The Audi Skysphere Concept arrives as a future flight of fantasy by Audi, with a ‘Transformer’ wheelbase and EV powertrain.
Now car designers have more freedom to innovate thanks to the compact nature of electric motors – and no need to accommodate a lump of iron at the front – we’re starting to see vehicle proportions we’ve never really seen before as car designers let their imaginations run in directions not previously possible.
Audi, however, has chosen to deliver a future concept for a GT/Sports Car which takes its inspiration from the Horch 853 of the 1930s complete with long bonnet – when the world is going in the opposite direction – and ‘wire wheels’.
The party trick of the Skysphere is its variable wheelbase which, in GT Mode, is an autonomous cruiser but turns into an electric Sports Car in Sports Mode, with the wheelbase shortening by nearly 10″ and pedals, steering wheel and instruments putting in an appearance, thanks to electric motors sliding the body in to turn it from a car with the room of an Audi A8 L to one similar to an A5.
Power comes from an electric motor at the back good for 632bhp and 553lb/ft of torque, with an 80kWh battery and good for 62mph in around 4.0 seconds.
Suspension is by way of double wishbones front and back with air springs and adaptive dampers, steering is by wire, rear-axle steering cuts the turning circle and active suspension changes ride height.
The Audi grille remains, but here it’s for an array of sensors and LEDs which changes depending on Mode – as do the rear lights – with big wheel arches, 23″ ‘Wire Wheels’ and soft top, and an interior boasting microfibre, faux leather and eucalyptus wood.
The Audi Skysphere Concept is making its debut at Pebble Beach, but don’t expect it to turn into a production model.