Will the Audi activesphere based on PPE be the successor of the A6?

Following the release of the open-top sports car skysphere, the luxury sedan grandsphere, and the urbansphere MPV released in 2021 and 2022 respectively, Audi has officially unveiled the fourth model of the Audi sphere family – the activesphere concept car, positioned as a crossover coupe.

Exterior: Allroad + Sportback

The activesphere will be based on the PPE pure electric platform co-developed by Audi and Porsche. The exterior design of the activesphere uses a four-wheel-drive design, which is similar to most pure electric vehicles on the market. With a length of 4,980 mm and a wheelbase of 2,970 mm, a width of 2,070 mm, and a height of 1,600 mm, the overall size of the activesphere is in line with the current Audi A6 allroad, which may become an extension of the A6 allroad.

The Audi activesphere is equipped with 22-inch alloy wheels and 285/55 R22 tires, which not only reduces the visual center of gravity but also meets the needs of the vehicle for aggressive driving.

It is worth noting that the tire pattern of the activesphere uses off-road patterns. According to Audi’s official introduction, the activesphere will also use air suspension. In off-road mode, the ground clearance can be increased by 40 mm on the basis of 208 mm to meet the requirements of passability, and the approach angle can reach 18.9 degrees while the departure angle is 28.1 degrees.

With Audi’s signature quattro four-wheel drive system and a bottom plate component similar to that of the allroad model, the Active Sphere can be driven on a wide range of unpaved roads.

However, Audi designers have stated that the Active Sphere is not an allroad or avant model, but rather a combination of the design elements of the allroad wagon and the Sportback liftback. Therefore, similar designs will be unified under the name “active Sportback” to distinguish them from the allroad model.

Like the Grand Sphere, the Active Sphere also has its doors mounted on the A and C pillars, eliminating the B pillar design to give passengers a better view and a greater sense of space inside the car. This is easily reminiscent of the classic Mazda RX8’s dual door design without a B-pillar.

The tail design is the most outstanding feature of the Audi Active Sphere, providing spacious interior space without sacrificing its sportback profile.

The transparent rear window of Audi activesphere blends almost seamlessly into the roof. At the same time, the lower vertical part of the rear end folds horizontally to become a spacious open cargo area, which is the essence of “active back”. This space can accommodate large equipment such as electric bicycles. The C-pillar remains in place, allowing the body to maintain a dynamic and streamlined profile. The electric partition at the rear of the rear seats can also isolate the cabin from the luggage compartment.

At present, the design of Audi’s Sportback and allroad models has won a large number of loyal fans, which can be reflected in both the acceptance level and sales volume. It is expected that the active back appearance design that combines sports and practicality will also gain a group of fans.

Cabin: The New Generation of Minimalist Interior Design

From skysphere, grandsphere, urbansphere to activesphere, “sphere” has become the common element in the naming of this series of concept cars, and Audi also stated that the sphere series will be a main theme centered on the interior space, with the subsequent power not being the top priority.

Audi still adopts a minimalist design style for the interior, which is also a continuation of the Bauhaus style. The floating seats, hidden instrument steering wheel, and through-center console all blend practicality into a simple design.

In addition, VR/AR technology is integrated into the interior of the car. AR is mainly used on the HUD, and currently, Audi Q4/Q5 e-tron has already adopted this technology. Subsequently, as VR glasses are applied, the flexibility and accuracy of AR-HUD will be further enriched. Navigation, maintenance, range, music, and other information will be realized through mixed display technology.

PPE Platform is Coming

In addition to the Audi grandsphere and the Audi urbansphere, the Audi activesphere will also be built on the PPE platform. By the end of this year, Audi and Porsche will bring the first pure electric models based on the PPE platform, expected to be the Audi Q6 e-tron and the Porsche Macan EV.

According to Audi’s disclosure, the Audi activesphere produced on the PPE platform will have very similar external dimensions and wheelbase as the pure electric A6. Therefore, the design of the Audi activesphere may become the prototype design of the next generation of pure electric A6.

Based on the PPE platform, the Audi activesphere will have a 100 kWh battery pack with a range of over 600 km and an 800 V voltage platform. The maximum charging power can reach 270 kW, which can increase the range by 300 km in 10 minutes and charge the battery from 5% to 80% within 25 minutes.

Although Audi will shift its focus from powertrain to cockpit, the activesphere concept car still adopts the quattro all-wheel drive system, equipped with dual motors on the front and rear axles, with a total output power of 325 kW and a torque of up to 720 N·m. The front and rear wheels are connected by a five-link structure and an adaptive air suspension system with controlled damping, which continues the choice of material of the Audi A6 allroad, and further narrows the gap between the Audi activesphere and the A6.

Recently, Audi also officially released the concept cars of pure electric A6 sedan and Avant models based on the PPE platform. The released Audi activesphere seems to have an inseparable relationship with the pure electric A6 under Audi’s spoiler. Since the mid-term facelift of the 7th generation, the Audi A6 has gradually moved towards a more youthful design and has also got rid of the image of an official car in the Chinese market. This generation of A6 is also developing towards sports sedans. With the advent of electrification, Audi began to strongly associate quattro, intelligent driving, space, and outdoor activities. The combination of allroad and Sportback is highly anticipated by the market.

This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email bd@42how.com.