During the launch of the Audi Sky Sphere Concept, Audi presented it with its designer, Gael Buzyn. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Buzyn was the man behind the breathtaking Audi PB18 e-tron Concept, which was a high-tech, futuristic supercar with a sliding driver’s seat. Buzyn is back with a new concept car and he’s brought more sliding designs with him.
In this video, we get to hear from a lot of people, including the Head of Brand Henrik Wenders, Sales and Marketing Boss Hildegard Wortmann, and even Audi’s Head of Design, Marc Lichte for a bit. However, it’s Buzyn that’s most interesting to listen to. Because he was in charge of the car’s design, he provides great insight into why it looks the way it does, what the design inspiration was, and how it all works.
What’s fascinating is that Buzyn once again worked functional sliding body work to a concept car. The Audi PB18 e-tron Concept had a driver’s seat that would slide from its normal position on the left side of the car to a central driving position, or a “Monoposto” driving position. The Audi Sky Sphere features some sliding tech as well but this time it’s the entire front end of the car.
When switching from its autonomous “Grand Touring” mode to its driver-controlled “Sports” mode, the Audi Sky Sphere’s entire front end slides toward the bulkhead of the car, reducing its overall wheelbase by 250 mm. Not only is that visually and mechanically impressive but it actually improves the car’s handling. In addition, the car’s adaptive air suspension lowers by 10 mm, making it quite the transformation.
The overall car is also gorgeous. Buzyn and the team used the Horch 853 roadster of the 1930s as inspiration and it’s actually quite obvious. There’s a very clear futuristic art deco-style design to the Audi Sky Sphere that looks fantastic. Let’s just hope Audi actually implements a lot of these design elements — specifically the adjustable wheelbase — to cars in the near future.