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Audi Urbansphere Concept previews new ideas for urban mobility

Ben Chia
19/04/2022

Audi has unveiled its Urbansphere concept car, which previews a future ‘mobile lounge on wheels’ with Level 4 automated driving tech


SINGAPORE

Audi has unveiled its Urbansphere concept car, which the brand says will preview a future city-focused vehicle with potential Level 4 automated driving technology. The idea of the Urbansphere is to be a spacious ‘mobile lounge and office on wheels’, designed to cater to the future urban traveller in the cities of tomorrow.

The Urbansphere concept takes the form of an MPV-like vehicle, with its one-box wedge shape and considerable dimensions. It measures in at 5.51 metres long, 2.01 metres wide and 1.78 metres tall, and Audi says that it offers the largest interior space of any Audi model to date. This is achieved via its wheelbase of 3.4 metres, and innovative packaging that does not conform to the usual interior design conventions.

The lack of B-pillars and rearward opening doors (aka suicide doors) also offer maximum accessibility to the interior. And despite its size, the Urbansphere is a strict four-seater, with each individual chair designed to function like a lounge chair that can swivel and tilt in a variety of configurations. Audi says that there is up to 1.78 metres of headroom, while expansive glass surfaces give the cabin an airy atmosphere.

A large, full-width transparent OLED screen is integrated into the roof, and pivots downwards in between the two rows of seats, functioning as a ‘cinema screen’ to conduct video conferences or to watch movies. Each seat also gets its own dedicated sound zones, with speakers incorporated into the headrests, while there are also monitors in the backs of the front seats for individualised content.

For the front passengers, the steering wheel and pedals are designed to be hidden away, enabling Level 4 autonomous driving and resulting in a clean and spacious area that can be used to display information and entertainment content onto the dashboard. Wood is used extensively as a material of choice in the interior, with information being projected on the all-wood surface that spans the width of the front fascia.

Other highlights include a centre console on the floor between the two rear seats that can reveal itself and store a water dispenser and glasses. The Urbansphere’s cabin is also a wellness zone, according to Audi, with the interior featuring facial scanning and voice recognition technology to determine the passengers’ moods, and offer suggestions to relax and relieve stress, such as activating a mediation app that can be used via the car’s screens and speakers.



Functionalities can be called up via what Audi calls MMI touchless response, which uses a series of sensors and scanners to detect the passengers’ eye movement and hand gestures, along with voice control, to activate the vehicle’s various functions and applications, without the need to physically touch any button or switch.

The Urbansphere sits on Audi’s Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture, which is set to underpin Audi’s future range of large electric vehicles. The key element of this platform is the battery which sits between the axles, and is set out in a flat layout. Two electric motors develop a total of 395hp and 695Nm of torque, with power sent to all four wheels via Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system.

The 120kWh battery, along with the 800-volt charging technology, allows the Urbansphere to be charged at rates of up to 270kW, allowing for ultra-fast charging. Audi claims that just 10 minutes of charging is enough to give the Urbansphere a range of 300km, while the battery can be charged from 5 to 80 percent capacity in 25 minutes, giving it a range of up to 750km.


Tags:

Audi concept concept car MPV urbansphere

About the Author

Ben Chia

CarBuyer's senior staff writer went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world. Follow Ben on Instagram @carbuyer.ben

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