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Audi Skysphere concept, the electric roadster with variable length and autonomous driving

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Audi’s future is set for its California debut. The new Audi Skysphere concept will be unveiled on August 13, 2021 at the Monterey Car Week in Pebble Beach, California, anticipating the technologies and design of the novelties of the four rings expected in the coming years. The first of a new family of three prototypes that will also see the arrival of Audi Grandsphere and Audi Urbansphere, the electric roadster can count on Level 4 autonomous driving, on a power of 632 horsepower and on GT and Granturismo driving configurations thanks to the variable wheelbase. The reduced dimensions of the electric propulsion and the refined mechanization of the structure, with the sliding body and body components, make it possible to vary the wheelbase and the external length of the car by as much as 250 millimeters.

At the same time, the ground clearance is adjustable by 10 millimeters. At the push of a button, the driver chooses the desired driving experience. Opting for the reduced wheelbase, he drives the electric four-ring roadster in Sport configuration, with a body length of 4.94 meters. The all-wheel steering ensures high agility despite the car’s generous dimensions. Alternatively, the Granturismo setup brings the longitudinal development of the roadster to 5.19 meters and includes autonomous driving, ample legroom and a digital ecosystem. The steering wheel and pedals are retractable. In addition to level 4 autonomous driving, the Skysphere also takes care of parking and charging autonomously.

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Designed in California inspired by the Horch 853

The Audi Skysphere concept will make its public debut on August 13, 2021 at Monterey Car Week in Pebble Beach, California, where it was born at the Audi Design Center in Malibu. Designed by Audi Design Center Manager Gael Buzyn and his team, it is inspired by the Horch 853. Also 5.20 meters long, the iconic 1930s cabriolet, in 2009 it also won the Pebble Concorso d’Eleganza Beach.

Over 500 kilometers of autonomy

The new concept is powered by an electric motor, positioned at the rear, capable of delivering 632 horsepower and 750 Nm of torque. The weight of the car, around 1,800 kilograms, is split 60% at the rear and 40% at the front. Powered by rear-wheel drive, the roadster sprints from 0 to 100 km / h in 4 seconds. The battery modules are mainly positioned behind the passenger compartment, although some of them are located inside the tunnel between the seats, to the advantage of mass balance. The accumulator has a capacity of over 80 kWh and guarantees a range of over 500 kilometers with Wltp approval.

Triple chamber air suspension and predictive active management of the suspension

The suspensions follow a pattern of overlapping triangles, typical of racing cars, in correspondence with both axles. The four-wheel steering, of the steer-by-wire type – electronically managed without mechanical connections such as the traditional steering column – provides for multiple calibrations and constant adaptation of the reduction ratio. Derived from Audi e-tron Gt, the first electron touring car of the four-ring brand, the triple-chamber adaptive air suspension combines the comfort level of a sedan with the sportiness of a high-performance roadster, as well as allowing for a reduction in height. from the ground by 10 millimeters compared to the standard. Inside the springs, each chamber can be individually activated for optimal damping adjustment. An objective which the adjustable shock absorbers contribute to. The asset management, entrusted to a dedicated electronic platform, adopts the active predictive strategy. A hi-tech solution, combined with triple-chamber air springs, capable of loading or unloading each individual wheel according to the needs of the driver and the driving situation. The electromechanical actuators adopted for this purpose actively regulate the movement of the structure and the damping, minimizing rolling and pitching. Thanks to the navigation inputs and the analysis of the data collected both by the sensors and by the front camera, which detects the trend and irregularities of the road surface, the active suspensions operate according to a predictive logic.

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