News Business & Policy Audi's Grandsphere Concept Offers a Glimpse Into the Future of EVs The Grandsphere is a large, luxurious electric sedan packed with tech features. By Marc Carter Marc Carter Twitter Writer University of California, Santa Barbara Marc Carter is an EV writer and editor based in Los Angeles. He is the founder of The Torque Report; his work has also appeared on Discovery Channel, iMotorTimes, Inhabitat, and more. Learn about our editorial process Updated September 3, 2021 04:55PM EDT Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checked by Haley Mast LinkedIn Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a freelance writer, fact-checker, and small organic farmer in the Columbia River Gorge. She enjoys gardening, reporting on environmental topics, and spending her time outside snowboarding or foraging. Topics of expertise and interest include agriculture, conservation, ecology, and climate science. Learn about our fact checking process Share Twitter Pinterest Email Audi News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive Audi will soon switch its lineup to fully electric vehicles by the early 2030s. It recently announced that it will end development of new internal combustion engine models by the end of 2026. This means that by the end of the decade, Audi’s lineup will look and feel entirely different with electric powertrains. While we’ll have to wait a bit to see how Audi changes things up, it has unveiled the new Grandsphere concept, which is a preview of a large, luxurious electric sedan packed with new tech features. “The Audi Grandsphere concept illustrates the brand’s claim that it is becoming a trendsetter at the top of the automotive industry for technological transformation and completely new, holistic mobility offerings,” Audi said in a statement. The Grandsphere is the second of three concepts that it is working on, following the recent debut of the Skysphere coupe. Next year the third concept called the Urbansphere will be unveiled. All three electric concepts are linked by the fact that they all have the ability to drive without any input from the driver, thanks to the integrated level 4 autonomous technology. Audi On the outside the Grandsphere’s design is a new take on a sedan, with its short front overhang, flat hood, and sleek fastback-like roofline. Audi says that its goal was to create a private jet for the road. We’ll likely see several of the Grandsphere’s design details in Audi’s future models, like the new take on Audi’s singleframe grille. While the exterior is simply stunning, the interior is far more exciting and futuristic. Starting with the rear doors that are rear-hinged, these create a generous space to enter when both the front and rear doors are open. In the front, Audi says that it’s a first-class experience, since the steering wheel and pedals are gone, leaving a more spacious area. In today’s cars, the dashboard and center console are dominated by digital screens, but the Grandsphere concept does away with them. In its place there’s a large wooden piece below the windshield that projects the information that you would normally see on a digital screen. Audi To operate the menus and selections, a camera tracks the driver’s eyes and selects options based on eye movement. The climate control can also be adjusted using hand gestures, although there are some physical buttons on each door to tweak the settings. While the Grandsphere concept is designed for autonomous driving, there are circumstances when the driver will need to take control, like when exiting a highway. For these situations, a steering wheel and gauge cluster deploy from behind the dashboard so that the driver can take over. Moving to the back seat, the rear bench looks more like a couch than a typical rear seat. It’s warm and inviting, which makes it look as appealing as a living room. Audi even includes a potted plant in between the front two seats to enhance the experience. Audi The Grandsphere is based on a new platform called Premium Platform Electric (PPE), which will be used by several of the Volkswagen Group’s models, like the Audi A6 E-Tron and Porsche Macan EV. It’s powered by two electric motors, one on each axle, that generate a combined 710 horsepower and 708 pound-feet of torque. The large 120 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery gives the concept a driving range up to 466 miles and it only takes 25 minutes to charge it from 5% to 80% using a fast charger. As of right now, the Grandsphere is merely a concept; it's just meant to showcase the technology and design details that we will see in the next-generation Audi models. But there is a chance that we’ll see something similar enter production in the near future.