• The Audi Urbansphere is a concept car that looks a lot like a minivan to us.
  • It has a 396-hp electric powertrain and a 120.0-kWh battery pack.
  • A production version of this could be sold in China eventually, but we doubt it would ever reach the U.S.

    The third of Audi's "Sphere" concepts, following the Skysphere convertible and Grandsphere sedan, is something completely different. Called the Urbansphere, this latest vehicle can't be mistaken for anything other than a minivan.

    While many of the Urbansphere's styling cues, including the headlights and the closed-off grille, appear to be cribbed from the Q4 e-tron electric crossover, the concept's proportions scream family hauler. It has a short hood, a swept-back windshield, lots of glass, and an upright tailgate. The Urbansphere is a massive 217.0 inches long and 79.1 inches wide—significantly bigger than any other vehicle Audi has ever made—and Audi says it has a huge 70.0 inches of headroom. The fanciful concept-car-style interior only has four seats, but each is an elegant-looking lounge chair that can swivel and recline in several different ways.

    The Urbansphere is electric, naturally, and rides on the VW Group's PPE platform that will underpin future Audi EVs including the A6 e-tron. Audi says its battery pack measures about 120.0 kWh and claims its electric motors produce 396 hp and 509 pound-feet of torque. The wheels measure a huge 24 inches, the suspension uses air springs, and there's a rear-wheel steering system to aid maneuverability.

    Audi is upfront about how the Chinese market is the focal point for this concept car, as this type of vehicle is popular there as a way of chauffeuring people around. Lexus also launched a van for China, and Buick offers many luxurious versions of its GL8 minivan for Chinese customers. We wouldn't be shocked if Audi builds a production version of the Urbansphere, but there's no chance it would ever reach the U.S. if so. An Audi minivan may not have been on our bingo card for 2022, but the Urbansphere is nonetheless a cool concept car that takes the brand in an unexpected direction.

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