Skysphere: Audi's self-driving concept car
Skysphere: Audi's self-driving concept car

Audi released details this week of a new concept car called the Skysphere, an autonomous vehicle that can change its shape with the push of a button.

Although this is just a concept at the moment. But let's see the future of business design and engineering. The main advantage of the Skysphere is that it has two driving modes: Grand Touring and Sport.

The difference in the Audi concept is that the appearance of the entire car has changed dramatically. The German company is studying how to build a car that can be used as a large station wagon and as a sports car. But you don't have to compromise between the two.

The Skysphere concept can combine the advantages of both types of vehicles with an adjustable wheelbase.

In Grand Touring mode, the car is 201 inches (5.19 meters) long, while in Sport mode it is shortened by 10 inches (250 mm).

The changes don't stop there. In Grand Touring mode, the steering wheel, pedals and gear knob return to the grooves in the instrument panel. This is intended to provide a fourth level of autonomous driving experience.

This mode allows the driver and passengers to enjoy the surroundings without having to focus on the road.

Sport mode transforms the interior into a more driver-centric environment, bringing the driver's seat and dashboard display closer to the driver for a more connected driving experience.

There is even a small glove compartment above the steering wheel large enough for the driver's gloves. When designing the Skysphere concept, the company was inspired by the classic Horch 853 Roadster.

Inside the car there are 3D-printed daytime running lights and taillights. The rearview mirror is replaced by a camera.

Skysphere: the autonomous car from Audi

The vehicle's grille features a variable illumination that changes according to the driving situation and can become a useful signal to indicate the vehicle's movement to other drivers.

The car is powered by an 80 kW battery and has a range of 500 km. The battery is located behind the driver and front passenger seats.

This car uses rear-wheel drive, which is rare in electric cars. It is powered by a 623 hp (465 kW) engine between the rear wheels, which can accelerate the car from 0 km/h to 100 km/h in four seconds.

The weight of the battery contributes to the traction of the 285 mm wide rear tire, which is supposed to ensure stable acceleration.

Audi has used a new way to design the Skysphere in virtual reality. This is due in part to the coronavirus pandemic, which is forcing designers to work from home.

The company insists that the Skysphere concept, Grand Sphere concept and Urban Sphere, which will debut in the coming months, will define Audi's future. They are all designed as Level 4 self-driving cars with retractable pedals and steering wheels.

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