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Audi Skysphere Concept Transforms From Grand Tourer to Roadster at the Touch of a Button

Electric vehicles have never looked so sleek. Audi has teased the new Skysphere Concept, a rear-wheel-drive electric convertible that has the ability to transform from a grand tourer to a roadster at the touch of a button. The new concept is set to be unleashed at Pebble Beach golf course in California on August 13, marking the first of three new concepts the German icon has planned. According to Audi, the future is arriving sooner than we may have thought.

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The latest evolution in Audi’s quest for futuristic design and performance, the new Skysphere Concept toys with the long, low hood and rear-set cabin aesthetic that has intrigued car fans for decades. But this time around, there is one major difference. Audi has confirmed that at the press of a virtual button and via the aid of electric motors and telescoping structural elements, the Skysphere’s entire front end can extend or contract. This essentially means the car can transform from an autonomous, long-wheelbase, stable grand tourer to a 9.8-inch-shorter and 0.4-inch-lower driver-centric roadster.

Remarkably, even the interior undergoes a transformation. Inside, the steering wheel and pedals extend from the bulkhead, while the passenger seat moves rearward, allowing the driver’s portion of the dash to move forward and serve as an instrument panel.

“Large touch monitor surfaces – 1415 mm wide, 180 mm high – on the dashboard and in the upper area of the centre console are used to operate the vehicle and infotainment systems,” Audi explained. “In Grand Touring mode, this can be used to display content from the Internet, video conferences, or streamed movies. Small touch panels in the doors are used to operate the air conditioning.”

 

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Responsible for the new futuristic design are Gael Buzyn and the team at the Audi Design Studio in Malibu. Reportedly drawing inspiration from the 1931 Horch 853, Buzyn placed emphasis not only on the outside, but what was under the hood as well. The initial reports suggest the electric motor will push out 623 horsepower with 553 pound-feet of torque all drawn from a lithium-ion battery pack. According to Audi, the vehicle can go from 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds.

Underpinning the entire announcement is the speculation that Audi is working on revolutionary autonomous driving technology. The Skysphere sets the tone for a ne breed of vehicle that has the ability to fully self-drive without any need for human intervention within limited, predetermined environments or conditions. It might still a fair way away, but that isn’t stopping Audi fans from licking their lips.

The unveiling of the Audi Skysphere has come out of the blue, it does whet the appetite of fans moving forward. Two further concepts, the Grandsphere and the Urbansphere are set to debut later in 2021 and 2022, respectively helping to realise Audi’s all-autonomous future. With out-of-this-world design and performance to match, it’s looking bright.

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About the author

About the author
DIGITAL EDITOR

Nick Hall

Nick Hall is the Digital Editor of Man of Many and an accomplished journalist. He completed a Bachelor of Creative Industries at the Queensland University of Technology, with a double major in Journalism and Music. Prior to working at Man of Many, Nick spent two years as a journalist with Inside Franchise Business, focusing on small business, finance and legal reporting. In 2021, Nick was named B&T's Best of the Best Journalist of the Year. With an extensive background in the media industry, Nick specialises in feature writing, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment content. A qualified barber and men's stylist, Nick also holds a Cert III in Barbering from the Queensland Hairdressing Academy.