No need to take dreams for reality. No need to imagine driving this Audi Skysphere roadster when visiting the show Vivatech where it is on display until Saturday evening. Because by the very admission of its creator, the designer Gaël Buzyn, it is a concept car that will never be mass-produced. Even if, to console us, this director of the style office of the mark in Malibu in the United States does not exclude the fact that certain elements will be found in the future on Audi of series. But there is no question of seeing in this Skysphere, a future R8 or the next TT. This is only the dream of an ideal electric car, alas.
Because everyone dreams of a sporty, powerful, silent and perfectly designed car. And this German-American concept ticks all those boxes. The long bonnet and the tapered rear face form a sober and aerodynamic whole that disturbs the sharp angles of the profile. A perfectly happy mix of genres. To achieve this result, the Buzyn teams claim that they were inspired by the pre-war Horch, the creations ofAugust Horchthe founder of Audi.
Certainly these cars of the 30s had a very long bonnet, and like the Skysphere, their door hinges were at the rear. But these are the only possible comparisons with the roadster steeped in modernity. Starting with the dozens of LEDs that adorn its grille. You can play it sober and use them sparingly, or outright did you see me illuminating the entire front face. same wow effect on the back.
In the passenger compartment of this Skysphere, same astonishment, and even curious mixture of sobriety and extravagance. The two seats are upholstered in velvet and microfibers and the door panels in eucalyptus wood and bamboo. This bluish interior contrasts with the dashboard which, from one edge to the other, accommodates a multimedia screen more than 140 cm long. But why is it cut in two?
This is the secret of the 4.94 cm roadster which, at the touch of a button, transforms into an autonomous GT. Thanks to two electric cylinders located on the sides, the car then lengthens by 25 cm and lowers by 10 cm to reach 5.19 m. As the car grows, the steering wheel retracts, the seats move back automatically and the two screens come together to form a single slab of more than 1.40 m. Thus lying down, the two occupants enjoy a film or video while the Skysphere takes them to their destination. A well-deserved rest after a roadster getaway.
A roadster with 642 hp on the rear axle alone
Driving the machine would be so tiring? It could be by examining its data sheet. Because it displays 642 hp and 750 Nm of torque sent to the rear axle alone, and unlike its transformation into a level 4 autonomous car, it should be taken care of seriously so that it remains on the road thus adorned.
But autonomous or manual, driving the Audi concept remains a dream, as is its announced autonomy: 500 km. Which, given its power and its 80 kWh battery, is utopian. But we can dream and that’s the raison d’être of this Skysphere.