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Audi's Activesphere Concept Crossover Can Morph Into A Pickup

Audi has presented the electric Activesphere concept which, despite its traditional crossover body style, can transform into a pickup truck. Concept vehicles are notable for often stretching the boundaries of what’s possible in the automotive industry. And while not all of them make it to the production phase, they’re a great way for carmakers to showcase innovations. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, German manufacturers Volkswagen and BMW unveiled the ID.7 and i Vision Dee which demonstrated exterior color-changing capabilities among others. What’s more, the above prototypes possessed electric powertrains, further promoting EVs as the future of mobility.

The Activesphere’s announcement marks the end of the “sphere” concept series, with the skysphere roadster (2021), grand sphere sedan, and urban sphere space model (2022) making earlier appearances. The Audi Activesphere has a four-door crossover coupe design that not only thrills the eyes but can turn into a pickup once a button is pressed. This is possible through the Sportback rear which can change into a cargo bed. Audi says it’s ideal for conveying sporting goods like e-bikes or water/winter gear. This luxury model offers sports car-like performance, measures 4.89 meters in length, and promises to be an off-road warrior thanks to the giant 22″ wheels it runs on.

Related: Buick’s Wildcat EV Concept Offers A Look At The Brand’s EV Future

The Activesphere is based on Audi’s most inventive platform, called premium platform electric or PPE. This design architecture is shared with its compatriot Porsche. Using the electric motors located at the front and rear axles, the crossover can deliver 432 horsepower, 531 lb-ft of torque, 372 miles of range, and support up to 270 kW of fast charging. Audi claims that the Activesphere can add up to 186 miles in just 10 minutes of being plugged in. This makes it highly suitable for long trips, should the concept make it to the assembly line.

The Activesphere’s dimensions are common for vehicles in the premium segment. It has a width of 2.07 meters, a height of 1.60 meters, and a wheelbase of 2.97 meters which Audi claims provides adequate legroom for occupants. Alongside the 22″ wheels, the concept is designed to offer ample ground clearance and the 285/55 tires are designed to allow the crossover to handle all kinds of terrain. If that isn’t a sufficient reason, the tires come with dynamic segments which open when traveling off-road for prime ventilation and close when riding on-road to guarantee excellent aerodynamics.

One of the Activesphere’s highlights is its interior, which benefits from a minimalist design. The seating area, door, and front paneling are classified in lava red which is joined by dark colors like black, anthracite, and dark gray. Audi claims that the components like the dashboard, steering wheel, and pedals recede into an unseen spot when the crossover is in autonomous mode. The Activesphere also employs augmented reality technology, an innovation designed to optimize the driving experience. Drivers can now see virtual content, a feature that offers more possibilities.

If a driver concentrates their gaze on the information, the system translates it into additional interest and will display further details. Drivers can interact with the user interface through gestures no matter the seating position. It’s unclear whether Audi will move forward with this concept, but what’s obvious is that the future crop of automobiles will be smart.

More: What Is Audi Connect & How Does It Work?

Source: Audi USA

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