No need to hope to cross it on the roads or, on the contrary, to prepare its “SUV deflation” operation, the Audi Activesphere concept will not go into production as it is. However, it outlines the direction that the manufacturer intends to take in the future and inaugurates some interesting promises.
This Activesphere concept is an all-terrain coupe SUV that transforms into a pickup on demand. It is the fourth vehicle in the “Sphere” range, made up of futuristic autonomous and fully electric prototypes from the manufacturer.
In addition to its elegant line developed at the Audi Design Studio in Malibu and based on the features of an SUV 4.98 m long, 2.07 m wide and 1.60 m high, it incorporates a number of technologies which could eventually be found in certain production vehicles, starting with its active tailgate which transforms it into a pick-up.
Indeed, the Activesphere has a motorized partition that deploys from the rear seats to isolate the cabin. At the same time, the rear window slides on the roof, and the tailgate unfolds horizontally to open the load compartment, thus transforming the boot into a dumpster.
At the crossroads between several types of vehicle, the Activesphere can see its ground clearance increase from 208 mm to 248 mm thanks to an active pneumatic suspension. The approach angle of the Audi Activesphere, important in off-road mode, is 18.9°, and the departure angle is 28.1°. For comparison, a Jeep Wrangler offers an approach angle of around 40° and a departure angle of around 36°, but the Activesphere is more road-going, heir to the Audi Allroad of the 2000s.
The other interesting aspect is that it is based on Audi’s PPE (Premium Platform Electric) architecture, integrating an 800 V charging system with an estimated maximum range of over 600 km from a battery of 100 kWh. This powers two electric motors – one for each axle – which provide all-wheel drive and offer a combined power of 436 horsepower (325 kW) and a torque of 720 Nm. Only 25 minutes would be needed to go from 5 to 80% charge.
Beyond its road abilities, the Activesphere is based on a cabin dedicated to autonomous driving with a dashboard, pedals and a steering wheel that retract on demand and on the appropriate road. Mixed reality commands are displayed and thus allow the control of different functions without a physical command. Virtual reality headsets make it possible to view additional personalized content (command prompt, infotainment or multimedia), without obstructing the view of those who are not wearing the headset.
The Activesphere is not intended for production. It is rather, with the Skysphere, Grandsphere and Urbansphere concepts, to show how the German brand envisages the future of the car. And this one looks pretty cool and futuristic…
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