Audi Brings Vision of Future Mobility to Monterey Car Week

source: Audi of America

  • Audi sphere concept cars, the skysphere, grandsphere, and urbansphere, will showcase Audi’s vision of the future of premium electric mobility at the Quail
  • North American debut of the all-electric, one-of-a-kind Audi S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron, inspired by historic Audi Sport quattro S1 “Pikes Peak”, will electrify enthusiasts at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca
  • Audi grandsphere will be on display on the concept lawn at the famed Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Electrification and the future of premium mobility will be brought to Monterey Car week from Aug. 18 – Aug. 21. Audi will be showcasing all three sphere concept vehicles, the one-of-a-kind Audi S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron, as well as the original, race-winning 5-cylinder cars that cemented quattro all-wheel drive.

Monterey Car Week
Audi will continue its longstanding tradition of energizing (and now electrifying) automotive enthusiasts from around the world at the annual Monterey Car Week.

  • On Friday, Aug. 19, the three Audi sphere concept vehicles will be showcased at The Quail, offering attendees a glimpse into Audi’s ambitious and electrified vision for the future of mobility.
  • On Saturday, Aug. 20, the one-of-a-kind and fully electric Audi S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron will be on display to electrify enthusiasts at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion hosted at Laguna Seca.
  • On Sunday, Aug. 21, the grandsphere concept vehicle will be on display on the concept lawn at the famed Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Earlier in the week, multiple 5-cylinder legendary race cars will be on display alongside the RS e-tron GT at Legends of the Autobahn.

The Audi grandsphere
Likened to a first class flight on a private jet made for the road, the 17.6 ft. long grandsphere sedan concept combines the luxuries of private travel in the greatest of comfort with comprehensive onboard experience offerings. Level 4 autonomous driving permits new dimensions of freedom to be possible. While in autonomous mode, the interior of the grandsphere turns into a spacious sphere of experience without a steering wheel, pedals, or displays, with the front seats becoming a first-class lounge offering maximum space and access to all the integrated functions of a holistic digital ecosystem. As the second of the three “sphere” concept cars introduced from Audi, the Audi grandsphere holds a particularly special place for the brand’s future. The technologies and design attributes observed in the grandsphere will appear again within the next few years in future Audi production models. In a conventional sedan, it has become common to observe a majority of the comfort-oriented amenities and features integrated into the rear seating area. With the grandsphere sedan concept, the steering wheel and pedals disapear while operating in the level 4 autonomous drive mode, freeing the front area of the cabin to become a free space while offering perfect views through the large front and side windows. Traditional gauges and display screens are replaced by high-resolution projections onto interior surfaces. The projected display is controlled by either a sensor bar under the projection surfaces, haptic feedback controls, or through the advanced eye tracking and gesture controls. Click here to read more about the Audi grandsphere.

The Audi skysphere
Unveiled as the first member of Audi’s new family of concept vehicles, the Audi skysphere concept is an electric-powered, two-door convertible which showcases Audi‘s vision for the progressive luxury segment of the future. Thanks to the combination of autonomous driving, a revolutionary redesign of the idea of a traditional interior, and a seamless digital ecosystem, the interior of the skysphere becomes an interactive space, and a platform for captivating experiences. The Audi skysphere concept shows how Audi is redefining luxury in the future – it’s no longer just about driving. Designed with a variable wheelbase, the Audi skysphere concept permits two entirely different driving experiences: a grand touring experience, as well as a sports experience. The skysphere’s variable wheelbase utilizes electric motors and a sophisticated mechanism with the vehicle’s body and frame components. The body and frame pieces slide into one another and make it possible to vary not only the wheelbase itself, but also alter the exterior length of the car by 250 millimeters. At the same time, the vehicle’s ground clearance is adjusted by 10 millimeters to enhance both comfort and driving dynamics. Click here to read more about the Audi skysphere. 

The Audi urbansphere
Designers and engineers initially created the Audi urbansphere for use in traffic-dense Chinese megacities, although the concept is also suitable for any other metropolitan center in the world. In these urban areas, where personal space is in particularly short supply, the concept car offers the largest interior space of any Audi to date. It intelligently coordinates this with technologies and digital services that appeal to all senses and offer a whole new level of experience. The spacious automobile acts as a lounge on wheels and a mobile office, serving as a third living space during the time spent in traffic. Click here to read more about the Audi urbansphere.

The Audi S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron and the 1987 S1 quattro “Pikes Peak”
Modernized, electrified, and inspired by the iconic design of the 1985 Audi Sport quattro S1, the S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron dispels any doubts that an electrified car cannot be engaging and synonomous with modern performance. This modern interpretation of the original S1 quattro features dual electric motors, all-wheel drive, a carbon fiber chassis, and incorporation of the full suite of safety standards as dictated by motorsports’ top governing body, the FIA. Limited to just one unit produced, this concept was developed specifically for American drift artist Ken Block, and will be featured in his next installment of the famous Gymkhana series, under the title of “Electrikhana”. In addition to the display of this electrifying concept, fans will also witness the original Audi Sport quattro S1 with which Walter Röhrl set his record at the Pikes Peak Hillclimb in 1987 in just 10 minutes and 48 seconds on gravel. It still stands as the fastest time on the unpaved stretch of road into the sky, as it has since been paved. The modern interpretation, the S1 Hoonitron, serves as a nod to this significant period, while remaining laser-focused on the commitment towards electrification. Click here to read more about the Audi S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron and its impressive development.

The RS e-tron GT joined by the original, legendary 5-cylinder race cars at Legends of the Autobahn
The actual, race-winning cars of the famed five-cylinder era in Group B Rally, IMSA GTO and SCCR Trans Am will be on display for enthusiasts to see alongside the RS e-tron GT which will electrify enthusiasts. The Group B era of rally racing is celebrated as the pinnacle of the World Rally Championship (WRC), partially due to the fact that from 1982 to 1984, there were no restrictions on the amounts of turbo boost or on vehicle weight. In the 1984 season, the Group B Audi quattro A2 delivered 360 horsepower from its 5-cylinder racing engine and went on to win the driver’s title, with Audi taking the manufacturer title. Audi withdrew from the rally in 1986, but the legacy of the quattro system paired with the Audi 5-cylinder engine continued on tarmac in the North American sports car racing series known as the IMSA GTO and SCAA Trans Am series. In 1988, the Audi 200 quattro Trans-Am used the basis of a production five-cylinder engine for homologation purposes, with up to 510 horsepower from a 2.1-liter engine – equating to an impressive exhibit of 242 horsepower per liter. In 1989, the Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO would dominate the U.S. touring car scene with 720 horsepower from a 2.1-liter five-cylinder race engine. Audi would take home eight wins from the 13 events as champions Hans Stuck, Walter Rohrl, and Hurley Haywood created everlasting credentials for the Audi five-cylinder engine paired with the legendary quattro drivetrain system.

The RS e-tron GT produces a net 590 horsepower and up to 637 horsepower with overboost. The total system torque is 612 lb-ft. As a result, the RS e-tron GT can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds and has a 155 mph top track speed. That places the acceleration of the RS e-tron GT on par with the V10-powered Audi R8 supercar – all while generating zero direct emissions. Click here to read more about the e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT models.

With the arrival of the Q4 e-tron SUV and Q4 Sportback e-tron, Audi will have the largest, fully electric model line-up in the U.S. The Q4 e-tron models will join the e-tron, e-tron Sportback, and e-tron GT model lines, continuing Audi’s commitment to having a fully electric model line by 2033.

A full rundown of Audi activities by day at the Monterey Car Week is listed below:

Thursday, August 18: Legends of the Autobahn will be held at Pacific Grove Golf Links. Attendees will be able to observe the following Audi vehicles on display:

  • 2022 RS e-tron GT
  • 1984 Group B Audi quattro A2
  • 1988 Audi SCCR Trans Am
  • 1989 Audi IMSA GTO

Friday, August 19: The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering, will be held on the lawn of Quail Lodge and Golf Club. Audi will present the future of mobility in the form of its three sphere concept cars:

  • Audi skysphere
  • Audi grandsphere
  • Audi urbansphere

Saturday, August 20: The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion will be hosted at Laguna Seca. Attendees will be able to observe the following Audi vehicles on display:

  • The Audi S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron
  • 1987 Audi S1 Pikes Peak

Sunday, August 21: The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will have the Audi grandsphere concept vehicle on display on the concept lawn.