As the fourth model in the series, the Audi activesphere concept marks the culmination of sphere concept vehicles brought forth by the brand. Following on from the Audi skysphere roadster in 2021, and both the Audi grandsphere saloon, and the Audi urbansphere space concept in April 2022, a four-door crossover coupé with an astonishingly versatile body design is now making its debut.
Standing 4.98 metres long, the highly elegant car is more than a mere luxury-class sports car, with impressive ground clearance, and large 22-inch wheels announcing its off-road ability. The Sportback rear of the activesphere can turn into an open cargo bed (“active back”) at the touch of a button – perfect for carrying recreational equipment such as e-bikes or water and winter sports gear.
By combining opposites in perfect synthesis, the Audi activesphere proves to be a versatile crosser of boundaries, with a drive system and suspension which make it equally adept both on and off the road. The steering wheel and pedals allow the driver to actively control the car, while also offering autonomous driving for a more relaxed time on the road. As a coupé that is as elegant as it is dynamic, it features classic proportions and lines, but in just a few seconds, the car transforms into a pickup for transporting top-class sports gear.
The concept car was conceived and designed at the Audi Design Studio in Malibu, just a stone’s throw away from the Pacific Coast Highway, the legendary coastal road. Studio manager Gael Buzyn and his team are the creative minds behind the project.
He describes the idea behind the project: “The activesphere is unique. It is a new type of crossover that cleverly combines the elegance of an Audi Sportback, the practicality of a SUV and true offroad capabilities.”
With an electric drive and quick-charging technology from Audi’s PPE modular system, the Audi activesphere joins the sphere family of concept vehicles. With no local emissions, a range of over 600 km, and extremely fast charging times thanks to 800-volt technology, it combines the sustainability, dynamics and long-distance capability of state-of-the-art electric vehicles.
Oliver Hoffmann, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development: “The sphere concept vehicles show our vision for the premium mobility of the future. We are experiencing a paradigm shift, especially in the interior of our future Audi models. The interior becomes a place where the passengers feel at home and can connect to the world outside at the same time.
“The most important technical innovation in the Audi activesphere is our adaptation of augmented reality for mobility. Audi dimensions creates the perfect synthesis between the surroundings and digital reality.”
The autonomous chauffeuring capability on suitable terrain gives drivers and passengers a new level of freedom, which, thanks to the new display and operating technology, can be used in the activesphere in a variety of ways. The innovative operating concept, Audi dimensions, combines the physical and virtual worlds (i.e., mixed reality) by displaying digital content in the occupants’ fields of vision in real time.
High-tech headsets provide a view of the real environment and the route, while simultaneously displaying 3D content and interactive elements– individually configurable for drivers and passengers.
This means all driver-relevant information, such as driving status and navigation, can be displayed. And in the interior, headset users can see control panels and other virtual displays in a tidy, minimalist design that remains hidden to the unaided eye.
Mixed reality optics gives users the ability to interact precisely with these real, yet invisible, touch-sensitive zones, as the headsets display and carry out functions by reacting in real time when users touch them.
As a perfect all-rounder, the Audi activesphere concept is ideally suited for the high demands of a future-oriented generation of Audi customers – people for whom individual mobility and sustainability are not mutually exclusive.
Owners also expect their vehicle to deliver the brand’s typical aesthetics and dynamism in the highest degree, combined with future-oriented technology. For these customers, the Audi activesphere concept acts as a fascinating vision of crossing the boundaries between these dimensions.