Audi’s dramatic Skysphere concept is a fully electric, two-door convertible with lines that point directly to the Audi of tomorrow — one we’re told that’s not just about driving.

The two-door convertible, the first of a family of concepts, illustrates its vision for the progressive luxury segment of the future, in which the interior becomes an interactive space and the vehicle a platform for captivating experiences.

This is made possible thanks to autonomous driving, a revolutionary redesign of the interior and a seamless digital ecosystem.

A rear-mounted electric motor delivers 465kW of power and 750Nm of torque to the rear wheels.

Weighing in at 1800kg and with a 60 per cent rear weight bias, acceleration from 0-100km/h takes just 4.0 seconds.

Skysphere’s battery modules are located primarily behind the cabin, an ideal configuration for the centre of gravity.

Further modules can be found between the seats in the center tunnel — another position chosen because of dynamics.

The battery’s capacity is expected to be more than 80kWh, giving the car a range of more than 500km under the WLTP standard — at least in economical GT mode.

To put this in perspective, the Skysphere concept is designed to offer two distinct driving experiences, a grand touring experience and a sports experience — thanks to a variable wheelbase.

Electric motors and a sophisticated mechanism with body and frame components that slide into each other make it possible to vary the wheelbase itself and the exterior length of the car by 250mm.

At the same time ground clearance is adjusted by 10mm to enhance comfort and driving dynamics.

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With the touch of button, the driver can select to pilot the 4.94 metre e-roadster in “Sports” mode with a reduced wheelbase, while the rear-wheel steering ensures the vehicle remains extremely agile despite its dimensions.

Or they can choose to be chauffeured around in a 5.19-metre GT in autonomous “Grand Touring” mode while enjoying the sky and scenery, maximum legroom and the services offered by a seamlessly integrated digital ecosystem.

In this mode, the steering wheel and pedals move into an invisible area, creating a feeling of space that Audi says opens up completely new realms of possibility for such a sporty convertible.

Skysphere automatically keeps an eye on the road and traffic with its sensor system and drives the occupants safely to their destination.

Similar to how the interior design offers a new, contemporary interpretation of luxury, digitisation and the ecosystem open up unprecedented  levels of freedom and worlds of experience for passengers.

Thanks to Audi’s own services and the ability to integrate digital services, the possibilities are nearly endless.

In addition, the passengers can share their experience on the road with friends via social media, with images of the interior and the surrounding area.

The vehicle also takes care of everyday tasks that go beyond the ride itself.

For example, the autonomous concept picks up its passengers with information about their current destination and independently handles parking and charging.

The Audi Skysphere concept make its debut this week as part of Monterey Car Week- on the legendary fairways of the Pebble Beach golf course in California.

 

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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