Audi has fully revealed the Urbansphere, the third of its trio of next-generation concept cars developed to showcase a future of autonomous vehicle design based on an electric architecture.
Taking the form of a large SUV, the Urbansphere follows the Skysphere, a shape-shifting roadster concept, and the Grandsphere, a saloon described as a "private jet for the road". Like the two prior concept vehicles, the Urbansphere is designed around level four autonomous driving capabilities.
Based on the same Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture as the Grandsphere, the Urbansphere measures 5510mm long, 2010mm wide and 1780mm tall, with a wheelbase of 3400mm - significantly larger than the firm’s AI:ME crossover concept revealed in 2019.
It’s the German firm’s biggest vehicle to date. The largest model Audi currently sells is the Q7 SUV, which is almost 500mm shorter and has a wheelbase of 2994mm.
An octagonal visor is positioned on the front of the car in place of a traditional grille and constructed of an LED ‘digital light surface,’ which the firm has called the Audi Light Canvas. A similar, rectangular arrangement appears at the rear of the car.
Despite the Urbansphere's size, Audi says it has been designed with megacities in mind, specifically targeting the Chinese market. The design itself was finalised following a ‘co-creation’ approach with the firm’s design studios in Beijing, taking into account the ‘human needs’ of real customers in the city.
The result, Audi says, is a “completely new approach” to car design. “This is a car that was really designed inside out,” Audi said. “We took the requirements that our customers have for the cabin of such a car for the interior. They were the centre stage of our development work.”
The Urbansphere features counter-hinged doors at the front and rear, with no B-pillar. When entering the car, the seats swivel outwards for ease of access, while a "red carpet of light" is projected onto the ground. The firm says the car is able to act as a lounge or as a mobile office, providing a third living space for owners when stuck in traffic.