Audi Urbansphere completes the future concept EV trifecta

Last August, Audi showed us its Skysphere concept, the expandable, open-topped GT. One month later, the Grandsphere concept glided out, all 17.6 feet of it. With the imminent debut of Audi’s Ubansphere concept, the Ingolstadt brand’s three-sided glimpse into the future of luxury electric, autonomous and connected travel is just about complete. Whereas the digital nomads will continue astride their digital camels, the Urbansphere wants to transport dedicated urbanites through the already unavoidable megalopolis congestion.  

The shaded image gives us Audi A2 vibes, harkening back to the tiny and ahead-of-its-time subcompact minivan released in 1999. Fiddling with the teaser image wouldn’t reveal whether the Urbansphere wears a flat hatchback akin to the A2; even if so, we’d expect the Urbansphere to be quite a bit larger and far more overtly technical. Even though we like the comparison, pairing the two would be a mistake, according to Audi head of brand Henrik Wenders. He’s recent hire who’s been working with design chief Marc Lichte on turning Audi’s future visions into sheetmetal. Despite the minivan-ish appearance, Wenders told Car the Urbanshpere is not a one-box design. Lichte was said to be sticking with familiar and sporty design cues that will here result in “a bodytype that’s never happened with Audi – and it’s damn good looking!” Wenders added, “[From] the inside it’s a completely breakthrough way of designing and thinking about” such a space that, and in a way that has been taken “to the most condensed level.”

With the Auto Beijing canceled this year thanks to continuing covid flare-ups in China, Audi plans to reveal the Urbansphere online on April 19. Rear suicide doors, living-room ambience on command, starship pod ambient lighting, lots of novel, digitally interactive options and many surprises coming your way.

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