Audi Unveils ‘Telescopic’ Sports BEV Concept

Audi’s latest sports concept is trying to breathe some excitement into an otherwise dull BEV landscape dominated by overweight SUVs and characterless urban runabouts.

The automaker has unveiled its skysphere concept, a two-door BEV convertible aiming to capture the hearts of both automotive sports and luxury enthusiasts. In a bid to cover both bases, it is hoping to offer two different driving experiences: a grand touring experience and a sports experience employing a variable wheelbase.

This ‘telescopic’ chassis uses electric motors to power a mechanism with body and frame components that slide into one another make it possible to vary the wheelbase itself and the exterior length of the car by up to nearly 10-inches. 250mm. At the same time, the vehicle’s ground clearance is adjusted by half-an-inch to alter comfort and driving dynamics.

Sport mode will be focused on the human pilot’s need while Grand Touring mode offer autonomous driving and increased passenger legroom. In this mode, the steering wheel and pedals move into an invisible area, meanwhile, the skysphere automatically keeps an eye on the road and traffic with its sensor system. Beyond the ride itself, the concept claims the ability to pick up its passengers with information about their current destination and independently handles parking and charging.


At its heart is a 620bhp powertrain with the electric motor positioned on the powered rear axle backed up with 553ft-lbs of torque to handle a relatively beefy 3,960-lbs of battery-pack swollen weight. The weight distribution is claimed at around 60% and acceleration from 0 to 62mph arrives in four seconds.

While battery modules are primarily positioned behind the cabin, further modules can be found between the seats in the center tunnel of the interior. The battery’s capacity is expected to be more than 80 kWh, giving the car a claimed range of more than 310 miles according to the WLTP standard when run in the more economical GT mode.

“Audi is renowned for its progressive concepts cars that demonstrate remarkable foresight and technological ingenuity,” said Andrew Doyle, Director of Audi UK. “The Skysphere concept is the first of a family of three, that will help shape the vision and direction of our brand as we electrify our business operation and future model lineups.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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