Audi's next concept EV will be the Activesphere off-roader

It's a rugged take on Audi's vision for autonomous driving.


Audi still isn't done unveiling self-driving concept EVs, but its next model might be appealing if you're eager to leave the asphalt. The company has revealed that its fourth Sphere concept will be the Activesphere, an SUV-like machine that promises "maximum variability" for on- and off-road travel. As with earlier designs, the automaker is touting an autonomous-friendly interior that can help you relax. We wouldn't count on going hands-free while you're on the trail, but Audi is at least moving beyond city-oriented prototypes.

The full Activesphere debut is slated for the start of 2023. Audi began its campaign by unveiling the Skysphere roadster in August 2021, and quickly followed it with the Grandsphere sedan (September 2021) and Urbansphere SUV (April this year). As a rule, they've centered around living room-like cabins and ambitious performance. The Grandsphere and Urbansphere, for instance, boast a claimed 466-mile range.

The question, as you might have guessed, is whether or not the Activesphere and any of its predecessors will directly influence future Audi EVs. Right now, the brand's electric lineup revolves around decidedly more conventional (if very speedy) products. Fully self-driving vehicles may also have to wait when many countries only allow limited autonomy at best. Audi expects its new vehicles to be EV-only starting in 2026, though, and it's hard to imagine the company ignoring driverless cars when its rival Mercedes is already touting Level 3 autonomy.