Audi has introduced the first of three futuristic concept cars, intended to re-position the German brand as a leader in emotional technology. The first of these is the Skysphere, a sleek two-seat roadster that will make its first public appearance at the 2021 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The SkySphere looks like it belongs in a science fiction movie.
All three are developed by Audi’s Artemis team, which took form in 2020 and aims to accelerate EV development. Each of them also explore Level 4 autonomous driving meaning, the driver could leave the controls to the car without having to stand by to intervene.
The singleframe grille on the edge of the long bonnet has evolved into a protruding, illuminated, and fully covered panel, with numerous LEDs creating unique lighting sequences. Narrow headlights with triangular lighting elements glower at the road ahead, previewing the next generation of Audi lighting design.
The concept itself has a variable wheelbase, with the front fenders, rocker panels, and the hood moving forwards to reveal a decorative element. This allows the wheelbase to grow by 250 mm / 9.8 inches, from being as compact as in the RS 5 to the sheer size of an A8 L.
The Skysphere hides one neat trick, in Grand Touring mode, the steering wheel folds away and the open cabin becomes a space for a ‘romantic motoring experience,’ in the company’s own words. The cabin is lavishly trimmed from wall to wall in eco-friendly Agave Blue microfiber and vegan leather, the interior pays homage the design center in Malibu, California, that created the Skysphere concept. The soft top concept’s doors open from the middle, suicide-style, and the Art Deco–influenced interior is trimmed in certified eucalyptus wood and imitation leather, with microfiber upholstery. Touchscreen surfaces span 55.7 inches wide.
Power is provided by an electric motor mounted over the rear axle producing 623 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, and the vehicle weighs less than 4,000 pounds. The battery has a capacity of at least 80 kWh, resides behind the seats and in the vehicle’s center console, giving the Skysphere a theoretical range of 310 miles. The gross weight of the vehicle is around 1,800 kg (3,968 pounds) with 60 per cent sitting on the rear axle.
After the Skysphere, Audi will launch two more concept cars – the Grandsphere limousine coming before the end of 2021, and the Urbansphere hatchback following some time in 2022. Discover Opulent Club on Apple News.