In August 2021, the spectacular study known as the Audi skysphere concept will lead the trio with its first public appearance as part of Monterey Car Week in California. A few weeks later, the second concept car, the Audi grandsphere, will make its public premiere at the 2021 IAA. In the first half of 2022, the Audi urbansphere will follow as the third show car.
“These concept vehicles embody our brand strategy. They show how we imagine the near future of premium mobility,” says 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 that envelop the passengers “sphere”. With the transition to electromobility and, in a few years, to automated driving (level 4), this field 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 three concept vehicles, skysphere, grandsphere, and urbansphere, interprets this paradigm shift in design differently – created with resolute dynamism, distinction, or even long distance travel in mind. In each case, passengers’ needs and quality of experience are at the very top of the three studies’ design specifications. Technological innovations and the highest quality materials and workmanship envelop the passengers in all areas. On board, they enjoy the freedom to drive themselves or – whenever possible – to simply disconnect from traffic, their environment, and overstimulation in a fully self-driving car. Instead of these, the interior becomes a free space for relaxing, networking, or even actively communicating.
Contrary to vision cars like the Audi AI:CON or AI:ME, the new show cars are not trying to look into the distant future. Instead, they are presenting lines, technologies, and spaces for experience that are expected to turn up again starting in the mid-2020s in initial serial cars from Audi.