shape-shifting AUDI skysphere concept e-roadster debuts at monterey car week 2021
Aug 10, 2021
debuting at monterey car week 2021, AUDI reveals the skysphere concept – the first of three future design vehicles. the electric-powered, two-door convertible shines the spotlight on the brand’s new design direction, focusing on creating captivating mobility experiences through the exterior and interior. two different driving experiences are on offer – an autonomous grand touring and self-driving sports modes – that uses a variable wheelbase to expand and shrink the car accordingly.
the AUDI skysphere concept shifts in shape by 250 mm in length and 10 mm in ground clearance. it does so thanks to a mechanical orchestra of body and frame components that slide into one another at the touch of a button. the driver can either pilot their 4.94-meter-long e-roadster in sports mode with a reduced wheelbase, or be chauffeured around in a 5.19-meter GT in the autonomous grand touring mode. passengers in the latter can enjoy the scenery on the journey, stretch out and play with the seamlessly integrated digital ecosystem.
the concept car takes inspiration from the 1938 horch 853 roadster, specifically the long front end and compact cabin in its proportions. the wide curved, flared wheel arches as well as the long front foot are organically formed, contrasting with short overhangs across the body. in typical AUDI fashion, the front end features the singleframe and four rings emblem. combining elements of a speedster and shooting brake, the streamlined rear end is dominated by a digitally controlled LED surface that extends across the entire width as if countless red rubies scattered. the light signature reflects the change in character in the driving modes.
stepping through the rear-hinged and wide-opening doors, the cabin – or ‘sphere’ as AUDI calls it – around the passengers is the center of the design. the clean interior is inspired by art deco, especially noticeable in the grand touring experience when the steering wheel and pedals are retracted and hidden. the comfortable seats boast visual elegance whilst actually being upholstered in sustainably produced microfiber fabric. environmentally certified eucalyptus wood and synthetically produced imitation leather are also used throughout the cabin. large touch monitor surfaces – 1,415 mm wide and 180 mm high – on the dashboard and upper area of the center console can be used for vehicle and infotainment options, where passengers can video conference, stream movies and more.
with performance to match its undeniably dynamic exterior design, the electric motor delivers a total of 465 kw of power and 750 nm of torque. this pushes the car from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 4 seconds. the battery modules are positioned behind the cabin to aid the center of gravity and agility. it has a capacity of more than 80 kWh to generate a range of more than 310 miles (500 km).
debut: monterey car week 2021