Can there ever be such a thing as a self-driving sports car?by Robert Moore, on LISTEN 02:59
Following Audi’s last teaser for the Grand Sphere concept – a flagship sedan with RS6-like proportions and potentially a hint at the next-gen A8, Audi has shown off another teaser. This time, we’re looking at the Sky Sphere which is, appropriately, a roofless car that also features sporty proportions. However, there’s something about this specific concept that doesn’t make a lot of sense.
A Self-Driving Sports Car?
With the recent influx of electric cars and a huge push to make them more mainstream, the chatter about autonomous cars has boiled down to a small roar at best. Every now and then a new concept or an Elon Musk tweet pops up to remind us that self-driving cars will eventually happen, but otherwise, the market’s main focus today is on electric mobility. And, here comes Audi with a sports car concept that we assume is electric, but that’s where the twist comes in because it’s also billed as an autonomous car. Or, more specifically, it’s a “sports transformation vehicle” that can transform into an autonomous lounge.
Is it really possible to have a self-driving sports car? Not driving said car kind of defeats the purpose of having the sports car itself, right? That’s our thinking anyway, and I’m sure most of you will agree. Apparently Audi is a little confused here, but not without proper sentiment at least. The teaser for the Sky Sphere concept comes courtesy of a new video staring Audi’s Senior VP, Henrick Wenders, and the company’s Head of Design, Marc Lichte. Oh, and it also starts a gorgeous 1937 Horch 853A Cabriolet.
What’s the relevance to the 853A? Well, it served as an inspiration of sorts for the Sky Sphere concept. Clearly, this isn’t a direct relation, but more of a spiritual one. In the video, Lichte said,
“The basis for good design are proportions. These proportions are simply awesome – long wheelbase, no overhang, huge bonnet. This car offers kind of the road feeling. All of this is the inspiration for our concept car, the Sky Sphere.”
We don’t know much else about the Sky Sphere Concept. We assume the interior will be over-the-top luxurious and futuristic. The powertrain will likely be electric and borrowed from the 2022 Audi E-Tron GT. As of now, there is no intent for the Sky Sphere to become a production model, but it does at least raise a little bit of hope that Audi won’t give up on sports cars in a time where SUVs and Crossovers are all the rage. It still raises the question of who thought it was a good idea to blend a sports car with an autonomous lounge. If you have a sports car, you want to drive it right? Not be driven around in something that looks fast. A little confusing? Sure, but at least the concept will definitely look cool.