Audi has revealed the design and contents of its electric luxury sedan scheduled to debut in 2025 with the Grand Sphereconcept
by Francesco Michienzi
The Grand Sphere concept car of the Audi electric luxury sedan constitutes an authentic revolution that the team of designers headed by Marc Lichte welcomes with enthusiasm because it means more creative freedom.
«For those who give life to the shapes of a bodywork», says Philipp Römers, Chief of Audi’s Exterior Design Department, «proportions are everything and electric architecture, which is free from the limitation and bulk of the internal combustion engine and transmission, can yield the best proportions».
The doors of the concept car open like a book. The driver’s and front passenger’s access is monitored in real-time and their seats adjust automatically to their preferences.
«You can move the wheels to the far ends, big wheels, and have very short overhangs», as his boss, Marc Lichte, adds. This, of course, frees up a lot of space onboard and «allows for a change of paradigm, with the possibility to draw the car from the inside out», remarks Norbert Weber, Head of Audi’s Interior Design Department.
To date, the main focus related to interior car design was the driver and everything revolved around the idea of putting him in the best condition to perform his task, which was to drive the car. Today, with the advent of increasingly automated driving, the cockpit can be entirely rethought from a new perspective. The interior of your car can now become, together with your house and workplace, a third living space. The German concept car is 5.35 meters long, 2 meters wide, and 139 centimeters high. The wheelbase is 3.19 meters.
Thanks to the electric propulsion system, the Grand Sphere has reduced overhangs, a low boot height, and an inclined windscreen. The upper edge of the front bonnet is characterised by a longitudinal line that extends along the sides of the passenger compartment.
The Grand Sphere has 2 electric engines producing 720 hp and 960 Nm in torque. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes about 4 seconds. The all-wheel-drive vehicle also features rear-wheel steering.
Two electric engines can deliver a total of 530 kW (720 hp) with 960 Nm in torque and all-wheel drive. Audi declares an acceleration twitch from 0 to 100 km/h in just over 4 seconds. The engines are powered by a 120-kWh battery located between the axles, which allows a range of up to 750 km according to the WLTP cycle.
The PPE platform supports an 800-Volt architecture, which allows for high-power recharging. With direct current, you can recharge up to a maximum power of 270 kW going from 5% to 80% in less than 25 minutes. The set-up is performed on a dedicated electronic platform. It is inspired by the Audi S8 sports sedan and is based on an active predictive strategy.
The Audi Grand Sphere is “leather-free”: leather is not employed in any part of the vehicle. Moreover, the beechwood veneers of the refined interiors come from organic farming and are obtained from recycling.
(AUDI Grand Sphere, new creative freedom – Barchemagazine.com – April 2022)