Audi Skysphere concept unveiled, debut on August 13 at Monterey Car Week
Maybe Audi does want us to believe the Transformers are here. The Audi Skysphere concept that has just been unveiled seems to prove this point. You probably have seen convertibles, but definitely nothing like this! The Audi Skysphere can convert itself into a grand tourer and a luxury sports car, by altering its wheelbase and how the driver interacts with it. Talk about cars with a personality, this one has two!
The Audi Skysphere concept draws inspiration from the Horch 853 roadster of the 1930s, and was designed at the Audi Design Studio in Malibu. We weren’t kidding when we mentioned this car transforms itself, literally. The Audi Skysphere gets a variable wheelbase function which, as the name suggests, allows you to extend the wheelbase and overall length of the car by 250mm with just the touch of a button, while ground clearance can also be adjusted upto 10mm. The Audi Skysphere allows the driver to convert the car into either a grand tourer, or a sportscar via a ‘GT’ mode and ‘Sports’ mode respectively.
The GT mode enables level 4 Autonomous Driving which retracts the steering wheels and pedals from the interiors, allowing the driver and passenger to just relax and take in the environment, and also surf the internet or stream movies via the infotainment system accessible via two touchscreen monitors on the dashboard and the upper area of the centre console. Meanwhile the Sports mode reduces the wheelbase and transforms the interiors of the car into a proper driving cockpit, thus allowing the driver to take charge and enjoy the #ThrillOfDriving.
The Audi Skysphere is a rear-wheel drive electric car, and even in its concept phase, it houses an electric motor placed on the rear axle along with a battery pack which is expected to be of more than a capacity of 80kWh. This electric motor produces 623bhp and 750Nm of torque, and with a rear weight bias of 60 per cent, the Skysphere is capable of hitting 0-100kmph in just 4 seconds. The GT mode is said to be the economical mode and is expected to have a range of 500 kilometers on the WLTP cycle.
The Audi Skysphere measures 5190mm in length when in GT mode, and 4940mm when in Sports mode, while overall width of the car stands at 2000mm.
A steer-by-wire steering system controls both the front and rear wheels, and the driver can adjust the steering settings and steering ratios due to the steering not being mechanically connected to the front axle. The Audi Skysphere also benefits from an adaptive suspension featuring three independent air chambers, and a rear-axle steering.
The Skysphere is the first of three ‘sphere’ concepts, with the Grandsphere slated for an unveiling later this year and the Urbansphere scheduled for a 2022 unveil. The Audi Skysphere concept makes its public debut on August 13 at the Monterey Car Week, where the Honda NSX Type S will also be revealed globally. We are not sure if the Skysphere would ever make a debut in production form, but we can expect future Audis to draw styling inspirations from it. Could a ‘personality’ changing car ever become a reality? Only time can answer this question.
Audi just launched the RS5 Sportback in India at a price tag of Rs 1.04 crore (ex-showroom), and we got a chance to test its limits at the NATRAX Automotive Proving Grounds. To read more about the RS5 Sportback, click here and here. Audi also offers the e-tron in India at a starting price of Rs 99.9 lakh, which you can read about here.