Audi has revealed the fourth car it its ‘sphere’ series of concept vehicles – the activesphere (with no capital ‘a’).
This sleek electric 4x4 is a fraction under five metres long and combines the look of a four-door coupe with the raised ride height and ruggedness of an SUV.
Audi claim the car takes SUVs in a new direction, away from the boxy look of cars like the Mercedes G-Class and Land Rover Defender.
The activesphere follows on from the Audi skysphere roadster show car first seen in 2021, the grandsphere saloon and the urbansphere space concept from April 2022.
Like those concepts, the activesphere has a few surprising features which are not expected to make production. For example, rear can turn into a pick-up like open cargo bed (or “active back”) at the touch of a button – supposedly for carrying recreational equipment such as e-bikes or winter sports gear.
The steering wheel and pedals allow the driver to control the car in the traditional way, while also offering autonomous driving for a more relaxed time on the road. When the concept is driving in autonomous mode, the dashboard, steering wheel, and pedals disappear into an invisible position.
The rear can convert into a pickup bed. But don't expect that on the production car
With an electric drive and quick-charging technology from Audi’s PPE modular system, the Audi activesphere has a range of over 372 miles from a battery which holds ‘around’ 100kWh of energy. It is said to have ‘extremely fast’ charging times thanks to 800-volt technology.
Just 10 minutes is enough time to charge the battery enough to power the car for more than 186 miles. And in less than 25 minutes, the 100kWh battery charges from 5 to 80 percent. Audi claims it can accelerate from to 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds.
The Audi activesphere’s ground clearance is variable depending on the surface you are driving on. For off-road use, it can be increased by 40 millimetres from the basic height of 208 millimetres, or lowered by the same amount when driving on-road.
Like the related Audi grandsphere and Audi urbansphere concept cars, the activesphere concept is being developed for production under Audi’s leadership together with Porsche. The first Audi production vehicles based on the new platform will be presented, one after the other, before the end of 2023.
The steering wheel disappears when autonomous driving modes are selected