elements for a cohesive, more digital experience.
With all that said, the activesphere is undoubtedly one of the most interesting and promising concepts we’ve seen from Audi, and showcases some very interesting approaches to modern electric vehicles and automobiles geared towards utility and off-road handling. Let us know what you think in the comments below!