Audi previews its vision for the luxury sedan of the future

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Audi's next design language is beginning to take shape. The firm released a series of dark photos to preview a concept called Grand Sphere that will provide a glimpse at how it envisions the flagship sedan of the future.

While finer design details are shrouded in darkness, we can tell the Grand Sphere takes the form of a long, swept-back four-door model with a relatively tall roofline and an unusually long wheelbase. It looks nothing like the A8, or like anything Audi has put its four rings on to date. It's markedly more futuristic than even the A6 E-Tron concept.

Stretching the wheelbase allowed interior designers to give the Grand Sphere a living-room-like cabin. Up front, the occupants travel on individual seats as they enjoy an immense amount of leg room. Out back, the passengers sit on a more basic-looking bench. While technical specifications remain few and far between, we're assuming the Grand Sphere incorporates some degree of autonomous driving to let the driver work, relax, or sleep. However, it's not entirely driverless; there's an oval, twin-spoke steering wheel clearly shown in one of the photos released by Audi.

We're intrigued by the lack of screens in the Grand Sphere's cabin. It's an odd sight in an era when some carmakers have even tried embedding a screen into the middle of the steering wheel. We'll need to wait for Audi to release more details about the concept to find out how it plans to offer users a state-of-the-art infotainment system. Similarly, drivetrain-related information won't be announced until the weeks leading up to the big unveiling.

Audi is expected to unveil the Grand Sphere in September 2021 at the Munich auto show, an event held to replace the one that took place in Frankfurt for decades. More details about the design study will be published in the coming months. Looking ahead, the Grand Sphere will be joined by the Sky Sphere and the Urban Sphere concepts.

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