Audi Activesphere EV: Is It a Coupe or Truck?
Audi has finally released images of its Activesphere EV concept car. It shows Audi’s design direction for future EVs. While looking like a lifted, off-road four-door coupe, it can also carry items normally reserved for pickup trucks. So is Audi signaling that its future models will be more like a pickup? Let’s take a look.
Is the Activesphere EV also meant for off-road?
In some ways, this coupe/pickup concept replaces vehicles in Audi’s lineup like the Allroad and Sportback, but with more space and versatility. And while it is clearly a car, it more than hints at off-road chops with the aggressive tires and abundance of cladding, which you need in the wild. The lift can also adjust through the use of adaptive air suspension, giving almost 10 inches of clearance.
The off-road intentions become even clearer when you see that the lower doors above the cladding have windows to better see the brush and terrain along your path. The wrapping windshield offers a similar vision. But the big feature is the sliding rear glass transforming the rear of the Activesphere into a pickup truck.
Audi helps you visualize the pickup bed’s size by showing two e-bikes and gear. And the roof itself has a built-in ski rack. In all, the sweeping expanse of glass runs from the windshield to the tailgate.
Where are the Activesphere screens?
Inside, the first thing you notice is the lack of screens. The floating dash can be adjusted or dropped away from the driver for autonomous mode. Activesphere’s steering wheel and pedals also disappear with the dash. The head-up display handles the speed and other readouts. Once the dash has disappeared you can see forward up to and through the grille.
But in what could be Activesphere’s best feature is hidden. Inside the roof are four mixed-reality glasses. Called Audi Dimensions, there are 3D graphics giving information based on where you look, touch, or gesture. For instance, looking at the audio head energizes audio information in your headset.
The same happens when looking at the vents, climate functions pop up allowing you to monitor and/or control those functions. Moving outside of the Activesphere while continuing to wear the headsets, Audi says it allows for augmented reality for the environment you’re in.
How much power does it have?
The rest of the package is pretty similar to Audi’s earlier Skysphere, Grandsphere, and Urbansphere concepts. Featuring the PPE platform, its dimensions are almost identical to the next A6 e-tron expected later this year. Two electric motors give the Activesphere 436 hp and 531 lb-ft of torque.
The 800-volt batteries are located in the belly of the frame, providing 100 kWh for over 375 miles of range. Audi says it can charge from five percent to 80 percent in less than 25 minutes. We should be seeing the first PPE platform EV soon, which the company will expand upon from here on out. And while we probably won’t see this concept car turn into a production model, we’d like to see Audi incorporate its coupe/pickup design into reality.