Audi Activesphere Is a Mighty Morphin’ EV Coupe That is Additionally a Pickup

Audi’s new imaginative and prescient for future electrified driving is the Activesphere idea, a tall electrical coupe that may remodel from a sporty and autonomous, long-range freeway cruiser to a go-anywhere off-road pickup in moments due to its mighty morphing physique.

The Activesphere is the fourth in a sequence of Sphere-themed ideas that features the Skysphere roadster with its variable wheelbase, the Grandsphere giant D-segment sedan and Urbansphere compact MPV with massive inside house. None of those ideas are actually spherical in form, the suffix refers to Audi’s meta-concept of design “spheres,” the place the automobile’s inside house and even construction form across the occupant’s wants.

Reworking chassis

The Activesphere is a modern four-door sportback with a coupe-like roofline and an elevated trip top impressed by Audi’s Allroad sequence of lifted wagons. Measuring 196 inches lengthy by 81.5 inches vast with a longish 117-inch wheelbase, the brand new idea’s footprint is roughly just like that of the A6 E-Tron idea, however, with an total top of 63 inches, it is notably taller.

Up entrance, Audi’s signature singleframe grill has been changed with a clear glass panel that permits passengers to look down and see the highway passing beneath their ft. The glass cut-outs within the idea’s doorways and its virtually fully glass roof assist the already spacious cabin really feel much more open.

Just like the Skysphere idea, which might stretch its wheelbase on demand to shift between sport and grand touring modes, the Activesphere is one thing of a transformer itself. The idea can increase its chassis by 1.6 inches in seconds, rising its 8.2-inch trip top to 9.8 inches for enhanced off-road efficiency. This is not only a easy suspension raise both. The Activesphere’s physique additionally stretches vertically, exposing a extra beefy decrease sill design and boosting the method and departure angles of 18.9 and 28.1 levels, respectively.

The idea rides on giant 22-inch wheels with moveable segments that may shut to enhance aerodynamics for top on-road velocities or open for improved air flow at low off-road speeds. Chunky Pirelli Lively Tread 285/22 R22 present contact patches appropriate for roads and trails.

Even the sportback hatch is reconfigurable. The rear storage space is ready to remodel right into a small pickup truck mattress on demand due to a fold-down tailgate, a rear window that slides ahead to take a seat flush with the roof and a midgate divider that flips as much as separate the cabin from the mattress. Built-in mounting factors and tie-downs enable the small mattress to accommodate a pair of mountain bikes or a pair units of golf golf equipment. When closed up, the Activesphere’s roof additionally integrates mounting factors for ski or snowboard racks. 


Augmented actuality, automated driving

The Activesphere’s cabin is remarkably minimalist with 4, independently suspended seats and a wrap-around dashboard that integrates a robust soundbar, however is nearly fully devoid of screens. There’s solely a small, single-line show that exhibits velocity and battery cost — not even a steering wheel may be discovered within the Activesphere’s default state. The one bodily controls are a pair of small knobs that appear to double as door handles.

Audi was capable of do away with the bodily screens as a result of the Activesphere makes use of digital shows that you just view by way of combined actuality glasses and hand-tracked gesture controls. Don the very conceptual AR shades — that are considerably smaller than the perfect mixed-reality goggles I’ve ever used — and the cockpit fills up with three-dimensional shows, topographical maps and extra. The bodily controls additionally blossom with further layers of digital perform; you may even “seize” the controls and transfer them just about to wherever within the cabin you want.


Audi envisions this as a Stage 4 autonomous idea, able to driving itself with out the necessity for a steering wheel. Merely plot your course within the combined actuality interface and the idea will get you the place you are going. Nonetheless, the automaker additionally understands that there are occasions the place you would possibly wish to drive your self, so the Activesphere can deploy a steering wheel when wanted for piloted driving. Combined actuality additionally performs a task when the human is in management, displaying detailed details about the idea’s efficiency.

Quattro electrical drive

The reworking chassis is wild and the  combined actuality cabin is, for now, extra sci-fi imaginative and prescient than actuality, however the electrical powertrain that underpins the Activesphere relies on actual, production-ready tech. The idea is constructed on a modified model of the Premium Platform Electrical electrical automobile structure that Audi shares with Porsche. 

Twin electrical motors — one for the entrance axle and one for the rear — make up the idea’s impartial Quattro electrical all-wheel drive system, cranking out 409 horsepower (305 kilowatts) and 531 pound-feet of torque mixed. With a big 100 kWh battery pack to attract from, the Audi estimates round 373 miles of vary for the idea. Charging also needs to be fast due to the 800-volt structure’s capability to gobble up a DC quick cost at 270 kW — fast sufficient so as to add 186 miles with a 10-minute session or a 25-minute enhance from 5% to 80%. 


For now, Audi is simply letting its designers stretch their conceptual legs. We might ultimately see this tall-coupe silhouette or sure design particulars in upcoming manufacturing and idea vehicles, however the automaker presently has no plans to construct a automobile based mostly on the concepts introduced within the Activesphere.

“We at Audi by no means say by no means, however the Audi Activesphere is in the intervening time a pure idea automobile and no selections have been made relating to sequence manufacturing,” Josef Schlossmacher, Audi Communication states when requested earlier than happening to say that “in the intervening time there are not any different initiatives [in Audi’s portfolio] with such a pickup physique.”

Within the meantime, the upcoming Audi A6 and Q6 E-Tron fashions and the Porsche Macan EV would be the first manufacturing electrical autos to trip on the PPE platform. We count on to study extra about these manufacturing debuts later this yr.

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