Next-generation Audi A8 EV to be very close to Grandsphere concept
The Audi A8 e-tron, a battery-electric full-size luxury sedan due to be launched sometime next year, will reportedly be highly inspired by the Grandsphere concept.
The next-generation all-electric Audi A8 will have a high-performance EV powertrain enabled by the new PPE platform. Boasting a radical new look, it will feature negligible changes compared to the recently unveiled outstanding Grandsphere concept car.
Audi’s design chief, Marc Lichte, described the Grandsphere concept as a “very concrete teaser” for the next-generation A8 electric sedan.
Speaking on the sidelines of the debut of the recently-held Audi Activesphere concept, Lichte said, “The Grandsphere is a very concrete teaser. It's not far away from what will become production. It's not 1:1 but very close."
However, the future Audi A8 electric sedan will most likely be somewhat smaller than the Grandsphere, which measures 5.35 meters (approx. 210.6 inches) in length, with a massive wheelbase of 3.19 meters (125.6 inches). Still, it is notably larger than the long-wheelbase version of the existing A8.
The Grandsphere concept, which was described by the luxury car brand as a private jet for the road, is designed primarily around its capacity for Level-4 autonomous driving, such as the Activesphere, Urbansphere and Skysphere concept cars.
Previously, the automaker had said in a statement that a future production model would be closest to the Grandsphere, out of the four sphere concepts introduced by the brand. Now, Lichte's comments have confirmed that statement.
Fit for autonomous (self-driving) tech, the Grandsphere concept has specifically been designed ‘from the inside out’ in order to offer a lounge-style environment for the driver and other occupants. No human input is reportedly needed to drive the futuristic EV. When the vehicle goes into full self-driving mode, its steering wheel and pedals draw back into the bulkhead.
The new Audi A8 will be part of a new wave of PPE-based electric cars. Built on the innovative platform co-developed by Audi and Porsche, the first vehicle to be launched will be the Audi Q6 e-tron, which is expected to be officially unveiled sometime later this year. It will be followed by electric versions of the Audi A4 and A6 sedans.
The Grandsphere concept has a dual-motor AWD powertrain and a 120-kWh battery capable of delivering a range of over 466 miles (750 kilometers) on a single charge. The setup churns out 530 kilowatts (710 hp) and 708 pound-feet (960 Newton-meters) of torque, which is enough to sprint the vehicle from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in merely 4 seconds.