2025 Audi Urbansphere previewed: price, specs and release date
Audi Urbansphere concept previews luxurious electric MPV with self-driving capabilities and a range of up to 466 miles...
On sale 2025 | Price from £75,000 (est)
The Audi Urbansphere aims to be to cars what ‘Dad’ trainers are to fashion. You see, chunky shoes were once a fashion faux pas, but in recent years they’ve surged in popularity thanks to inventive designs from luxury brands such as Balenciaga. And Audi seeks to emulate such success by injecting desirability into the MPV class. With the Urbansphere, that means a high-tech interior, self-driving technology and a huge electric range.
From the outside, the Urbansphere has an imposing design, with 24in alloy wheels, sharp creases along its haunches and expansive colour-LED light panels at the front and rear. These panels can be illuminated to send messages to other road users such as a red ‘X’ for a warning, or amber arrows to indicate which direction you’re moving in.
If you’d like to make a dramatic entrance, LED lights situated underneath the car can project a red carpet onto the pavement while the doors are open.
The Urbansphere’s enormous size should give it significant presence on the road; it’s almost half a metre longer than the latest Range Rover – a grandiose luxury SUV that counts the Audi Q7 among its key rivals – but slightly shorter and narrower. Compared with our favourite MPV, the Volkswagen Touran, the Urbansphere is a metre longer, and slightly taller and wider.
Inside, the Urbansphere is lounge-like, with thickly carpeted floors, smart-looking wood panelling and fabrics made from bamboo. The concept car has four seats that can recline at angles of up to 60 degrees, while the front seats can pivot to face the rear. This arrangement is likely to be offered as one variant of the eventual production car, alongside conventional five and seven-seat versions.
A seven-seat version would see the as-yet-unknown boot capacity significantly reduced and the ability to recline the seats removed.
For infotainment, the concept car features a see-through television that folds out from the panoramic glass roof, plus virtual reality headsets and a display projected across the width of the dashboard.
Of these, it’s the projected system – controlled by touching the dashboard, or by using dials on the doors – that is most likely to make it into a production version. However, this might also be replaced in favour of conjoined touchscreens similar to the ‘Hyperscreen’ featured in the Mercedes EQS.
Power is provided by two electric motors that combine to produce up to 396bhp, which should yield strong performance – albeit somewhat slower than electric SUVs such as the Tesla Model Y, due to the Urbansphere’s size and likely weight. If you’re not accelerating vigorously, the front motor deactivates to reduce the resistance force against the car – slightly boosting range.
On the subject of range, the Urbansphere is capable of up driving up to 466 miles between recharges – 56 miles farther than the upcoming Mercedes EQS SUV – thanks to a gargantuan 120kWh battery. And charging times are class-leading, due to 270kW charging capabilities. That’s 35kW more than the Kia EV6 can take and means you can replenish about 180 miles of range in 10 minutes if you can find a suitably powerful charger.
It's worth noting that the UK's charging infrastructure is likely to improve significantly before the Urbansphere goes on sale.
The Urbansphere will also feature full self-driving capabilities. Where it’s safe and legal to do so, the car’s on-board computers can take total control, at which point the steering wheel and instrument panel fold away into the dashboard. And when you reach your destination, the Urbansphere will be able to drop you off and park itself in a spot with a charger.
Although a production version won’t be seen until 2025, we expect prices to range from £75,000 for a version with slightly less range and power and without self-driving capabilities, to more than £100,000 for one loaded with kit and autonomous technology. That’s significantly more than the upcoming Volkswagen ID.Buzz, but on a par with current electric SUVs such as the BMW iX xDrive50, and less than the seven-seat EQS.
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