Audi’s new prototype is a futuristic self-driving electric car that can change its shape at a button press – take a look

A sleek black Audi vehicle with big silver wheels sits on a driveway.
Audi released its new Skysphere all-electric vehicle concept August 10. AUDI AG
  • Audi has released designs for its new Skysphere all-electric self-driving vehicle prototype.
  • The new concept car expands by 25cm in self-driving mode, giving passengers more legroom.
  • Audi won’t put the Skysphere into production, but hopes to include its features in future models.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Audi has unveiled its new electric-vehicle concept: an autonomous car that can expand and contract at the press of a button.

The automaker’s Skysphere model, one of its three new self-driving vehicle designs, is a two-door convertible. It’s 4.94 meters long in “Sports” mode, the company said. But the 1,800kg (3,968-pound) car can expand to 5.19 meters long when in self-driving “Grand Touring” mode, giving passengers more legroom for watching movies, Audi said in a company press release Tuesday.

A sleek black Audi Skysphere sits next to a golf course with its front hood open.
Audi’s Skysphere all-electric concept is able to elongate by 250mm for its self-driving mode. AUDI AG

The grey interior of Audi's new Skysphere concept with a steering wheel that is slightly square shaped.
Audi’s unveiled its new Skysphere autonomous driving concept August 10. AUDI AG

The car is expected to have a range of 500 km, per the release.

Audi told Insider via email that it had no plans to put the Skysphere into production, but hoped to include many of the car’s design features in future models.

Read more: 
Analysts explain why they’re skeptical about Biden’s ambitious plans for electric vehicle sales in the US

The German automaker, owned by Volkswagen Group, said that it planned to release its Grandsphere and Urbansphere concepts over the coming months.

Audi’s latest concept comes as automakers rush to release new all-electric and hybrid cars. In August, President Joe Biden set a new target for half of all new US auto sales by 2030 to be zero-emissions vehicles, which includes battery electric, fuel cell, and plug-in hybrid vehicles.