The Audi skysphere concept will make its public debut on August 13, 2021, as part of Monterey Car Week – on the legendary fairways of the Pebble Beach golf course. This means the vehicle’s unveiling in California is taking place more or less on its home turf. This is because the concept car was conceived and designed at the Audi Design Studio in Malibu, just a stone’s throw away from the Pacific Coast Highway, the legendary coastal road that connects the suburbs of Los Angeles with northern California.
Audi skysphere concept is the name of the electric-powered, two-door convertible whose lines lead directly to the Audi design of tomorrow. With it, the brand is illustrating its vision for the progressive luxury segment of the future, in which the interior becomes an interactive space and the vehicle a platform for captivating experiences. This is being made possible thanks to autonomous driving, a revolutionary redesign of the interior, and a seamless digital ecosystem.
An electric motor positioned on the powered rear axle is responsible for delivering power to the wheels of the Audi skysphere. A total of 465 kilowatts of power and 750 Newton meters of torque have an easy time with the roadster, which only weighs around 1,800 kilograms. The weight distribution of around 60 percent on the powered rear axle results in ample traction and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in just four seconds, if required.
The Audi skysphere’s battery modules are primarily positioned behind the cabin – an ideal configuration for the vehicle’s center of gravity and agility. Further modules can be found between the seats in the center tunnel of the skysphere interior – another position chosen in favor of vehicle dynamics. The battery’s capacity is expected to be more than 80 kWh, giving the car a range of more than 500 kilometers according to the WLTP standard, at least in the economical GT mode.
The vehicle features double wishbone axles in the front and the rear. The upper and lower wishbones are forged or cast from aluminum. Steering takes place via a steer-by-wire system that controls both the front and the rear wheels. Because the system is not mechanically connected to the front axle, the driver can select different steering ratios and steering settings – all at the touch of a button. This allows the steering to be adjusted from extremely direct to comfortable, but also from high self-aligning forces to minimal self-aligning forces, for example when parking. The rear-axle steering and adaptive wheelbase also contribute to the car’s small turning radius.
A long-established Audi chassis technology ensures that the suspension delivers the necessary level of versatility – the latest evolutionary stage of Audi’s adaptive air suspension has been implemented in the concept car and features three independent air chambers to provide a comfortable base suspension. Individual chambers can be deactivated for a more sporty ride with fast acceleration. The result is that the characteristic curve of the spring becomes more progressive, reducing roll and pitch to a minimum. Lowering the body by 10 mm reduces aerodynamic drag – particularly relevant when driving long distances.
The Audi skysphere’s active suspension plays a key role in the versatility of the car’s handling characteristics. When simply coasting along, the individual wheels are selectively raised or lowered to compensate for unevenness and undulations in the road surface – the result of a symbiosis between the navigation system’s digital predictions and the active chassis’ sophisticated control and actuation systems. Mounted on aerodynamically styled 23-inch alloy rims, the 285/30 tires strike a perfect balance between suitability for long-distance trips thanks to minimal rolling resistance and a sporty, active driving style with high longitudinal and lateral acceleration.
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