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Audi Grandsphere to debut at Munich show

Self-driving high-tech Audi Grandsphere concept previews Landjet EV due in 2025


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30 Aug 2021

AUDI will premiere its Grandsphere concept at the Munich Motor Show on September 2, previewing a successor to the current A8 limousine as Ingolstads’s luxury flagship, slated for showrooms in early 2025.

The Grandsphere is the second of three ‘sphere’ models the brand will use to showcase its high-tech electric powertrain and level-four autonomous driving technologies.

Audi says the model represents a significant step forward for its new generation of fully electric and autonomous-ready range but notes that many of the autonomous systems available are currently only available on a limited number of roads fitted with the necessary infrastructure.

Drawing inspiration from a “first-class luxury experience similar to a private jet”, the long-distance tourer will likely serve as a rival to the Mercedes-Benz EQS.

It is anticipated the Landjet nameplate will replace the A8 badge in Audi’s line-up when the production model is debuted at the end of 2024.

The Landjet will be the first Volkswagen Group model to ride on its advanced new SSP architecture. The platform combines elements of mainstream MEB architecture with performance-focused elements of Volkswagen’s PPE EV platform.

It will also feature an advanced new software package developed in-house by VW Group and known simply as VW.OS.

As one of the first cars to utilise VAG’s 800-volt unified-cell battery technology, the Grandsphere will offer a range of approximately 600km on the WLTP cycle.

The battery pack can accept charging rates up to 350kW for ultra-rapid charging but at this stage no further details of charging times, output, or performance have been quoted.

Audi Head of Design, Marc Lichte, said the Grandsphere is a “very concrete teaser” that showcases “a new revolution in design”.

He said the model would focus on interior space and packaging and promises an overall design that will end the three-box design of the marque’s A8 flagship.

“I asked our design teams not for their vision of an A8 successor but for something completely new. Sales volumes for three-box saloons such as the A8, BMW 7 Series, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class are going down, and there are new, more attractive body styles,” said Mr Lichte.

“Honestly, I think the S-Class has been a lot more successful than our A8, so we have to come up with something completely new to attack the S-Class. This is the result.”

The Audi Grandsphere sits between the larger Skysphere shown at the Monterey Car Week in Pebble Beach earlier this month, and the upcoming and smaller Urbansphere due in late 2022.

The Munich Motor Show is open to the public from September 7-12.

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