German brand Audi wants everybody to know it’s a force to be reckoned with when it comes to electric luxury autonomous cars of the future. I say this because the carmaker is now almost ready to reveal its fourth sphere-named concept, which – like the ones before it – aims to “inspire with ideas that have never been seen before.”

With a reveal date set for January 26, information is very thin regarding the upcoming Audi Activesphere concept, but we do know from the company’s website that it will be a combination of a high-riding SUV and a coupe.

“The vehicle promises a maximum of aesthetics and is full of contrasts: cold and warm colours, manual and automated driving mode, edgy as well as streamlined, very simple but at the same time very techie, too,” said Marc Lichte, Head of Design at Audi.

Gallery: Audi Activesphere Concept Teaser

The German brand’s lead designer says that the inspiration behind the Activesphere concept comes from California’s car culture, where some people have two cars – an SUV for going surfing or to the countryside and an elegant second car for going into town for dinner. The Activesphere tries to combine both these vehicles into one, with a design language that “will be a testimonial” to Audi’s Quattro technology, with a “simple shape, reduced to the maximum, but very muscular, with soft muscles,” says Marc Lichte.

Audi’s previous sphere concepts – the Grandsphere, Skysphere, and Urbansphere – were all designed to envision a world where people could get into their cars and be driven to their destination in comfort and safety, so they all have steering wheels and pedals that can retract when going into fully autonomous mode. But being concept cars, they don’t actually have the tech needed to make them fully self-driving just yet.

With the new Activesphere, Audi is trying to finish its lineup of all-electric cars of the future: after a two-door grand tourer, a spacious sedan, and a people carrier, it’s time for an SUV of sorts to fill in the gaps. We’ll find out more in a couple of days, when the luxury carmaker will release more information, along with photos of the interior.

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