Speaker 1: Audi's latest concept. The transforming active sphere is, well, it's a bit difficult to explain. The electric Sportback sedan crossover thing has a sleek coop like body that rides on a tall suspension with big 34 inch all terrain tires. Though they're wrapped around 22 inch wheels, so maybe more like most terrain anyway, you're not gonna be rock crawling in this, and that's not even its final form. This thing transforms raising its suspension and extending its lower sills to increase its 8.2 [00:00:30] inch ride height to 9.8 inches for enhanced off-road performance in more generous approach and departure angles. Now, one of the benefits of a sportback is the spacious hatchback for cargo, but the atmosphere goes a step further transforming into a pickup truck of sorts on demand. The rear glass slides forward almost flush with the glass roof, and a short tailgate flips down at the rear forming the bed. Meanwhile, a mid gate folds up to separate the newly formed bed from the cabin, and now you've [00:01:00] got room for bulky items like bikes or camping gear or whatever without having to get the cabin dirty plus infinite head room. Pretty cool, right? Okay, so you've got your base mode for roads and trails, sort of like an electric Audi A six all road. You've got your lifted mode for more gnarly off-roading. You've got your pickup truck mode. That's unlike [00:01:30] anything Audi's ever done before. Would you believe me if I said it gets weirder? It gets weirder.
Speaker 1: Inside the cabin is extremely minimalist. Spartan, even the spacious cockpit is made all the more open thanks to a mostly glass roof glass panels in the door and upfront, a transparent version of Audis Single Frame Grill, so passengers can watch the road blurb beneath their feet. There's no steering wheel, no big concept. Car screens, just [00:02:00] four independently suspended seats. A wide wraparound dashboard with an integrated sound bar and a tiny single line screen for a speedometer in a battery meter.
Speaker 1: However, when you don Audi's concept mixed reality glasses, a virtual holographic display fills the cabin with 3D topographic maps, virtual controls, all sorts of information. The holographic interface responds to hand track gesture controls, and you can grab bits of [00:02:30] the interface and move them around in 3D space, like if you want the volume knob, like right here in front of your face for whatever reason, you can do that. It's kinda like that scene in almost every MCU film where Tony starts moving virtual bits of the Ironman suit around to form his suit. Except for you're doing that while you're driving, except you're not driving. The concept is designed for level four autonomy, hence the lack of a steering wheel. So it can totally drive itself, but if you wanna do the driving, which you may want to do in [00:03:00] certain off-road and dirty driving situations, a steering wheel can deploy from below the dashboard, allowing you to take control.
Speaker 1: And that also switches that mixed reality view to a detailed performance data view that has relevant information for driving things like how much power you're using and detailed information about what the suspension and wheels are doing now. Frankly, those glasses are the most sci-fi part of this whole concept. Even the best mixed reality goggles that I've used, the Vijo XR three headset that BMW uses, and [00:03:30] it's in mixed reality prototype, are still big old honk and virtual reality goggles. These things look like regular old Wayfairs, which they probably are. It's just a concept after all. Now that said, the electric powertrain that underpins the active sphere is based on very real production ready tech. The concept is constructed on a modified version of the premium platform electric or P p E. That's the electric vehicle architecture that Audi shares with Porsche. The concepts Quattro Electric all-wheel [00:04:00] drive system uses dual motors that crank up 409 horsepower and 531 pound feet of torque, and with a large 100 kilowatt hour battery pack to draw from.
Speaker 1: Audi estimates around 370 miles of range. For the concept which is not gonna build, this is just them stretching their design legs. Now the active sphere is the fourth and a series of sphere themed concepts that includes the sky SPH sphere, compact roadster that stretches out to a long wheel based grand [00:04:30] tour. Thanks to its variable geometry, there's the grand sphere, a large DEG sedan, and the urban sphere, a multi passenger vehicle with big interior space and a small exterior footprint for Chinese roads. You can head over to CNET cars to learn more about the active sphere and all the rest of Audi's, not literally spherical concepts. And its e-tron series of production electric vehicles. They and all things electric cars can be found over on on cars.cnet.com.