Audi Activesphere Concept Debuts As Coupe-Like Crossover With Truck Bed

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The Audi Activesphere is the latest in a series of concepts from the automaker that showcase the company’s vision of future mobility. The automaker is calling it a “luxury Coupe turned pickup.” Like its predecessor, the Activesphere is packed with technology and ideas that may be years away from coming to fruition, but it does highlight what the high-tech vehicles of the future may be.

The attractive Activesphere design blends the styling of Audi’s Sportback and Allroad models into a versatile SUV-like electric car. The concept featured Audi air suspension with adaptive dampers, which increased the car’s basic ground clearance by 8.1 inches (208 millimeters) to 1.57 inches (40 mm). This coincides with a design feature on the outside where vertical studs and metal strips are attached to help visualize the added height.

The 22-inch wheels are large but also functional. When the vehicle is in off-road mode, the wheel covers open for optimal ventilation, and close when driving on the road to maximize aerodynamics. Glass is a fairly large part of the vehicle. The concept features a glass roof, lower door glass and a glass grille that gives passengers an unobstructed view of the outside through the grooves.

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The rear glass window is also functional, able to move flush with the roof to create a cargo bed capable of carrying e-bikes. Part of the rear fascia was lowered to create a rear door, making it easier to access. The motorized bulkhead opens when using the cargo bed to separate the interior from the elements.

Inside, a rare four-seater cabin is designed for passengers. When the car is in autonomous mode, the dashboard, steering wheel and pedals disappear, but the large soundbar and full-width air vents remain functional. The seats appear to float in the cabin, attached to the center console which has heating and cooling capabilities without your traditional screens and controls.

Audi Activesphere Concept (2023)
Audi Activesphere Concept (2023)

One of the main features of this concept is the augmented reality headset available for the driver and passengers. They allow Audi to place virtual content, such as vehicle control panels, information displays and more, on top of the real world and the cabin. This frees up interior space previously reserved for screens and controls, with Audi placing various functions alongside the hardware that fits inside the glasses. For example, the AC controls hover in front of the air vents while the sound and entertainment panels hover above the speakers.

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Users can view virtual content and activate it if they focus on certain information, interacting with it through gestures. This system provides users with various functions so that they can use it comfortably regardless of their sitting position. The system can also deliver customized content for each passenger, providing the driver with important vehicle information while the passenger selects music and other digital features.

Audi builds on the concept on the Premium Platform Electric architecture co-developed with Porsche. This supports a variety of vehicles and allows Activesphere to have around 100 kilowatts of energy in its battery pack. A dual-motor powertrain setup provides the concept with 242 horsepower (325 kilowatts), 531 pound-feet (720 Newton-meters) of torque, and all-wheel drive.

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