Audi introduces Grandsphere concept car as ‘private jet for the road’

Audi GrandSphere Concept

Audi

Audi is touting its latest Grandsphere concept car as the “private jet for the road.” While the vehicle cannot fly, the German automaker said it designed the electric car with such luxury personal travel in mind.

Specifically, the vehicle’s interior has been designed to be able to transform into a “first-class lounge” when the car is in self-driving mode, which includes a steering column that allows both the driver and the front passenger. For more space stays away.

According to concept car company officials, the Volkswagen-owned brand believes what it can achieve, as it stands for electric and autonomous vehicles. Audi plans to offer EVs exclusively by 2033, after the last of its new vehicles with a gas-powered engine were introduced in 2026.

Audi GrandSphere Concept

Audi

“This is the future of Audi,” Hildegard Wortmann, Audi’s head of sales and marketing, said during the car’s online unveiling on Thursday. “We are at the beginning of a new era of mobility.”

To be clear, none of the vehicles being sold today are self-driving. All current driver-assistance systems still require attention from drivers, but the Audi concept is designed to operate autonomously without driver supervision.

The Grandsphere is the second of three such concept vehicles. The first, called the SkySphere, was unveiled last month as a performance roadster that blended technologies like the Batmobile with aggressive design and luxury features.

Audi GrandSphere Concept

Audi

While both cars share some exterior design features, the Grandsphere is less sinister looking and features a cleaner and more luxurious interior, which was a main focus for Audi with the car.

“It’s not just about driving anymore,” Audi chief Heinrich Wenders said during the car’s unveiling. “Thanks to digitalization, it’s all about experiences – personalized, immersive and completely human-centered.”

Possibly the most surprising thing about the vehicle is that there are no clear screens in the cabin in self-driving mode. Instead, everything that would normally be communicated through an infotainment system and projected onto the vehicle’s wooden instrument panel under the windshield, including films.

Audi GrandSphere Concept

Audi

While some of the vehicle’s debut included computer-generated images, an Audi spokesperson said the vehicle is genuine. It will be showcased at the Munich Motor Show next week.

According to Audi, the word “Sphere” in the concept cars’ names signifies the vehicles’ interior space for drivers and passengers. The third concept, called UrbanSphere, is to be unveiled in the first half of 2022.

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