The Grandsphere follows the Skysphere coupe revealed earlier
Audi has taken wraps off the Grandsphere concept ahead of IAA Auto Show in Munich next week. This follows the recent premiere of Audi Skysphere at Pebble Beach. The Grandsphere is the second model in the proposed trio of Audi’s all-electric lineup for the future, and slots in as a four-door electric luxury limousine, alongside the drop-top Skysphere.
Design: A Peek Into The Future
The Grandsphere concept gets a highly futuristic design. However, it deviates sharply from the Skysphere roadster in terms of aesthetics. The Grand sphere looks meeker than the roadster. Audi claims it to be a ‘private jet for the roads’ in its styling, and we dare not disagree! The concept gets an extra-long design that puts equal focus on aerodynamics and aesthetics. It is 5.4 meters long, 2.0 meters wide, and has a wheelbase of 3.2 meters. This essentially means that this sedan is longer than the production A8!
The Grandsphere is a ‘tightly drawn four-door GT’ as per the manufacturer. It embodies multiple signature elements of the marque in the overall design like the single-frame grille and the sloping Sportback roofline. The car gets ultra-slim headlamps, short front overhang, short and flat hood, illuminated Audi logo, wheel wells that look evidently Audi-ish, 23-inch alloy wheels inspired by the 90s Avus, and a highly streamlined rear.
Interior: Spacious, Luxurious And Tech-Packed
The Grandsphere concept has doors that are reversed (suicide doors), and open wide. Step into the cabin and you will be delighted. This electric limo has a lot of space on the inside and even more technology and features. Every bit inside is of premium quality and unlike any other Audis of the day. There is generous use of premium quality materials like wood, wool, Aluminium, and glass inside. The Grandsphere, gets no touchscreens or prominent displays on its interior, in keeping with the manufacturer’s focus on minimalism.
With the digital detox in play, the display functions are carried out by carefully curated projections on wooden surfaces, under the windshield, and in a few other places inside the cabin. These projection surfaces also double as infotainment displays. There are also dedicated sensor bars integrated into the displays for easy content switches and related functions. This uses a dedicated camera to track the eye movements of the driver, and execute the controls based on the same. As evident, this sedan has some serious electronics inside. Audi is working with VW Group’s software tech-bank CARIAD to develop these technologies. You would find climate controls integrated onto the doors as well, but you can get these done via gestures too.
The seats feature premium comfortable designs and high-quality materials, mostly textile fabrics, hornbeam veneer and high-quality wool- and no leather! Audi has put a high focus on ensuring sustainability in the Grand sphere and has even provided a little potted plant inside, to highlight the same. The Grandsphere, in a word, is a luxury living room on wheels, or rather, a luxe electric private jet for the roads.
Level 4 Autonomous Driving Onboard
Audi Grandsphere comes with Level 4 Autonomous Driving. You can have this car drive you around all by itself. While autonomous driving is engaged, the steering and pedals retract and hide behind the dash so that the driver and the occupants have excess rooms and luxuries to gel themselves in.
Powertrain And Other Mechanicals
The Grandsphere concept is underpinned by Volkswagen Group’s Premium Platform Electronic (PPE) electric vehicle architecture, known to underpin the upcoming Audi A6 E Tron, Q6, and Porsche Macan EV. The sedan gets a massive 120 kWh battery module mounted between the axles and two electric motors- one on each axle, producing a combined output of 710 hp and 960 Nm. 0-62 mph comes in around 4 seconds and the car offers a range of up to 750 kilometers. The battery supports DC fast charging and can replenish 5-80% of the charge in just 25 minutes. Audi also offers rear-wheel steering and adaptive air suspension on the Grandsphere concept.
It is not yet known if the Grandsphere concept will make it to the production lines or remain a concept. However, we are expecting the carmaker to reveal the third and last ‘Sphere’ concept of its EV future, the Urbansphere, around 2022.