Audi's Activesphere EV concept is built for off-roading and augmented reality

You'd even drive wearing smart glases.


Audi has finally revealed the Activesphere EV concept it promised last summer. The crossover is built to go off-road, complete with a rugged underbody, a liftable suspension and easy ways to carry your sports gear. The rear can transform into a loading area with enough room for your e-bikes, for instance. It nonetheless features a sedan-like profile and the creature comforts of past concepts, including a spacious, bright interior designed for relaxing while the vehicle is in self-driving mode.

The cabin reflects Audi's confidence in augmented reality. Occupants wear AR glasses that provide vital performance figures (for the driver) as well as infotainment and virtual assistant controls. You won't find a conventional row of screens or gauges, and the eyewear can even track your health while you ride an e-bike on a trail. When you're ready to take control, the dash and steering wheel lift into place. Audi clearly expects you to only occasionally take the helm, such as when you're venturing beyond asphalt.

Most specifications aren't available (this is a concept, after all). However, Audi claims a range of more than 372 miles and fast 270kW charging using an 800V architecture. The 100kWh battery pack can charge from 5 percent to 80 percent in 25 minutes, Audi says.

This is the fourth model in Audi's "sphere" electric concept line. The company kicked off the initiative with the shapeshifting Skysphere roadster in August 2021, and followed that a month later with the upscale Grandsphere sedan. Last year's Urbansphere was intended as the SUV for future cities, where your car is as much an office (or a refuge from the outside world) as it is transportation.

As with past experiments, the Activesphere isn't a preview of a production model. It's Audi's vision of motoring in the near future, not to mention a demonstration of technical prowess. It's just a matter of whether or not the concept influences future cars. Audi has played it relatively safe with its existing EV lineup, which largely revolves around familiar-looking SUVs and the Porsche Taycan's sibling, the e-tron GT. The brand expects to dramatically expand its electric offerings by 2026, though, so we wouldn't rule out Activesphere-inspired rides.