Audi has envisioned the Grandsphere concept as a private jet for the road. The 5.35 m (17.6 ft) long Grandsphere combines the greatest comfort with the luxury of private travel. The sedan will have level 4 autonomous driving, with the interior morphing into a spacious lounge area, with the disappearance of the steering wheel and pedals, giving occupants nearly endless possibilities. The Grandsphere is a proof of concept whose technologies and design features will trickle down to future Audi vehicles.
Space, Form, Function
The heart of the Grandsphere is its interior. The vehicle has no B-pillar, with the whole interior opening to the passenger as soon as they climb in. The interior lines are emphatically horizontal, meant to create a feeling of openness and breadth. This feeling is emphasized by the large glass surfaces, and the particular geometry of the windows. Materials of the highest quality will be used and sourced from sustainable sources.
The displays take the form of projections on the wooden surfaces under the windshield. Depending on the driving status, they will either be distributed across the entire width of the interior or segmented for the driver. The Grandsphere will adjust to individual users, learning their preferences and giving personal proposals on top of completing rudimentary commands.
The Grandsphere project looks like a tightly drawn GT. The vehicle has short overhangs, a flat bonnet area, and a windshield that projects far forward. Its exterior lines and shapes do not follow conventional electric vehicle design, they are characteristic of a GT. The 23 inch wheels, quote an icon of the 90s, the Audi Avus.
The headlights look narrow, like focused eyes. The lighting units form a diagonally positioned intersection, referencing the four rings brand logo. The lights are versatile enough that their size can be adjusted according to function.
Drive System and Charging
The Grandsphere is based on the Premium Platform Electric conceived solely for electric drive systems. The key element of the PPE is a battery module that has a capacity of about 120 kwh. The skateboard chassis has core benefits such as, long interior, and increased spatial comfort. The vehicle has two electric motors on each axle with a combined output of 530 kW and 960 Nm of torque.
At the core of the drive system is the 800 volt charging system. This technology as proved in the e-tron GT, can be charged with up to 270 kW at fast charging stations. At a fast charger, 10 minutes are enough to add on 300 km (186 miles) of range, and 5 to 80% takes less than 25 minutes. The vehicle has rear wheel steering and Audi air suspension with adaptive dampers. This gives the vehicle a dynamic driving element when needed while guaranteeing a gentle and comfortable ride as well.
Currently the vehicle isn’t on sale as it is still a concept. But Audi plans to make a production version that’ll go on sale around 2025. The vehicle looks positioned to an alternative to the Mercedes EQS, and could be about the same amount to purchase or higher.