• Audi presents crossover study with electric drive and quattro
  • A luxury coupé that turns into a pickup
  • Innovative operating concept with augmented reality headsets
Audi Activesphere

As the latest addition to the series, the Audi Activesphere concept represents the apex of Audi’s sphere concept vehicles, continuing the legacy initiated by the brand with the four rings. Following the Audi Skysphere roadster in 2021, as well as the Audi Grandsphere sedan and the Audi Urbansphere space concept in April 2022, this four-door crossover coupé boasts a remarkably versatile body design, marking its grand entrance. With a length of 4.98 meters, this exquisitely designed vehicle transcends the boundaries of a conventional luxury sports car. It flaunts impressive ground clearance and features sizable 22-inch wheels that underscore its off-road capabilities. The Activesphere’s Sportback rear can effortlessly transform into an open cargo bed, known as the “active back,” with just the press of a button. This functionality makes it ideal for transporting recreational equipment like e-bikes, water sports gear, or winter sports equipment

By harmoniously fusing opposing elements, the Audi Activesphere demonstrates its exceptional versatility, seamlessly transcending boundaries with a drive system and suspension that excel both on and off the road. Its innovative steering wheel and pedals empower the driver to take the reins actively, while also providing the option for autonomous driving, ensuring a relaxed journey. This coupé boasts an elegant and dynamic design, characterized by classic proportions and lines. Yet, in a matter of seconds, it morphs into a pickup truck, ready to transport high-end sports equipment. In fact, the cargo bed can comfortably accommodate two e-bikes.

The Audi Activesphere concept was born and crafted at the Audi Design Studio in Malibu, a stone’s throw away from the iconic Pacific Coast Highway. The creative genius behind this project is Studio Manager Gael Buzyn and his team. Buzyn articulates the concept’s essence, saying, ‘The Activesphere is truly unique. It represents a new breed of crossover, ingeniously melding the elegance of an Audi Sportback, the practicality of an SUV, and genuine off-road capabilities.’

Equipped with an electric drive and Audi’s quick-charging technology sourced from the PPE modular system, the Audi Activesphere becomes an integral part of the sphere concept family. With zero local emissions, a range exceeding 600 kilometers, and rapid charging capabilities thanks to its 800-volt technology, this vehicle seamlessly combines the sustainability, dynamism, and long-distance capabilities of cutting-edge electric vehicles.

Oliver Hoffmann, a Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development, shares, “The sphere concept vehicles epitomize our vision for the future of premium mobility. We are in the midst of a significant paradigm shift, particularly when it comes to the interiors of our forthcoming Audi models. The interior is evolving into a sanctuary where passengers can feel at home and simultaneously connect with the outside world. The most noteworthy technological leap in the Audi Activesphere is our incorporation of augmented reality for mobility. Audi Dimensions achieves a seamless fusion of the physical environment and the digital realm.”

The autonomous driving capabilities on suitable terrains introduce a new level of freedom for both drivers and passengers, made accessible through the Activesphere’s advanced display and operating technology. The pioneering operating concept, known as Audi Dimensions, seamlessly merges the tangible and virtual realms, creating a mixed reality where digital content is displayed within the occupants’ field of view in real time.

State-of-the-art headsets provide a view of the actual surroundings and the route while simultaneously projecting 3D content and interactive elements, individually adaptable for both drivers and passengers. This means that all essential information for the driver, such as driving status and navigation, can be readily displayed. Within the interior, headset users can access control panels and various virtual displays, all elegantly designed with a minimalist touch, remaining hidden to the naked eye. Mixed reality optics empower users to interact precisely with these real yet invisible touch-sensitive areas, as the headsets respond in real time to user touch, allowing for dynamic functionality.

As the ultimate all-purpose vehicle, the Audi Activesphere concept perfectly caters to the discerning Audi customers of the future—individuals who see no conflict between personalized mobility and environmental responsibility. These are the owners who anticipate their vehicle to embody the brand’s signature aesthetics and dynamism to the utmost degree, all while integrating forward-looking technology. For these customers, the Audi Activesphere concept serves as a captivating vision that transcends the boundaries between these dimensions.

Robust elegance

Robust elegance – exterior design

With dimensions measuring 4.98 meters in length, 2.07 meters in width, and 1.60 meters in height, the Audi Activesphere concept firmly places itself within the premium segment. Reflecting the characteristics of an electric vehicle, its generous 2.97-meter wheelbase ensures ample legroom for passengers. The front and rear overhangs are remarkably short, creating a more compact overall impression than the mere numerical measurements would suggest. From every angle, the Audi Activesphere concept exudes a monolithic presence, as though crafted from a single mold.

Enhancing its aesthetics, the car sports substantial 22-inch wheels and remarkable ground clearance, complemented by the trademark flat cabin design synonymous with Audi. The dynamic roof arch adds to the vehicle’s proportions, which distinctly evoke the essence of a sports car.

The 285/55 tires, both voluminous and well-treaded, equip the Activesphere for diverse terrains, emphasizing its off-road capabilities. The wheels incorporate movable segments: they open to enhance ventilation during off-road ventures and close for optimal aerodynamics on-road. Additionally, the elegantly designed camera mirrors on the front doors serve the dual purpose of minimizing aerodynamic drag.

The absence of sharp edges results in seamless transitions between the vehicle’s convex and concave surfaces, casting soft shadows throughout the body. When viewed from the side and rear, the rear wheel wells take on a notably horizontal orientation, visually highlighting the concept vehicle’s dynamic potential.

Glass panels constitute a significant portion of the vehicle’s body, extending beyond head height. The front of the Activesphere showcases the brand’s signature Singleframe, designed as a transparent glazing, affording passengers an unobstructed view through the substantial frunk area in front of the vehicle.

Further glass surfaces adorn the sides, particularly in the lower door area, creating a visual blend between the natural surroundings and the vehicle’s interior, especially when the Activesphere operates in off-road mode. The wide, gently curved tailgate incorporates ample glazing for optimal illumination, and even the roof itself is transparent, allowing copious natural light to permeate the interior.

The external design deliberately communicates the vehicle’s off-road prowess, featuring robust wheel arches that underscore the adaptable, electronically controlled quattro all-wheel drive. The Audi Activesphere’s ground clearance is also adjustable, enhancing its off-road performance by increasing it by 40 millimeters from the base height of 208 millimeters or lowering it by the same amount for on-road driving. This dual-purpose adjustment benefits both the vehicle’s center of gravity and aerodynamics during high-speed travel. Notably, the Activesphere boasts an approach angle of 18.9 degrees and a departure angle of 28.1 degrees, particularly valuable for off-road excursions.

The adaptable ground clearance evokes the spirit of a beloved Audi model family that has garnered a dedicated and enthusiastic following since 2000 – the Audi allroad, found in both the C and later B segments. These allroad vehicles have consistently featured air-spring suspension with adjustable ground clearance and a distinctive design element: an offset floor assembly with protective underbody elements. The Avant package option has been a defining feature for all allroad models.

Sportback and Active Back: The Versatile Rear Architecture

The Audi Activesphere concept epitomizes adaptability, effortlessly transitioning between different roles – it’s a true master of transformation. This metamorphic quality, particularly evident in its rear section, resonates with the active lifestyles of its drivers, enabling the transportation of large sports equipment without compromising the sleek and sporty Sportback silhouette.

When necessary, the nearly flush, transparent rear window slides upward, aligning almost seamlessly with the roof of the Audi Activesphere. Simultaneously, the lower vertical portion of the rear panel folds out horizontally, revealing a spacious cargo bed known as the “active back,” complete with mounting brackets for items such as e-bikes. The lateral surfaces of the rear, specifically the C-pillars, remain in place to preserve the Activesphere’s dynamic silhouette. Meanwhile, a motorized bulkhead extends from behind the rear seats, effectively shielding the cabin from the elements.

The concept integrates a ski rack at the center of the roof structure. When not in use, it seamlessly blends into the roof’s architecture, remaining practically invisible in the roof arch. However, it extends when needed, allowing skis to be securely attached and transported with ease.

An Interior That Puts People First

Spearheading the Change: The Audi Skysphere, Grandsphere, Urbansphere, and Activesphere – Where “Sphere” Reflects the Interior Revolution

Kilowatts, kilometers per hour, or lateral acceleration are no longer the primary driving forces behind the design of this new generation of cars. Instead, the driving force is centered on the interior, creating a sphere dedicated to the well-being and experiences of the passengers while in transit. It’s their needs and desires that mold the space, its architectural layout, and its functionalities.

This paradigm shift has brought about a transformation in the design process itself. Every conversation begins with a deliberate focus on the interior and its design. Only after this pivotal interior-centric stage is complete do the discussions progress to tackle the package, proportions, and external aesthetics.

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Simplicity and Utility Define the Interior

Passengers are greeted with an initial impression of immaculate simplicity as they step into the Audi Activesphere’s interior through its wide, welcoming doors.

Vertical and horizontal lines, accented by right angles, define the architectural character of this space. Horizontal contrasting colors define the interior zones, with the central focus being the seating surfaces, door panels, and front panel, all adorned in a warm lava red hue that strikingly contrasts with the dark exterior, even when observed through the side windows. Above and below this central zone, a palette of dark colors (black, anthracite, and dark gray) takes precedence.

The four individual seats are gracefully suspended, resembling natural extensions of the high, continuous center console. Positioned atop this console, the upper edges of the seat shells serve as horizontal armrests. The designers envisaged the seat, back, and shoulder surfaces as three distinct, encompassing shells, promising exceptional lateral support and imbuing a sense of weightlessness that effortlessly balances automotive functionality and the refinement of a lounge chair.

When the Audi Activesphere concept operates in autonomous mode, the dashboard, steering wheel, and pedals seamlessly retract into an unobtrusive position, especially within the front row of seats. This transformation yields a generous expanse of space that extends to the front of the Activesphere and beyond. The fully glazed Singleframe windshield provides passengers with an unobstructed view of the road ahead.

The dashboard serves dual roles as a substantial soundbar (incorporating wooden lattices) and a smart, full-width air vent, whether in the deployed or stowed configuration.

For drivers desiring to take control of the vehicle, the dashboard and steering wheel pivot outward from their flush position beneath the windshield, allowing for individual ergonomic adjustments. The MMI touchless controls integrated into the doors remain easily accessible for window and seat adjustments, readily visible and at hand.

The architecture and spatial concept of the Audi Activesphere prominently feature the high, full-length center console. In electric cars, this console no longer accommodates a driveshaft but rather offers storage space and even an onboard bar, which can be configured to maintain either cool or heated storage. The transparent top cover grants a view of the contents, which includes bottles and glasses, effectively integrating the voluminous console into the interior. Additionally, a console in the roof, mirroring the dimensions of the center console below, houses the four AR headsets for the mixed reality system, readily accessible to all passengers.

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