Audi thinks about the future: the concept built for “mega-cities”

Audi unveils the Urbansphere concept for mega-cities like Shanghai and Beijing.

Audi says Urbansphere, its electric concept, was developed with Chinese customers living in the country’s mega-cities – locations with populations of over 10 million people, such as Shanghai and Beijing.

Therefore, the SUV offers the largest interior space of any Audi to date and emphasizes the lounge-like attributes and luxurious accents that make it a wheeled living room or a mobile office during the time spent in traffic.

These features are coupled with advanced self-driving functions. For example, the steering wheel, pedals and conventional dashboard can be hidden when the vehicle is in automatic driving mode.

Audi executives have said they plan to sell consumers a Level 4-compliant vehicle that can take control of the car by 2026.

Urbansphere is one of three concept cars developed by Audi, along with the electric-powered Skysphere roadster, which debuted in August 2021, and Grandsphere, a large luxury sedan with two front-row seats and a rear seat.

The concept, which is based on the Premium Platform Electric platform of the Volkswagen group, has two electric motors that offer a total power of 295 kilowatts (396 hp). The range of the car is up to 750 km, based on WLTP rules.

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Using 800-volt charging technology means that the battery, which has a capacity of over 120 kilowatt-hours, can be charged from 5 to 80% in less than 25 minutes, Audi said.


How are you feeling?

As part of the co-design program developed with Chinese customers, Urbansphere has an adaptive stress reduction program that uses facial scans and voice analysis to determine how passengers feel.

The program can provide personalized suggestions for relaxation, for example, a meditation application can be used through the personal screen and the private sound area in the headrests.

A center console rotates upwards and contains a water dispenser and goggles for the rear seat passengers.

The use of soft beige and gray tones, wood and wool, as well as synthetic materials used in paneling, chair covers and floor mats contribute to a calm and luxurious environment.

The four two-row seats can be pivoted and offer a wide range of adjustment options, including a backrest that can be tilted up to 60 degrees, while the footrests can be extended at the same time.

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A large, transparent OLED screen can pivot vertically from the roof area to the area between the rows of seats, occupying the entire width of the interior.

The vehicle offers eye tracking, gesture, voice and touch options to activate air conditioning and infotainment systems.

The vehicle, 5510 mm long, 2000 meters wide and 1780 mm high, has hinged doors that open wide like a pair of arms to receive passengers inside. It also has a clean roof arch, 24-inch wheels and a simplified wedge shape, defined by a large, flat windshield.

Dynamic lighting

Audi has focused on implementing dynamic lighting effects to signal clearly to other road users. The low beam and high beam are implemented by means of light segments in the outer sections of the vehicle, complemented by a LED surface with a matrix located at the rear.

A digitally created eyebrow also works as a dynamic turn signal, and the illuminated surfaces can be adapted to the traffic situation, the environment or the mood of the passengers.

An additional luxury note is the “digital red carpet” which activates when the doors are open, which is meant to greet vehicle owners inside.

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