This is the new Audi Grand Sphere, an electric concept car that previews a new A8-sized Audi luxury EV. Read on for full details.
- New Audi Grand Sphere revealed
- Previews A8-sized electric car
- Ultra-futuristic interior
- Eye-tracking infotainment tech
- 120kWh battery
- 270kW charging function
- 470 miles of range
- Dual motors producing 720hp
- 0-60mph in four seconds
- Level 4 self-driving systems
- Previews upcoming production car
This is the new Audi Grand Sphere – it’s a radical concept car that’s packed with the latest infotainment and self-driving technology.
This car won’t actually go into production, but it shows you what Audi’s forthcoming replacement for the A8 saloon and an alternative to the Mercedes EQS could look like when it arrives in 2025.
Audi Grand Sphere design
As you’d expect, that front grille doesn’t serve to cool down a hot engine but an Audi without a big, shiny mouth would look a bit strange. Instead, it houses the necessary sensors for the car’s autonomous driving systems. More on them in a bit…
The new Grand Sphere looks even wilder at the back. The slim brake lights, sloping rear roofline, and fin-like rear pillars have nothing in common with today’s A8.
Audi Grand Sphere interior
The Audi Grand Sphere concept is kitted out with level 4 autonomous driving tech, meaning it can drive itself in most situations. And Audi has thought of ways to take advantage of this when you step inside.
It can retract the steering wheel and pedals and hide them behind the dashboard when it’s in autonomous mode to give you more room to stretch out.
It’s unlikely that this self-driving tech will be ready by 2025, but a road-going car inspired by the Grand Sphere will still have some of the most advanced driver-assistance systems available.
While the front doors open normally, the rear doors open backward with no pillar in the middle. This gives you a huge, unobstructed opening to step through when you get in.
Look closely at the side widows and you’ll see each one has two separate bits of glass connected by a chrome strip.
This makes it look as though the car has really small, sleek windows from the outside, but the extra bit of glass lets in more light to make sure the interior still feels nice and airy.
Most luxury cars have a few mod-cons for a chauffeur in the front, but they save all the ultra-plush features for the boss sitting in the back. The Grand Sphere is a bit different. After all, this car can drive itself, so you don’t need a chauffeur.
There’s even a drinks cooler built into the centre console and a houseplant between the front seats. Probably to balance your feng shui – or something…
Audi Grand Sphere infotainment
Audi has done away with screens for the Grand Sphere, they’re so 21st century after all… Instead, there are projectors that turn the wooden dashboard into a huge widescreen display. That’s not all – you control it using your eyes instead of an ‘old-fashioned’ touchscreen.
The Grandsphere has built-in eye tracking and hand tracking, so you can control all the car’s features without touching a single button. A bit like Tom Cruise in Minority Report.
Even cooler are the climate controls. They use gesture control so you just twist your hand around near the dial and it uses a motor to turn it automatically like you’re a Jedi using the force.
Audi Grand Sphere range and performance
The Audi Grand Sphere comes with a massive 120kWh battery – that’s even bigger than the huge 108kWh battery you get in a top-spec Mercedes EQS. Audi reckons it gives the Grand Sphere almost 470 miles of range – that’s about 20 miles more than the EQS can manage.
Audi has fitted the Grand Sphere with 2 electric motors. These give it four-wheel drive and produce a whopping 720hp and a 960Nm of torque. That’s about 75hp and 130Nm more than you get in an RS e-tron GT.
As a result, it’ll do 0-60mph in around 4 seconds. That’s quick enough to spill your champagne, but it is a few tenths slower than the 571hp Audi S8 that manages the 0-60mph sprint in 3.8 seconds.
The Grand Sphere also comes with rear-wheel steering – just like the Mercedes EQS – so it should be fairly easy to park. Well, for a car that’s more than 5.3 meters long, anyway…
Audi Grand Sphere charging
Audi has given the Grand Sphere its latest 800V electrical system that’s compatible with 270kW public fast-chargers – just like the e-tron GT.
This means you can recharge the Grand Sphere from 5% to 80% full in less than 25 minutes and boost its range by almost 190 miles in just 10 minutes.