3 Cool Features From The Audi Urbansphere Concept That We Wish Make It To Production

Modified On Apr 20, 2022 06:17 PM By Sonny

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The futuristic luxury MPV design replaces the grille with an LED screen

Audi unveiled the third instalment of its recent series of Sphere EV concepts, the Urbansphere. Built as a luxury MPV that offers the most cabin space of any Audi model till date, it caters to the demand of the Chinese market where the roads suffer from severe traffic congestion. The idea being to make even the long traffic commutes comfortable and productive in a lounge-like cabin. While the Urbansphere concept is packed with lots of futuristic tech, there are some features that seemed quite practical and not as far-fetched in their real-world implementation:

Audi Light Canvas

The Singleframe panel of the Audi EV in place of the regular grille now houses a digital light surface for a three-dimensional and condensed pixel area. The top and bottom edges are metal and the canvas spreads the width of the front end. The vertical connections of the Singleframe design are formed by the LEDs. The surface can be used for other illuminations such as turn indicators and dynamic lighting effects to signal information to other road users that could improve road safety. There is a similar Light Canvas on the tailgate of the Urbansphere spread across the tailgate. The Urbansphere still gets headlights and taillights as well for the primary function of illumination.

Some of the lighting signals demonstrated on the concept are:

  • Two red ‘X’ marks to indicate a warning signal

  • A ribbon of blue light rising upwards at varying speeds to signal the car’s acceleration

  • A wave of green moving horizontally across the panel to indicate that it is charging

There are numerous other dynamic light sequences possible with some degree of customisation as well.

Deployable Rear Centre Console

The console between the rear seats sits low and close to the EV’s flat-bottom floor. But it is designed to rise upwards, in sections, and also features a beautifully integrated water dispenser. The bottom section houses four elegant cups that are magnetically held in place. Since the cabin uses a variety of eco-friendly materials, the wooden finish for the top of the console adds to the cabin’s homely aesthetic.

Sliding Headrests

The headrests on the seats of the Urbansphere concept feature a wide, curved design. More importantly, they can slide on a horizontal axis to act as privacy screens for the occupants. They can slide in either direction to censor either the passenger next to them, or the outside world. These headrests are also fitted with speakers for an immersive audio experience. While motorised in the concept EV, these would be quite handy even if they were manually adjustable.

A brief technical rundown

The Urbansphere concept represents a luxurious mode of transport using Level 4 autonomous driving technology. Hence, the driving controls can retract out of view and the seats can swivel 360 degrees. It is based on Audi’s dedicated EV platform called Premium Platform Electric (PPE). The concept EV has a battery capacity of over 120kWh which is good for 750km under WLTP conditions. Its dual motor drive has a peak performance rating of 401PS and 690Nm. The Urbansphere can be fast charged with up to 270kW for a five to eighty percent top-up in under 25 minutes.

While such an advanced model is not expected to make it to production anytime soon, a luxurious MPV based on the Urbansphere concept could surface soon.

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