Audi’s Marc Lichte on the premium brand’s autonomous revolution

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Audi’s head of design Marc Lichte talks ‘revolution’, sexy GTs and vans (and why the Grand Sphere is very much the former not the latter)

Audi wants the world to know it is getting deadly serious about making autonomous production cars a reality. To do so, it will launch a trio of new concepts – the Sky Sphere at Pebble Beach, the Grand Sphere at IAA Munich in September, and the Urban Sphere rumoured to reveal in Beijing by early 2022.

“We are telling a story around the technology of autonomous driving in three acts,” Audi’s head of design Marc Lichte told Car Design News in an exclusive one-to-one chat. “This year and the beginning of next year we will present three show cars and at the core of each show car is Level 4 autonomous driving, but each car has a different focus. The Grand Sphere represents a very concrete teaser for a production model we will launch at the end of 2024. The revolution is that the Grand Sphere offers First Class travel in the first row, not the second, because ‘the driver’ is the Level 4 technology. The second row is more of a lounge. It’s a completely different layout to today’s cars.”

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