Audi concept car demonstrates future of sporty driving

August 12, 2021 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Audi concept car demonstrates future of sporty driving
With a rather spectacular concept car, Audi shows how electrification, automation and digitalisation could affect the driving experience.

Under the name "skysphere concept", Audi will present its latest concept vehicle at the Monterey Car Week in California on 13 August. Three of them are planned, one each for different automotive use cases - the skyshpere roadster, the grandsphere luxury sedan and the urbanshpere city car.

The skysphere is equipped with a whole range of innovative features and design characteristics that offer a glimpse of the future of electric, in part highly automated and thoroughly digitalised driving. For example, the skysphere is of course electrically powered, as a classic sports car naturally via the rear axle. The car is equipped with a single motor, but one that delivers quite a lot of power: With 465 kW and a torque of 750 Nm, the thing accelerates to 100 km/h in 4 seconds. The batteries are not distributed under the vehicle cabin, as is the case with most electric cars, but for the most part behind it. In this way, the Audi designers want to shift the centre of gravity to the rear axle and improve traction. However, some of the batteries are also hidden in the rather voluminous centre tunnel. This gives the batteries a total capacity of 80 kWh. This should be enough for a range of 500 km - though not when using full acceleration, but in the rather sedate eco mode.

The layout of the interior is no longer determined by the constraints of conventional drives. The steering is purely electronic as a "steer-by-wire" system, acting on both the front and - to achieve greater agility - the rear axle. The steer-by-wire approach has allowed the designers to dispense with a mechanical link between the steering wheel and the axle. This makes it possible, in Level 4 automated mode, to retract the steering wheel and remove it from the driver's immediate area. This gives the driver more

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