Published on September 7th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair0
Audi Grandsphere Is The 2nd Of 3 Concept Cars From The Premium Brand This Year
The Audi grandsphere concept previews a driverless cockpit.
Audi is preparing itself for the future of mobility. Last month, it showed off the skysphere concept, which married a variable wheelbase with a roadster design. This week, they showed off the grandsphere concept instead.
This concept study embraces the grand tourer body style and is aimed at freeing up space for the driver during automated driving. As a result, it can hide away its steering wheel, pedals and instrument cluster when they’re not required.
Why is the grandsphere concept important to Audi?
Audi says that the grandsphere concept is special because the technologies that are being previewed will find their way into future production models soon. Audi also says that the gransphere illustrates the brand’s claim to be a trendsetter when it comes to transformational technology. Well, we’ll see soon enough.
All About Automation
The grandsphere concept aims to deliver a car that not only performs Level 4 automated driving but also independently handles parking and charging without human input. Audi digital services will allow occupants to select scenic routes for the car to take or to stop at certain restaurants or hotels along the way to their destination. Of course, there are also music and video streaming services built into the grandsphere itself.
Grand in more than name
This is a seriously large vehicle by the way. Audi says the sedan measures 5.35m bumper to bumper, 2m wide and 1.39m tall with a 3.19m wheelbase. They’ve even gone for 23″ wheels. This makes it larger than the company’s current flagship sedan, the A8. However, the styling of the grandsphere concept takes on more of a four-door GT look.
The grandsphere form
Like so many new concepts that are popping up, the Audi grandsphere lacks a B pillar and has the doors open away from each other. The car can identify its passengers and project a light pathway. Once inside, individually customised settings for climate control and seats are activated for each passenger. The most recently used entertainment services are launched in the car and synchronised from each passenger’s phone. Might be a good idea to close all private browsing tabs before entering this vehicles.
With level 4 autonomous driving, the steering wheel and pedals are able to tuck themselves out of sight and open up more cabin space for the ‘driver’. Seats can be tilted back as far as 40 degrees for a first class cabin experience. Passengers can make use of an in-car cooler to access chilled drinks in the car.
Audi made the interior out of natural materials such as wood, wool, and metal, but there’s also a bit of synthetic textile fabrics deployed, though even these are from recycled raw materials. No leather at all is used in this car in keeping with the theme of sustainability.
The displays in the car take the form of projections on wooden surfaces. There are sensors that detect eye line of sight to ensure things are visibile at any recline angle.
It’s also important to note that the grandsphere is also imagined as a car. Here are some technical car bits that you might want to know.
- Built on Premium Platform Electric (PPE)
- 120kWh battery between axles
- comes with electric quattro drive system, with motors on each axle
- 350kW and 960Nm of torque is the combined output
- 800 volt charging architecture
- ten minutes of DC fast charging can return 300 km of range
- 5%-80% battery state of charge in under 25 minutes
- 750km total range when fully charged
- 0-100km in about 4 seconds
- Audi air suspension with adaptive dampers
- active suspension with electromechanical actuators thanks to front camera surface detection