The house of the four rings has unveiled the electric concept that will be a prelude to the new generation of A8. This is the Audi GrandSphere, a car with very fluid lines and a long wheelbase, and with a high tail rear. But what stands out most is the front, with a very voluminous grille that obviously does not respond to the ‘thermal’ meaning of the element, as it houses a large luminous fascia.
A steering wheel stands out inside the car in oval shape, which moves electrically. As in the SkySphere, the system provides that the steering wheel and pedals can be closed in the dashboard whenever the driver wants the car to continue driving autonomously.
There is a sort of spoiler in the final part of the roof, to ‘break’ the straight line that continues up to the rear lights. Audi spoke of a car that is no longer just a car: after all, when you enter the passenger compartment you discover that the entire fascia of the dashboard, apparently absent, is transformed into a screen with virtual animations: it contains a touch area for the controls and various sections with travel information and the map. Some commands can be managed with the movement of the hands. Sitting in the driver’s seat and drawing the steering wheel to you with your arms, the latter then appears from a compartment.
The GrandSphere concept is 48mm longer than the current long-wheelbase A8. The packaging advantages inherent in its platform dedicated to electric cars, the PPE (Premium Platform Electric) structure developed in collaboration with Porsche, sees the windshield well forward, providing the Grandsphere with a relatively short bonnet and an exceptionally long cabin. The distinctive front styling of the new concept includes a number of traditional Audi touches, including the aforementioned grille positioned lower in the front bumper than in any current Audi model, giving more prominence to the slimline headlights. The sides of the Grandsphere are characterized by the absence of B-pillars, which allow uninterrupted access to the interior through hinged doors.
As mentioned, inside Audi has provided a sort of “digital detox”, showing information only when necessary. The materials used throughout the new concept car, including the wood upholstery and synthetic fabric seat fabric, are sourced from sustainable materials or are recycled. Audi describes its latest concept as a 2 + 2, with two single seats in front and a large bench seat in the rear. The GrandSphere is designed to house a large 120 kWh battery entirely within the floor between the two axles. Two electric motors, equally divided between the axles, provide the large sedan with a combined output of 711 hp and 809 Nm of torque. The autonomy should exceed 750 kilometers.