Even though the Beijing Auto Show has been postponed due to rising coronavirus cases, Audi is still revealing its new concept that was supposed to make an appearance in China. Urbansphere follows the stunning Skysphere and Grandsphere from last year and serves as a window into the company’s design language. While the preceding concepts took the shape of a two-seat roadster and a swoopy sedan, the new showcar seems to have a minivan-esque shape.
The Four Rings have been tight-lipped about the Urbansphere, but we do know it’s tailored to “meet the needs of customers in Chinese megacities.” Interestingly, the Ingolstadt-based marque says it has designed the concept car from the interior out as the company’s first car to “reflect the wishes and experiences of Chinese customers.” It’s going to have the roomiest cabin of any Audi model to date, besting the likes of the three-row Q6, an upmarket VW Atlas for the world’s most populous country.
Not that we’re surprised, but Audi mentions the Urbansphere has been imagined with a fully autonomous driving mode. With no steering wheel and pedals to get in the way, the interior is shaping up to be impressively spacious. From what we’ve seen in teaser images so far, the showcar will have suicide doors providing access to a lounge-like cabin with heaps of legroom.
As with the Skysphere and Grandsphere concepts, the new Urbansphere is more than just a fancy concept since design cues will be adopted by production cars in the following years. Being conceived strictly with an electric drivetrain, the third “sphere” concept is going to have a completely flat floor, short overhangs, and a long wheelbase.
The adjacent teasers reveal screens built into the backrests of the front seats, a rising center console for rear passengers, and a wraparound screen/projector serving as the digital instrument cluster and infotainment. Audi has developed the Urbansphere as a four-seater concept with individual rear seating and some of the most sophisticated ambient lighting we’ve ever seen.
It remains to be seen whether the company will refer to its shiny new concept as a minivan or the marketing team has come up with a different term. It’s worth noting the family hauler is still a popular body style in China, so much so there are luxury minivans like the Buick GL8 and Lexus LM. It’ll be interesting to find out if Audi has plans to join the premium MPV game.
The livestream starts at 11 AM GMT.