Many car designers face the problem of how should they make their car look – whether to make it look compact and sporty or spacious and luxurious? Audi’s concept car “Skysphere” just puts an end to such conundrums. Audi revealed the first out of its three concept cars at Monterey, California. This car resolves the problem with a with a shape-shifting design that offers two distinct driving experiences – the “Sports Mode” and the “Grand Touring” mode.
“Designed to be a high-class experience. Shaped to redefine future premium mobility.”, Audi Tweeted.
The wheelbase of the SkySphere may be changed by approximately 10 inches. Engineers created a system that includes of body and frame components that slide into each other to provide the driver the choice of driving a car with a short or long wheelbase. Selecting the Sport driving mode locks in the short wheelbase and makes use of the rear-wheel steering system to provide quick, agile handling. When in Grand Touring mode, the distance between the axles is increased, allowing for more room for the passengers. When this configuration is selected, the steering wheel and pedals vanish into the dashboard while the automobile is driven by Level 4 artificial intelligence.
When in Sports mode, the car measures 4.94 meters and sits 10mm lower to the ground, but when the user no longer wants to drive, the vehicle changes into a 5.19m autonomous vehicle with the push of a button.
The pedals and steering wheel fold away in this ‘Grand Touring’ mode, and the cabin transforms into something resembling a lounge, replete with a perfectly connected digital environment. The car also informs its occupants about their destination and manages parking and charging effortlessly.
As a future driverless roadster, an electric engine is a given, and this comes in the shape of a rear-mounted electric motor that generates 465kW and 750Nm, allowing the open top car – which weighs just 1800kg – to sprint from 0-100km/h in under four seconds.
The placement of the majority of the batteries behind the cabin also allowed for a weight distribution of about 60% on the powered rear axle, resulting in a more engaging and nimble driving experience. This is further helped by a highly adjustable drive-by-wire front and rear-wheel steering system, while customizable air suspension guarantees occupant comfort.
The inside is equally as futuristic as the outside, with displays and touch-sensitive surfaces dominating, yet it doesn’t appear out of reach. This is the direction in which the automobile industry is heading: more technology, more entertainment, and more connection.
To control the car and infotainment systems, large touch monitor surfaces – 1415 mm wide, 180 mm high – on the dashboard and in the top part of the center console are employed. They can be used to display material from the Internet, video conferences, or streaming movies during the grand touring mode. The air conditioning is controlled by little touch panels in the doors.
Even while the car is in motion, a high-grade sound system – appropriate of this luxury convertible – provides music hall audio quality. The speakers are concealed behind the door panels, with a couple more in the back internal wall producing surround sound.
Summing it up, the “Skysphere” is an epitome of modern engineering as well as futuristic technology and design. This will be an exemplary model in the world of automobile technology.
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