2023 Audi Urbansphere provides megacity residents a mobile haven
Audi has revealed its Urbansphere concept, completing its trio of ‘sphere’ show cars. Designed to tackle the rigours of Chinese megacities, the Urbansphere offers a tranquil ‘third living space’, designed around Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities.
Designed between Audi’s Ingolstadt and Beijing studios, potential Chinese customers also had a hand in the development process. The Urbansphere features an MPV-like shape for maximum interior space, while its exterior design features a large – but blanked off – front ‘singleframe’ grille, that’s illuminated and wraps around the nose of the car. At its extremities, it sits beneath slim LED headlights, while at the rear, the lights can create animations and patterns to communicate better with other road users.
“...THE INTERIOR CAN DOUBLE UP AS AN OFFICE OR LOUNGE WHILE THE CAR NEGOTIATES TRAFFIC.”
At 5,510mm in length, 2,010mm wide and 1,780mm tall, the Urbansphere is the largest Audi concept car to date, with an ‘unrivalled’ 3,400mm wheelbase. However, Audi hasn’t tried to fill this with as many seats, storage compartments, and functional elements as possible, instead providing the occupants with a generous amount of space.
The seats swivel for easier access, and the interior can double up as an office or lounge while the car negotiates traffic. When not in use, the steering wheel and pedals can be hidden. Each seat has its own speakers and privacy screens, while a larger transparent OLED cinema screen that pivots from the roof can be used to watch films or for video conferencing. The vehicle’s Level 4 capabilities will extend to picking up occupants from their home, finding a parking space and place to charge the battery, and even make dinner reservations or order online shopping.
The Urbansphere is based on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE), with a 120kWh battery mounted between the axles for a flat floor. It’s fitted with large 24-inch alloy wheels and includes dual electric motors with a combined output of 396bhp and 508lb ft of torque.
While this arrangement provides quattro all-wheel drive, the front motor can be deactivated to reduce friction and improve energy consumption.