Following the recent unveiling of the similarly future-looking Skysphere concept, the Grandsphere is described as a "private jet for the road" and, as is the case for the Skysphere and the forthcoming Urbansphere concepts, it is designed primarily around its capacity for level four autonomous driving.
The concept is said by Audi to be the closest of the Sphere trio to a future production model, in this case the 'Project Artemis' luxury flagship that will replace the A8 at the top of Audi's saloon car line-up when it goes on sale in 2025 after a 2024 debut.
In keeping with its self-driving billing, the Grandsphere has been designed "from the inside out" to provide a lounge-style environment when no human input is needed to drive it. The steering wheel and pedals retract into the bulkhead, for example. The rear doors open backwards and there is no B-pillar to maximise cabin space and airiness. Passengers are welcomed aboard with "individually staged displays and ambient light" and the climate control and seats are automatically adjusted to their occupant's preferences as soon as they sit down.
The Grandsphere's infotainment system is programmed to resume content that was playing on occupants' portable devices prior to entering the vehicle. The driver's-side screen will display any unfinished news articles on entry, for example, and the passenger's screen will resume any unfinished videos.
"First class has now shifted to the front row," Audi says, as control of the car is now no longer expressly the preserve of the 'driver'. The front seats are, thus, designed for maximum comfort, with the ability to fold back by up to 60deg, although the expansive interior allows for a near-equally lavish set-up in the rear, where occupants sit on a sofa-style bench with a central armrest. This being a luxury-oriented concept, the air is filtered, temperature controlled and even scented, if required, and each passenger gets a set of speakers that are "inaudible to other passengers". Between the front seats is a cooler with two glasses and a specially designed drinks bottle.