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Open the door to a first-class experience with the Audi grandsphere concept¹

With the Audi grandsphere concept¹, the brand with the Four Rings is unveiling its vision of progressive luxury for first-class travel, including an interior offering new experiences.

09/20/2021 Text: AUDI AG - Foto: AUDI AG Reading Time: 8 min

¹The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle.

¹The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle.

The Audi grandsphere concept with open doors.
The new Audi grandsphere concept² embodies the Four Rings’ vision of how tomorrow’s car will take the form of a spacious lounge offering new experiences.

²The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle. The automated driving functions shown are technologies currently under development, are not available for production vehicles and only work within system limits. All possible uses of the technical systems and functions shown represent only a possible concept and are dependent on the respective legal regulations in the relevant country.

²The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle. The automated driving functions shown are technologies currently under development, are not available for production vehicles and only work within system limits. All possible uses of the technical systems and functions shown represent only a possible concept and are dependent on the respective legal regulations in the relevant country.

To open your mind to the Four Rings’ vision of mobility that inspired the new Audi grandsphere concept², you need to play a little game of make believe. Imagine yourself in a time, probably the not too distant future, when vehicles will operate autonomously² on demand. Now imagine what possibilities that unlocks for the occupants.

 

The second of three “sphere” concept vehicles, the fully electric Audi grandsphere² is all about the traditional cockpit’s transformation into a spacious lounge. Whenever the Audi grandsphere² switches to autonomous driving mode² and the steering wheel and pedals retract, all the passengers can choose how to experience their new-found freedom on board - using it to communicate, relax, work or enjoy quiet me-time. As such, the Audi grandsphere² is a natural progression of the “experience device” approach the carmaker initiated with the Audi skysphere² concept.

All the comforts of first class

Unsurprisingly, the design of the Audi grandsphere² focuses on the interior - the passenger compartment - which no longer takes a back seat to technical requirements. Instead, the space, architecture and functions take their cue from the occupants’ needs. Since the doors of the Audi grandsphere² open in opposite directions and there is no B-pillar, the passengers are given an expansive welcome into the full sweep of the interior.

²The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle. The automated driving functions shown are technologies currently under development, are not available for production vehicles and only work within system limits. All possible uses of the technical systems and functions shown represent only a possible concept and are dependent on the respective legal regulations in the relevant country.

²The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle. The automated driving functions shown are technologies currently under development, are not available for production vehicles and only work within system limits. All possible uses of the technical systems and functions shown represent only a possible concept and are dependent on the respective legal regulations in the relevant country.

A view inside the Audi grandsphere.
Doors that open in opposite directions welcome passengers into the full sweep of the Audi grandsphere² interior, which looks like a spacious lounge. In autonomous driving mode, the steering wheel and pedals retract behind covers.

²The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle. The automated driving functions shown are technologies currently under development, are not available for production vehicles and only work within system limits. All possible uses of the technical systems and functions shown represent only a possible concept and are dependent on the respective legal regulations in the relevant country.

²The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle. The automated driving functions shown are technologies currently under development, are not available for production vehicles and only work within system limits. All possible uses of the technical systems and functions shown represent only a possible concept and are dependent on the respective legal regulations in the relevant country.

The shift from driving zone to comfort zone is radical. When set to autonomous driving mode², the steering wheel and pedals disappear. Since the front seats of the 2+2 sedan are then no longer driver-oriented, occupants enjoy a generously proportioned space on a scale previously only available in the rear of similar sedans. Instead, it’s now the two front seats that are designed for first-class comfort and space. Their positioning is optimised depending on their function. When in the upright position, they provide a comfy, ergonomic seat for the driver to operate the Audi grandspher² via the steering wheel and pedals as usual.

 

Once the occupants hand over control to the automated system², the backrest can be reclined by as much as 60 degrees, creating a comfortable resting position. Thanks to outlets and loudspeakers integrated into the backrest, the occupants can enjoy filtered, temperature-controlled, even scented air as well as a private sound zone that’s inaudible to other passengers.

²The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle. The automated driving functions shown are technologies currently under development, are not available for production vehicles and only work within system limits. All possible uses of the technical systems and functions shown represent only a possible concept and are dependent on the respective legal regulations in the relevant country.

²The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle. The automated driving functions shown are technologies currently under development, are not available for production vehicles and only work within system limits. All possible uses of the technical systems and functions shown represent only a possible concept and are dependent on the respective legal regulations in the relevant country.

In the Audi grandsphere¹, the two front seats are designed for first-class comfort and space to match.

   

¹The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle.

¹The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle.

New interior experiences

To complement the interior’s superior levels of personalised comfort, the Audi grandsphere² boasts digital amenities that ensure time on board can be spent in a highly efficient and relaxing way. Even before passengers take their seats, the Audi grandsphere² uses gait recognition to identify the occupants and welcomes them with personalised displays and ambient light. Each occupant’s seat position and various other unique comfort features are automatically set and activated.

 

Thanks to dedicated Audi services and integrated digital ones, everyday tasks aside from driving are handled in the background. With information about their current destination already programmed in, for instance, the autonomous² Audi grandsphere² picks up its passengers and independently handles parking and recharging. In similar style, the infotainment system accesses passengers’ most recently used services - e.g. on a connected smartphone - and smoothly resumes them inside the car.

 

What’s more, existing connections to music and video providers are seamlessly imported from a mobile to the newly designed experience device. If, say, the passengers were streaming a video on a tablet before getting into the car, this automatically continues playing on the right-hand display surface in the Audi grandsphere². The projection surface on the driver’s side likewise displays the messages the person was reading before getting in. By increasingly combining individuals’ lifestyles with mobility, Audi is defining tomorrow’s progressive luxury. Part of that is a complete absence from the Audi grandsphere² of both screens and traditional round instruments. Instead, occupants can enjoy the calming influence of minimalist wooden surfaces that surround them. As a result, doing a digital detox while traveling in a highly digitalised vehicle is by no means a contradiction in terms. Rather, it’s a testimony to greater personal freedom.

²The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle. The automated driving functions shown are technologies currently under development, are not available for production vehicles and only work within system limits. All possible uses of the technical systems and functions shown represent only a possible concept and are dependent on the respective legal regulations in the relevant country.

²The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle. The automated driving functions shown are technologies currently under development, are not available for production vehicles and only work within system limits. All possible uses of the technical systems and functions shown represent only a possible concept and are dependent on the respective legal regulations in the relevant country.

Passengers in the Audi grandsphere.
Once the driver assumes control from autonomous driving mode², the seat slides forward and the steering wheel reappears within reach from under the cover.

²The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle. The automated driving functions shown are technologies currently under development, are not available for production vehicles and only work within system limits. All possible uses of the technical systems and functions shown represent only a possible concept and are dependent on the respective legal regulations in the relevant country.

²The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle. The automated driving functions shown are technologies currently under development, are not available for production vehicles and only work within system limits. All possible uses of the technical systems and functions shown represent only a possible concept and are dependent on the respective legal regulations in the relevant country.

Intuitive operation at its most progressive

Displays are projected onto these wooden surfaces only when activated by a finger gesture, for example. Depending on the driving mode - manual or autonomous² - they are either distributed across the entire width of the interior or segmented for the driver and front-seat passenger. When the Audi grandsphere² is in autonomous driving mode², the projection surfaces can serve as screens for infotainment content or video conferencing. In addition, a sensor bar integrated under the projection surfaces allows for rapid switching between content, such as alternating between music and navigation. It shows all the functions and applications that are active in the car. Icons light up for each of the various menus.

 

The MMI touchless response is located on the interior cladding, near the door cutout. Whenever the driver takes control of the car and is seated close behind the steering wheel, they can use that system’s rotary ring and buttons to select various function menus. In autonomous mode² with the front seats pushed back, a combination of eye tracking and gesture control is used.

 

By following the line of sight, a sensor directed at the eye can determine when to engage the control unit. Without leaning forward or touching anything, passengers can operate the system just by using hand gestures. Whatever the operation mode - whether eye tracking, gesture or voice control, handwritten input or touch - the Audi grandsphere concept² adapts to the user, learning their preferences and frequently used menus. That means the car is capable of not only completing rudimentary commands but also offering personalised suggestions.

²The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle. The automated driving functions shown are technologies currently under development, are not available for production vehicles and only work within system limits. All possible uses of the technical systems and functions shown represent only a possible concept and are dependent on the respective legal regulations in the relevant country.

²The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle. The automated driving functions shown are technologies currently under development, are not available for production vehicles and only work within system limits. All possible uses of the technical systems and functions shown represent only a possible concept and are dependent on the respective legal regulations in the relevant country.

Future perfect: The Audi grandsphere¹ encapsulates the Four Rings’ design vision for digital transformation.

  

¹The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle.

¹The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle.

The Audi grandsphere viewed from the front.
Located behind a transparent covering, the brand’s signature Audi Singleframe is illuminated from within.

The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle.

The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle.

The design of a new era

The Audi grandsphere concept¹ also offers a glimpse of a new interpretation of the Audi brand look. Located behind a transparent covering, the signature Audi Singleframe takes the form of a flat hexagon whose interior surfaces are indirectly illuminated from above when driving. This creates a striking, highly sculptural effect. Sitting on top of the Singleframe, the headlight units reference the brand logo with its four rings. By enlarging and isolating the intersecting area between two of the four Audi rings, a pupil emerges and with it a new, distinctive digital light signature. Depending on the traffic situation, the size of the headlights can be adjusted for use as either daytime running lights. Another trademark trait of the Audi lighting design is the use of the same graphic in the taillights.

¹The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle.

¹The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle.

The rear of the Audi grandsphere concept¹.
With its roofline’s dynamically sloping arc, the Audi grandsphere¹ follows in Audi Sportback tradition.

¹The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle.

¹The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle.

Explore the future with Audi

Explore the future with Audi

Shaping tomorrow’s world is an expression of the Four Rings’ mindset. Nowhere is this more tangible than in the brand’s studies and concept vehicles¹. It’s here that Audi captures the fascination and excitement surrounding the mobility of the future.

Learn more

¹The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle.

¹The vehicle shown is a concept vehicle that is not available as a production vehicle.

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