Audi has unveiled the Grandsphere concept sedan, which is a precursor to the next generation of the flagship A8.
The model is made in the same style as the previously shown Skysphere prototype. It has the most streamlined body, while its stern is more like a fastback than a classic sedan.
The car has a large frameless radiator grille with hexagonal cells and narrow headlight stripes. Interestingly, due to these elements, the front part of the body resembles the face of a Cheshire cat.
The car also attracts attention with huge 23-inch wheels, the design of which is reminiscent of the concept Audi Avus, shown by the Germans back in the 1990s.
The front and rear doors of the showcar swing open in different directions, while there are no B-pillars here, which provides the easiest access to the salon.
The latter has a traditional layout, with a low partition located between the front seats. It has two cupholders with cooling function.
Since the concept is equipped with a full-fledged level 4 autopilot, the steering wheel and pedals are hidden by default. As such, there are no displays here, but there is a projector that displays the image directly on the wooden front panel.
A new interface “MMI Touchless Response” is used to interact with the standard information system. The latter is a combination of a rotating washer and several buttons located on the door panels. However, from the name of the interface it is not difficult to guess that you can control the functionality of the car without touching – with the help of gestures.
The smart electronics of the prototype is able to recognize the driver and passengers, automatically opening doors for them and adjusting the personal settings for seats and climate. For the most comfortable travel, the front seats can be folded back up to 60 degrees.
Audi Grandsphere Concept is built on the PPE platform of the Volkswagen concern. The sedan reaches 5.35 meters in length, 2.0 meters in width and 1.39 meters in height. Its wheelbase is not advertised, but it is clearly larger than that of the current A8.
The presented prototype is driven by two electric motors. One of them is installed at the front, and the other at the rear, that is, the presented car is all-wheel drive.
In total, these engines produce 710 hp. and 960 Nm, allowing the model to “shoot” from zero to hundreds in less than 4.0 seconds. In order to save energy, the maximum speed is limited by electronics, but the developers do not advertise its limit.
It is known that the prototype is equipped with a traction battery with a capacity of 120 kWh. According to the developers, a car can travel up to 750 km with it. At the same time, the battery can be recharged from 270-kilowatt stations: it takes only 25 minutes to replenish the charge from 5 to 80%.
The Germans do not plan to launch the concept in the series, but some of the solutions shown on it will appear on the successor to the current A8, which is expected to appear in 2024.