Audi has created three new concept cars to show how the brand will design its future luxury cars. The concept cars have a lot of focus on interior design which has been planned for Level 4 autonomous driving which will have much reduced driver involvement.
The three concept cars are called Skysphere, Grandsphere and Urbansphere. The shared root word ‘sphere’ in their names emphasizes all three designs’ focus on the new interior concept and the holistic digital ecosystem for a new world of experience on board.
With the transition to electromobility and, in a few years, to automated driving, this aspect of the car will change more dramatically than it has at any time in recent decades. And with the interior and the spatial architecture, a new overall car concept will also emerge in which the inner space becomes the core of new vehicle design. A digital ecosystem will also make personalized services possible beyond the car.
Each of the vehicles interprets this paradigm shift in design differently – created with resolute dynamism, distinction, or even long-distance travel in mind. In each case, the passengers’ needs and quality of experience are at the very top of the priority list. To achieve this, technological innovations and the highest quality materials and workmanship envelop the passengers in all areas.
Level 4 autonomy means that they can enjoy the freedom to drive themselves or – if possible – to simply disconnect from traffic and let the car drive itself. When autonomous mode is in use, the interior then changes its functionality. It becomes a free space for relaxing, networking, or even actively communicating.
“These concept vehicles embody our brand strategy. They show how we imagine the near future of premium mobility,” said Henrik Wenders, Head of the Audi brand. For him, the future is a design space to offer people new experiences during their journey. Audi is calling these newly designed car interiors – referred to as spheres – that envelope the passengers.
The first two concept cars will make their appearance during August. The Skysphere will be unveiled at Audi’s new design centre in California and also shown at the Monterey Car Week. A few weeks later, the second concept car, the Grandsphere, will be presented at the 2021 IAA Mobility show in Munich. In the first half of 2022, the Urbansphere will follow as the third concept car.
Unlike ‘vision cars’ like the Audi AI:CON or AI:ME, these three showcars are not trying to look into the distant future. Instead, they are presenting lines, technologies, and spaces for experience that are likely to be seen in some production models from the mid-2020s.