2025 Audi Grandsphere luxury saloon: what we know so far
The Audi Grandsphere concept is the first look at the replacement for the A8 saloon. It promises pure electric power and self-driving technology...
The Audi Grandsphere concept car is a first glimpse of the model that will replace the Audi A8 in 2025.
The A8 has long been the default luxury saloon for powerful, rich and famous people who want the back-seat ambience of a limousine without the ostentatiousness of a Bentley or Rolls-Royce. The Grandsphere design suggests its replacement will have a more driver-focused interior, with the roomiest, most opulent seats in the front section, which doubles as a VIP lounge.
The Grandsphere will have Level 4 autonomous driving capability, so it will do the driving for large stretches of each journey. The driver will only have to be in control in complex urban environments or on twisty country lanes, where it should be entertaining to take the wheel, rather than a chore.
Few keen drivers are likely to be able to resist the temptation of playing around with the car’s Star Trek-style transformation from first class lounge to car. When you press a button on the dash, the steering wheel and associated dials glide out of a compartment and pop up into place ready for you to take over the driving.
The Grandsphere is the second of three new all-electric Audis that will go on sale in the next few years. The first was the sportier Skysphere, unveiled in August 2021, and the third will be the Urbansphere, due to arrive in 2022.
On the outside, the Grandsphere looks like a classic grand tourer with a long bonnet, flowing lines along the bodywork and a gently curved roofline. The ultra-slim front and rear lights, and oversized front grille give it a more futuristic look than the A8.
2025 Audi Grandsphere interior
The Grandsphere has seating for four, and the rear doors are hinged at the back with no central B-pillar. The interior opens up for the occupants as they step in, emphasising that this is the heart of the car.
The large glass areas and wide windscreen combine with the transparent roof to create an airy feeling, and the interior has two distinct modes: a driving set-up and a luxurious living space version.
In the 'living space' mode, all the driving controls, including the pedals and steering wheel, disappear, and the cabin becomes a ‘sphere’ in which the occupants can choose to work, relax or be entertained. The car will be able to stream music and videos, and also perform useful tasks, such as finding somewhere to park and charge up the electric batteries at your destination.
There are no instruments or controls on show when the car is in self-driving mode, and when it switches to driving mode the dials are projected on to the wooden surfaces under the windscreen. A range of systems, including climate control, can be operated either by physically touching a dial or by gesturing with your hand in front of it.
2025 Audi Grandsphere motor
The Grandsphere has been designed from the ground up as a pure electric vehicle so the battery pack is fairly flat and positioned under the middle of the car. It has two separate electric motors, one on the front axle and one on the rear. Together, the two motors produce 530kW, giving a 0-62mph time of less than 4sec.
Like the Audi E-tron GT, it has 800-volt charging technology that enables the car to be charged up very quickly using the fastest charging technology. More than 180 miles of range can be added in just 10 minutes, and the batteries can be charged from five per cent to 80% in 25 minutes using a 270kWh charger. A range of 466 miles is quoted.
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here
Best luxury cars 2021
A luxury car obviously needs sumptuous materials, ride comfort worthy of a magic carpet, and a super-smooth engine. However, models targeting company car drivers must also offer low emissions
Lexus ES long-term test review
The striking ES hybrid is designed to grab Lexus a bigger slice of the luxury saloon market. But does it have what it takes to turn top execs away from the usual German models? We're living with one to find out