2025 Audi Activesphere revealed
New Audi Activesphere concept previews an electric luxury coupé SUV that turns into a pick-up truck, with 436bhp and a range of up to 372 miles...
On sale Late 2025 | Price from £75,000 (est)
Watch any nature documentary and one thing becomes clear: it’s the animals which can best adapt to their surroundings that survive and thrive. And in a world where electric cars are quickly becoming mainstream, new entrants need to show off something truly new to make a name for themselves. The Audi Activesphere concept does just that by being two cars in one.
You see, while it may look like a luxurious coupé SUV at first glance, with its angular lines, Rolls-Royce-style rear-hinged doors and huge 22in wheels, the Activesphere has a trick up its sleeve: at the touch of a button, it can become a pick-up truck.
Its tailgate opens up to reveal a large cargo bed that can transport heavy-duty items such as your family’s holiday luggage or work equipment. It also has useful brackets that can be used to secure a couple of e-bikes. Or, if you enjoy winter sports, a rack is integrated into the centre of the roof’s structure that can be extended to transport skis.
Power comes from two electric motors – one on the front axle and the other on the rear, making the Activesphere four-wheel drive. Together, they produce 436bhp and 531lb ft of torque – more than entry-level versions of the combustion-engined Mercedes GLC Coupé.
The Activesphere’s motors get power from a 100kWh battery, for an estimated range of 372 miles on a single charge. While that’s farther than other electric cars in this class such as the Polestar 2 can take you, it doesn’t quite match up to the Mercedes EQS SUV’s official range of 410 miles.
The Activesphere comes with an 800-volt electrical system for ultra-rapid charging – similar to the systems found in the Audi E-tron GT, Genesis GV60, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and Porsche Taycan. With a peak charging speed of 270kW (the same as that of the E-tron GT and Taycan), a 10-80% top-up can be achieved in as little as 20 minutes, if you can find a suitably powerful charging point.
Inside, the concept car features a minimalist layout. In autonomous driving mode, the steering wheel disappears into a flush position below the windscreen. If the driver wants to take over, the steering wheel glides out into its normal position.
Many of the car’s functions are controlled using virtual reality (VR) goggles, both while driving and when in autonomous mode. For example, if you want to change the temperature inside the car, the system follows the driver’s gaze, with the air-con control moving towards the user through VR so that the driver can interact with it via gestures.
Goggles are also available for passengers, who are provided with different VR views. For drivers, important information such as traffic jams or slippery road warnings can be viewed wearing these, and if the driver focuses their eyes on the information, the system projects more detail into their line of sight.
Meanwhile, passengers are able to control the temperature or browse their own music selection through gestures. The headsets can also be used outside the car, to show the battery’s current state of charge in an augmented reality environment. However, it’s worth noting that UK law doesn’t allow for the use of any augmented or virtual reality headset while driving at the moment, and is unlikely to for some time.
The Activesphere is the third in a series of Audi concept cars designed to showcase the brand’s future design. The Audi Urbansphere – revealed in 2022 – and the Grandsphere from 2021 join the Activesphere in being based on new underpinnings designed solely for electric cars.
The first Audi production vehicle based on these new underpinnings is likely to be the Audi A6 Avant e-tron, which will be released in 2024.
The Activesphere isn't likely to go on sale until late 2025, and given its range of technology and autonomous driving features, prices are expected to start at around £75,000. That’s quite a bit less than you’d pay for the Mercedes EQS SUV, which starts from £110,000.
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