Grand Sphere, the second of the three Audi Concepts, targets a new type of luxury customers
Audi unveiled the second of the three new concepts it intends to show in 2021, with this Grand Sphere debuting at the IAA Motor Show in Munich next week. The slim four-door cu-coupe limousine joins the Sky Sphere previously seen on Pebble Beach, but in this case a new flagship model will report directly that Audi is ready to launch in the next two or three years.
The task of creating a new louine badge for every premium player is difficult in 2021 because although historically it should be a platform for innovative new technologies and a future-oriented design, but its shape and customer base are usually the most conservative in the business. Audi’s decision to redesign this form is due to the appeal to a new type of customer.
While Grand Sphere’s production-friendly spin-off will be a flagship for the brand, it will not directly replace the A8. Instead, you will take a different approach by taking advantage of the proposed autonomy to reduce the chance of sitting on your back, and more about being an expression of high-quality personal transport with the owner in the driver’s seat, regardless of whether you are actually driving or not.
Design Audi Grand Sphere
As a result, the shape of the Grand Sphere does not resemble the traditional three-box sedan we expect from German flagships, but rather forms a much slimmer and streamlined aesthetic with which Audi quickly associates. Its proportions, which are facilitated by the introduction of its PSA platform, are not typical of the modern electric chassis and differ from the standard of short overhangs and taxi-forward design language used by other high-end electrical conductors such as Mercedes EQS and Lucid Air. On the other hand, the Grand Sphere has elongated limbs with a tapered body and an extremely raked windshield angle.
The Grand Sphere then adopts an unusual vertical back panel that sits between the fully glazed roof and the column-shaped C-pillars. This mimics the silhouette of a luxury fastback, but is built from a more interesting general intersection of material and shape. When asked if this type of construction could reach production, Audi designers insist that this revolutionary body architecture is under development to achieve production and that, despite the obvious challenges, the basis of Audi’s sublime aspirations with its flagship Electro will form cars, which suggests that it will be less mechanical engineering and more about high-end design and construction.
The hood is longer than that of the two potential rivals of the Grand Sphere and refers to a more traditional notion of luxury, and although the lines and surfaces are not immediately recognized as “Audi”, the volume along the sidewalls of the car is dominated by a strong rear on the wheels and a strong C-pillar that remains a signature for Audi.
Powertrain and chassis for Grand Sphere
The Grand Sphere Concept is usually electrically motivated and has built-in autonomous capacity, both of which will have in the future production model, although Audi projects that the longest level 4 range will not be used until the end of this decade.
Production-ready construction will be executed on Audi’s new PSA platform, which was developed together with Porsche to serve C-E segment models similar to MLB-EVO for their combustion models. However, this Grand Sphere will be its top model and therefore has a 120 kWh battery pack (the same size as the new Mercedes EQS) and two electric motors that produce a combined total power of 710 hp and 708 lb ft of torque.
The two drive axles form the all-wheel drive of Grand Sphere, but the system has been balanced between range and power rather than the overall speed, as in the RS e-tron GT. Zero at 62 km/h is given just over four seconds, while the maximum speed is limited to maintain the overall range.
This range is specified at 466 miles for this concept, which will set a target for the production model. The Grand Sphere shares its 800 V electricity and maximum load capacity of 270 kW with the e-tron GT and can provide a theoretical range of 186 miles in just ten minutes.
Interior Audi Grand Sphere
Here, the Grand Sphere differs from what we can expect in the production model, as it does not have an interior as much as an open space that is largely free of control interfaces and a control panel. The bulkhead itself is used as a projection screen, where interaction is managed by gesture control.
It is the autonomous capacity of the Grand Sphere that drives this interior design, but as the level 4 autonomy will come long after the production derivative is launched in a few years, production models will almost certainly become a more understandable interior, including an accepted steering wheel.
The concept still has a small steering wheel and information display that is revealed when choosing the automatic driving mode, but the interior design philosophy is aware of the most ambitious technologies used in the Grand Sphere.