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September 07, 2021

Grand Sphere Concept: the electric Audi A8

Mercedes has the EQS, BMW will launch the i7 in 2022. What can we expect from Audi, what will be its next-generation luxury sedan? The people of Ingolstadt are working on the issue. At the IAA in Munich (September 7 to 12, 2021), Audi will unveil with the Grand Sphere concept. This is the second of the three announced Sphere prototypes and is most likely the harbinger of an all-electric successor to the A8.

The most important thing we know about the Audi car

  • Possible successor to the Audi A8
  • Evolution of the Artemis concept
  • Level 4 autonomous driving
  • Second of the three Sphere prototypes
  • Driving via Eyetracking
  • Placing on the market: 2025

Longer than the Audi A8

With a length of 5.3 meters, the concept is clearly aimed at the luxury class. More interesting, however, are the proportions: the glazed part (the so-called Greenhous) looks significantly lower than it really is – an effect that visually lengthens the car. The design trick is hidden in a curved aluminum decorative strip, which “guides” the eye and creates the feeling that the car is more sloping. The air conditioning components are located under the relatively short hood, which provides more space in the cockpit.


According to Audi chief designer Mark Lichte, the wheels are reminiscent of the Avus prototype from the 90s.

Combination of Sportback and sedan

The most attractive part of the Grand Sphere is definitely the rear. The line of the roof descends initially smoothly backwards, and then falls sharply. The boot lid is, so to speak, a continuation of the aluminum strip described above. This makes the prototype a combination of Sportback and sedan.


The car as a “third living space”

In the standard version, the doors that open in opposite directions, as well as the missing B-pillar are likely to fall off. The current construction facilitates entry. And so we come to the most important part of the car: the Grand Sphere is designed not as usual from the outside in, but quite the opposite. The focus is on a generous space for passengers, around which the body is adapted. According to the Audi Grand Sphere, it should be a kind of “third living space” for people after the apartment and the office.


Level 4 autonomous driving in the Audi Sky Sphere Concept

The layout of the cockpit in this way is possible thanks to two things: electric drive and autonomous driving. The electric drive allows more space, as electric motors and batteries take up much less space than internal combustion engines, conventional transmission and cardan shaft. In addition, the production version of the Grand Sphere will later be able to master level 4 autonomous driving.

It is unlikely that the rear seats will remain the same in the standard version – as well as there will be no ficus and water dispenser in the central tunnel as in the prototype. However, it is certain that the dashboard, which moves forward, as well as the folding steering wheel provide much more space than in the Mercedes EQS and Tesla Model S.

Driving via Eyetracking

Control in the cockpit is not by pressing or voice commands, but by Eyetracking and gestures. Sensors recognize where the driver is looking and select the appropriate symbol. By pressing in the door armrest, the selection is confirmed and the system changes the corresponding menu. For example, if you want to set the air conditioner, you need to look at the corresponding controller in the door.


The air conditioning controls are also manually operated, but can also be rotated on their own with the appropriate voice command.

Mileage about 800 km on a single charge

At the moment there is almost no data on the drive. The PPE platform will probably be used as a base – which will also use the electric Porsche Macan and Audi A6 e-tron. The energy will come from a battery with a capacity of 120 kW – which should provide 800 km of mileage on a single charge.

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