There’s certainly no shortage of Audi teasers this week as after seeing sketches of the flagship Artemis during the VW Group’s New Auto strategy presentation, the Grand Sphere concept is back in a new preview. Debuting in September at the IAA in Munich, the showcar could in fact be related to the Artemis as both have similar silhouettes and are rumored to preview a future A9 E-Tron (name not confirmed).
According to Audi, the Grand Sphere is more than just a concept car as the Four Rings claims its design will be adopted by a production car arriving in the mid-2020s. In addition, the road-going vehicle is going to feature technology that will be presented in the concept car this fall. Interestingly, the German luxury brand says the concept’s “spaces for experience” will have a direct correspondence on a production model. That last statement is a bit vague, but we think Audi is referring to the interior cabin.
Audi is also cooking up two additional Sphere-badged concepts as Sky Sphere will premiere in August as part of the Monterey Car Week in California while the Urban Sphere is scheduled to debut in the first half of 2022. All three are said to “embody our brand strategy. They show how we imagine the near future of premium mobility,” according to Audi boss Henrik Wenders.
With the arrival of level 4 autonomous driving systems in the coming years, Audi believes car interiors will drastically change and the cabins will become “the core of new vehicle design.” Therefore, all three Sphere concepts promise to make use of the “highest quality materials and workmanship envelop the passengers in all areas.”
Little else is known about the Grand Sphere, but looking at these teaser images, it seems that the days of a flagship sedan are numbered. The A8 as we know it is living on borrowed time and Audi has plans to overhaul its range topper in the EV era, which will begin in 2026 when the company will begin to roll out only electric cars before discontinuing ICE models altogether in 2033 (except in China).