Is this the dawn of a new era of luxury?
Concept vehicle shown. Vehicle not for sale.
Look up the word car in the dictionary you’ll find it defined as, “A four-wheeled automotive vehicle designed for passenger transportation.” And if you ask a young child to draw a picture of a car, chances are they’ll draw a series of boxes and two circles for wheels. The basic question, what is a car?, is only child’s play at first glance, though. Consider it again and this question has never been more complex or trickier to answer than today.
In a time of semi-autonomous driving, electric cars that can be charged while you sleep and a growing consciousness about the need to help protect the planet, one thing is clear: the notion of what a car actually is needs a makeover. Audi is very conscious about this need for change. The brand wants to create the world of tomorrow—with progressive technology, passionate creativity, new thought-provoking innovations and the unstoppable will to produce an adequate form of mobility as its ethos.
The proof? The Audi Skysphere concept—an impressive car with an electric motor, luxurious interior and a fully digital ecosystem. Henrik Wenders, head of brand at Audi, even goes as far as to no longer call it a car. He prefers the term “experience device” and says “in the future, it won’t only be about the driving, it’ll be about the experience that the passengers and users have on their journey.”
This is set to be a total change, not only in navigating from A to B, but also with regards to our understanding of luxury. The Audi Skysphere concept will mean we’ll have the freedom to choose to be driven autonomously or to drive the car manually. Both driving experiences are made possible thanks to an innovation that sounds like something from science fiction: Audi’s adaptive wheelbase.
In the future, it won’t only be about driving, it’ll be about the experience that passengers have.
This means the car can lengthen or shorten itself by 9.8 inches with the simple push of a button. See, it really is no longer just about the joy of driving; Audi wants the Skysphere concept to be a first-class entertainment room for relaxation, connection, and communication. The steering wheel and the pedals can swivel completely and disappear out of sight to create space for the latest interior, inspired in many aspects by the Art Deco era but also by nature, with eucalyptus wood and a synthetically produced leather surrogate.
The autonomously driven concept car is more than just intelligent tech. It has the power to change everything: the way we think, our society and our values. The autonomously driven vehicle changes the world from a driver’s perspective, offering an experience that appeals to all the senses. This future freedom will be the new luxury.
Wenders sees this as a game changer, and one he isn’t afraid of. The Audi team has shown us what is possible with the Skysphere concept and Wenders certainly is convinced. “The future is full of possibilities,” he says. “We just have to see it as an opportunity.”
Find out more about the future of driving at www.progress.audi.