The Audi Activesphere concept is both a luxury crossover and a luxury pickup

Let us introduce you to the Audi Activesphere concept. The fourth and last in the series of non-spherical “spheres”. After the Skysphere coupé, the GT Grandsphere sedan and the Urbansphere minivan, this Activesphere is at the crossroads between a crossover, a pick-up, an augmented reality simulator and… a personal chairlift.

Let’s break down the numbers now. The Activesphere is electric, of course, with one motor per axle for a total of 440 hp and 720 Nm propelling the whole thing from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.9S. The 100 kWh battery promises 600 km of autonomy and with its 800V architecture, it is compatible with a 270 kW load. Clearly, this theoretically allows you to recover 300 km in 10 minutes. If you see a 270 kW charger.

Okay, now we can focus on what Activesphere actually is. That is, a whole bunch of things. First of all, it is a coupe crossover that is as elegant as it is futuristic and sits on 22” rims. It’s also a true all-terrain (concept) with an impressive ride height of 208 mm, its comfortable approach and departure angles of 18.9 and 28.1° and its air suspension that lets you to raise the total by 40 mm. Interesting original, part of the bumpers and sills remain in a low position in the form of “studs”, reinforcing the adventurous side. And you are not at the end of your surprises.

Audi Activesphere concept

The pavilion includes retractable ski racks. You wonder why? Let Marc Lichte, Audi’s design boss, answer you: “I don’t like roof bars, they spoil the aesthetics. “. It has the merit of being clear and it is welcome to all those people who stick to roof bars in all SUVs for almost 15 years.

Audi Activesphere concept

As for the rear window, it slides behind the roof to reveal a pair of supports for the “homemade” electrically assisted mountain bike (which we also want to try…). And at the same time, a partition separates the cabin from the outside, making the whole thing a real pick-up. Indeed, it is, right?

Audi Activesphere concept

You won’t be surprised if I tell you that this personal lift is made by the Audi design office in… Malibu, California. The designer in charge of the studio, the Frenchman Charles Lefranc, told us that inside, they call this pencil stroke “sculptural Bauhaus” or “sexy Bauhaus”. And no, they haven’t filed a concept yet.

“It’s an aesthetic that we’ve had in mind for a while because we came to a point where we had to refresh the style of the brand, you know? Charles told us. “Especially on the street that’s gotten a little complicated, a lot happening there. And we’re trying to calm things down a little bit. »

“I always try to capture the essence of what Audi is: simple volumes interwoven with smooth and sculptural transitions on the surface, and the bones under the skin are very structuring, like an Audi . As in a German car. And the curtain has this sexy, sculptural look. »

Audi Activesphere concept

Like any concept, the Activesphere features styling cues and technologies that will soon be on our roads. And the rest later… later. Activesphere is therefore capable of offering level 4 autonomous driving. In this case, the steering wheel and pedals are retracted to let you enjoy drinks in the center column, and augmented reality animations. Which brings us to the big chunk.

Each passenger is “fitted with a pair of augmented reality glasses that allow graphics to appear superimposed on cabin surfaces. Driving information in front of the driver, air conditioning controls the level of air vent or the 2D map and the nav’ in the now empty space of the central console.

Audi Activesphere concept

In principle, a cabin stripped of any physical screen and an interface between Tron and Minority Report, it’s a dream. But, in practice, when you see the tannasse it is to change the heating temperature in some modern cars… Now the screen has taken over but if open the interface is dematerialized, it is a blow to slap the passenger while trying. to change stations.

Audi Activesphere concept

“No, no, absolutely not,” said Sid Odedra, head of user interface design. “Everything is being put on screens and becoming digital. But if you ask me, you have to find the right balance. We have to rearrange the interior to keep some controls physical, because when you’re driving there are some controls you want to do blindly, right? »

“Touch controls are sometimes more relevant, we can also make these controls smart. But, above all, a nice button or a nice car wheel creates a connection. Elon, if you’re listening …

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