The Audi Grandsphere concept officially debuts as the second of three futuristic models showcasing the brand’s vision of luxury, self-driving vehicles.
Audi’s magnum opus of luxury and engineering, the Grandsphere impresses us in both form and function. At first glance itself, it wants you to know that it’s an absolute luxe cruiser and a speedster. Just a couple of weeks ago, we caught a glimpse of the Skysphere – An electric roadster that tempts you to take it out on a long countryside drive as soon as you look at it. As for today’s special, the Grandsphere is a super-sleek, four-door living room on wheels that stands as a successor to the A8.
On the outside, the sedan looks quite dramatic. To the front, it is mostly smooth, with only the headlights and grille appearing sharp. While the rear, the taillights, and the subtle spoiler are the only straight lines we see, and everything else is elegantly curved. Interestingly, it’s more like Audi focused less on mechanical engineering and more on high-end design and construction with this one. Very unlike their portfolio so far.
The real magic, however, is inside the car. This lounge-style sedan comes with a pretty high luxury quotient. Audi’s intentions with the Grandsphere are to meddle with the idea of how consumers will interact with vehicles. So as you take a seat, you’ll be greeted with a massive dashboard that doesn’t bear a single button. Yes, a first for us too. You must be expecting us to say it’s a touchscreen then. Well, no. What makes this car special is that all the infotainment is projected onto the dashboard instead of displayed. Since there are no buttons or touch support, the car keeps track of your eyes, and with every blink, you can change the menu and choose your preference. The only buttons you’ll find are on the doors for climate-control specs. However, you have the option of using hand gestures there, too. You can slide the centre console forward or backwards. It also includes a water dispenser in case you’re thirsty while cruising.
In the electric car league, speed, comfort, and intelligent driving are the three core pillars. When it comes to the Audi Grandsphere, absolute autonomous driving is their weapon of choice. Take a look at the cabin photo — there’s not a steering wheel in sight. Well, it’s hidden underneath the dashboard and makes an appearance when Autonomous Driving options aren’t available. Other plush touches include a cool filtration and aroma diffuser system, wool upholstery, and hornbeam wood trim. Finally, to make it actually feel like a living room, Audi has included a tiny potted plant on the centre console.
Moving on to the speed department, it comes powered by a 120-kWh battery pack and two electric motors that produce a combined total output of 710-bhp and 708-lb ft of torque. It’s capable of zooming from 62-mph in 4.0 seconds. More so, the company also claims a driving range of 466 miles on the WLTP cycle and fast-charging using a 270-kW onboard charger.
While there’s no comment on price yet, the Audi Grandsphere is aiming to enter their production wing somewhere around 2025. Which is a really tight time frame to bring Level 4 autonomy to the streets.