Audi’s Grandsphere concept is a boat for the EV era

Image for article titled The Audi Grandsphere Concept EV Can Be Boat, Too

image: Audi

On Thursday, Audi revealed the GrandSphere: a four-door EV concept that the brand describes as “a private jet for the road,” which it plans to bring to the IAA show in Munich next week. As you can see, it’s obscenely massive.

At 17.6 feet tall, the Grandsphere is only a foot shorter in length than the Chevy Suburban, and an equally wide 6.6 feet. It also boasts a Fastback-esque profile, and is built around the idea of ​​level 4 autonomy. It is, quite simply, a jumble of contradictions.

Image for article titled The Audi Grandsphere Concept EV Can Be Boat, Too

image: Audi

The interior, Audi says, is the heart of the grandsphere. “The drive system and handling in this new generation of cars are no longer at the top of design specifications,” Press release reads. “Instead, the starting point is the interior, the occupants’ experience area when living and traveling.”

Image for article titled The Audi Grandsphere Concept EV Can Be Boat, Too

image: Audi

This explains why you won’t see the steering wheel in some of these renderings; When it is not needed it is hidden behind a panel in the dashboard. The rear passenger doors are mounted at the rear; They also look fuzzy about half the size of the front doors, which are ridiculously tall. There is a potted plant inside, because we will all have the same plant inside our cars in the future. There’s also a lot of wood and light-toned fabrics. With the warmth of the best demo rooms in Ikea, it looks like a pleasant place. Well, mostly for the front seat passengers, as the rear ones tend to share a flat-ass bench seat.

Image for article titled The Audi Grandsphere Concept EV Can Be Boat, Too

image: Audi

Indeed, Audi says the grandsphere is shaped by the feel inside—which isn’t really meant for driving, as you won’t be doing that most of the time. Everything beyond that, we’re told, is secondary. If that’s the case, I would wonder why the exterior looks like this. If maximum space and comfort are the objective, why have an absurdly long rear overhang when the roof can continue all the way to the rear? Hell – if it’s an EV, why is there so much room for the hood?

Image for article titled The Audi Grandsphere Concept EV Can Be Boat, Too

image: Audi

EVs could Be huge boxes on wheels, especially if they are intended to be autonomous robotaxis or whatever. But this has historically not quelled public hesitation. And so I think Audi is on this mission to prove that EVs can be just as irrational as American coupes from the mid to late 20th century. Who’s going to lust after EV that makes sense?

Of course Audi is far from the only culprit here, and we’ve seen this behavior on more common production cars as well. like Kia EV6, a completely unimpressive looking crossover that will apparently be Accelerate to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds In GT trim. It doesn’t have to, but if it didn’t, far fewer people would be talking about it.

Audi says the GrandSphere is built on its premium platform electric architecture, which gives it 120 kWh battery capacity, 800-volt charging, and a range of 466 miles. In theory, anyway, because concepts like this are all about the theoretical. The specs don’t really matter, and the fact that it doesn’t make sense at all makes sense in the world.

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