Audi urbansphere concept: Is this the future of the city car?

Tired of driving in congested inner cities? If Audi has its way, the solution should be a 5.51 meter long, van-like electric crossover. Although this does not solve any traffic jam problems, it is intended to make the time in the rush hour as pleasant as possible. The urbansphere is primarily aimed at Asian megacities and wants to spoil every seat with a first-class feeling while driving the occupants autonomously through the city according to Level 4.

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Audi urbansphere concept with gigantic dimensions

The urbansphere was developed for and by Chinese Audi customers. Potential buyers were asked what they expect from a city car in general and an Audi in particular. The answer: space and relaxation. Accordingly, the urbansphere was consistently developed from the inside out. And when an airy cockpit defines the outer skin, it quickly becomes very large. In the case of the Audi study, that means 5.51 meters in length, 1.78 meters in height and a gigantic wheelbase of 3.40 meters. This makes the car longer than a Mercedes-Maybach S-Class!

Mixture of van and crossover

Surprisingly, the urbansphere doesn’t look that big. In all van and crossover borrowings, the concept is dynamic – with a flat, elongated greenhouse and two-tone paintwork adapted to the lines. An aluminum strip below the actual roof line extends into the roof edge spoiler and makes the car appear flatter.

Audi urbansphere concept

Plays of light at the front and rear communicate with the environment. The single frame clearly screams Audi.

The front and rear are dominated by illuminated surfaces that are intended to communicate with the environment. At the front, two aluminum clips indicate the typical Audi single-frame element and leave no doubt about the brand affiliation.

Interior privacy

The interior is entered through doors that open in opposite directions. Rotating seats – four in number – make it easier to get in, instead of the trunk there is an additional bench seat. But the best seats are in rows one and two. The individual seats can be adjusted umpteen times and driven into a reclining position.

Audi urbansphere concept

According to Audi, the lines in the light carpet are reminiscent of the sand of a Zen garden. Place? Moderate!

For more privacy, a kind of privacy screen can be extended around the headrest to separate the person sitting next to you. The space available seems endless. Thin roof pillars and huge glass surfaces make the lush interior look even more airy.

Mixture of lounge and office

In addition to space, the urbansphere also boasts technology. In the front seats there are infotainment screens for row two. In addition, another large screen for the rear passengers should be able to be lowered from the roof lining (see picture gallery). This extra was not yet installed in the study on display, but it should be able to be used for video conferences or entertainment, among other things.
Each seat has an individual sound output and its own control of the “on-board assistant”. Behind this is the onboard operation, as it is already known from the Grandsphere. Air conditioning, seat adjustment, navigation and more can be controlled by voice input, gestures or eye tracking.

Autonomous driving at level 4

And who should drive while the passengers relax? The car itself. At least most of the time. The urbansphere should be able to drive autonomously to level 4. Then the steering wheel folds in, freeing up even more space in the interior, and the occupants can concentrate entirely on themselves.

Audi urbansphere concept

Like a red carpet, the urbansphere throws a red light on the floor to welcome its guests in a fitting manner.

In the study, the displays and fittings are still projected onto a large wooden surface below the windscreen, but in a production version they should then be replaced by screens.

PPE platform with small battery

The technical basis of the urbansphere concept is Audi’s PPE platform, which the upcoming A6 e-tron will also use. Two electric motors together deliver 295 kW (401 hp) and 690 Nm of torque in the urbansphere.
There are no figures for the battery capacity yet. The battery should be slightly smaller for weight reasons, although “small” should still mean around 100 kWh for this vehicle size. This makes sense for the city, especially since e-cars require high charging capacities. Furthermore, the urbansphere relies on all-wheel steering, air suspension and brake and steer-by-wire. (There is an environmental bonus of up to 9,000 euros on e-cars!)

Audi considers market launch before 2030 possible

According to Audi, a decision on series production has not yet been made. If the reactions are positive, a series version could be realized before 2030. Due to the very specific cut, it should actually only be sold in Asia.

Audi urbansphere concept

Only in comparison with 183 centimeters AUTO BILD editor next to it do the huge dimensions of the urbansphere become clear.

However, it is very likely that in addition to the platform, we will also be served the technology of the urbansphere – operation, autonomous driving – in other Audi models in Europe. By the way, if you think of car sharing or shared taxis when you think of urbansphere, you are wrong. According to Audi, the car should be designed entirely for purchase and ownership – this is also a preference of the Asian market. (All new electric cars by 2027)

picture gallery


Audi urbansphere concept

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