An electric grand tourer to travel open-air in the future. Audi has unveiled in Monterey the Skysphere, a GT convertible concept car that anticipates the stylistic canons that the German manufacturer will adopt for its models of tomorrow. The Skysphere is the first of a family of concept cars that will arrive in the coming months: the Grandsphere will be presented at the Munich Motor Show and the Urbansphere will see the light in 2022. The Skysphere was designed completely virtually at the Audi Design Studio in Malibu headed by Gael Buzyn, while the physical model was built at the Ingolstadt headquarters.

“New technologies have enabled us to create a unique model between electrification, digitization and autonomous driving,” Buzyn says. Depending on the driving mode selected, the Skysphere completely changes character and physiognomy. “In GT Mode, the driving is autonomous. The steering wheel disappears from the dashboard and the car stretches 250 millimeters, allowing maximum wheelbase for a relaxed ride.” In this mode, the car is 5.19 meters long. In Sport, the Skysphere is able to shorten to a length of 4.9 meters, while the steering wheel and pedals return to their original place. “This is the mode designed to achieve maximum driving pleasure also thanks to the total system power of 465 kW and 750 Nm of torque.”

In the Skysphere’s floorpan is the 80 kWh battery pack that allows a claimed range of 500 kilometers. The design of the exterior is characterized by an elegant body thanks to soft overall volumes but defined by a few sharp lines. At the center of the front stands the large full octagonal grille, a reinterpretation of the famous Audi single frame, while the headlights are positioned at the top in its most extreme part. The functional openings for cooling the technical elements are confined to the lower part of the front. If the side is tapered and gives the right proportions to the entire model, the element that gives character to the rear is the line of LEDs with three-dimensional effect that crosses the Skysphere for its entire width.

“The interior is designed around the driver and passengers.” In autonomous mode, the cabin is an open space, the main element being the large full-width panel (1,415 mm) that displays the car’s multimedia functions. Passengers sit in two large seats and enjoy the ride surrounded by premium materials that create a luxurious, modern ambience. “At the touch of a button located in the middle of the center console, the Skysphere can be transformed from a luxury flagship to a high-performance sports car. We managed to design two cars in one,” concludes Gael Buzyn.