Ingolstadt – Audi describes its new Activesphere concept as a four-door crossover coupé with an “astonishingly versatile” body design, but what really impresses us is the cabin tech.
This is the fourth and final model in the “Sphere” series of concept vehicles, which included the Skysphere, Grandsphere and Urbansphere design studies, all revealed in the past two years.
With its raised ride height, 22-inch wheels and sleek coupé-inspired crossover body, the Activeshere concept looks like its ready to tackle a stage of the Dakar Rally, but, in reality, it’s far more of a luxury car made for active lifestyles.
The rear section of the vehicle can turn into an open cargo bed at the touch of a button, for carrying recreational equipment, including e-bikes.
The concept can be driven in the traditional sense by a driver, and can operate autonomously. In the latter case, occupants can make the most of an innovative new operating concept that combines the physical and virtual worlds by displaying digital content in the occupants’ fields of vision in real-time.
The car is equipped with high-tech headsets that provide a view of the real environment and the route, while simultaneously displaying 3D content and interactive elements, which are individually configurable for drivers and passengers. Take a closer look in the video below:
Mixed reality optics gives users the ability to interact precisely with the real, yet invisible, touch-sensitive zones, as the headsets display and carry out functions by reacting in real-time when users touch them.
“There’s no doubt about it: in the future, mixed reality will take the possibilities of AR head-up displays to a whole new level in terms of flexibility, precision and displayable content,” Audi says.
“The Activesphere concept is the first to use a pioneering generation of this technology, which, in turn, adds the dimension of interaction to the dimension of superimposed real and digital worlds.”
The Audi Activesphere concept is powered by two electric motors – one on each axle – that collectively produce 325kW and 720Nm. Thanks to its 800-volt charging technology, which will feature in future Audi’s using the new PPE platform, the battery can be charged with enough juice for 300km in just 10 minutes at a 270kW fast-charging station.
Audi claims a range of just under 600km between charges, when the battery is fully charged.
A variable electronic all-wheel drive keeps things under control on a wide variety of surfaces and when the going gets tough, the ground clearance can also be adjusted by a maximum of 40mm, raising the ride height to as much as 248mm.