Audi have revealed their latest take on the estate (or Avant if you’re Audi) with a shiny new purposeful yet refined hybrid. Power and comfort are high on the agenda as this car is no slouch, offering a super powerful 3.0 litre turbo-diesel mated with an electric motor to provide some heady statistics. 0-62 mph in 5.1 seconds may make you raise an eyebrow – that’s fast by anyone’s standards – and more than 500 lb-ft of torque is sure to make the power surge quite an event with added all wheel drive (quattro).
Audi have gone into great detail regarding the looks of the beast, but we tend to think this is subjective and shouldn’t be over analysed… but it’s a good looking machine, if a little plain. The car will be shown at the Geneva Motor Show from the 5th March and is yet more indication that Audi are taking their hybrid powertrain seriously.
Here’s an example of the Audi blurb, to give you an idea of what they’re aiming for:
At a glance, the new show car can be recognised to be an Audi – with its athletic build, taut surfaces and sharp edges. The Audi prologue Avant picks up on the tradition of the extraordinary design and space concepts, for example, of the proto Avant from 1982, and re-interprets this design. With a length of 5.11 metres, a wheelbase of 3.04 metres, a width of 1.97 metres and a height of 1.4 metres, the Audi prologue Avant is a little larger than the two-door coupé Audi prologue. Four individual seats, four doors and a large tailgate round off the concept.
Board Member for Technical Development, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenber said:
“With our show car for Geneva, we now translate the design language of the Audi prologue into a new, dynamic and stretched form. We are merging it with a concept of high variability. The Audi prologue Avant is progressive, emotion-filled and versatile, it reflects Audi’s technological competence and quality claim perfectly.”
Very Close to Production
The plug-in hybrid drive of the Audi prologue Avant is almost identical to the powertrain in the Audi Q7 e-tron quattro which will be launched in summer 2015. The 3.0 TDI engine installed in the Audi prologue Avant outputs a maximum of 353 PS, and a powerful electric motor integrated in the eight-speed tiptronic contributes up to 100 kW. System output is 455 PS, while system torque is 750 Nm (553.2 lb-ft). The eight‑speed tiptronic directs engine power to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive ensuring superior drive characteristics in any situation.
The show car accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 5.1 seconds. Its top speed is limited to 155 mph. The Audi prologue Avant is capable of returning up to 176mpg combined according to the NEDC standard for plug-in hybrid vehicles – corresponding to 43 grams of carbon emissions per kilometre. The lithium-ion battery pack in the rear storing 14.1 kWh of energy gives the car a range of 33.6 miles in pure electric drive mode.
With its AWC (Audi wireless charging) technology which Audi is developing for series production, the battery can also be charged inductively. AWC technology provides energy from a floor plate which is connected to the power grid and which can be embedded on or into the asphalt. This plate integrates a primary coil and an inverter (AC/AC converter). When active, this coil induces a magnetic field of alternating current. On the basis of state-of-the-art technology, Audi uses 3.6 kW of power as provided by a wall socket with a maximum of 16 amps of charging current.
The chassis of the Audi prologue Avant is also packed with high-end series production technology. The adaptive air suspension sport – an air suspension system with controlled damping – offers a wide spread between smooth power transmission and tight handling. Front and rear axles are lightweight five‑arm wishbone constructions. The 20-inch brake discs are made from carbon fibre ceramics.
The dynamic all-wheel-drive steering system resolves the classic conflict between dynamic handling and stability. The system combines a dynamic transmission steering system on the front axle with an additional steering system for the rear wheels where an electric motor actuates two tie rods.
When the driver steers at low to moderate speeds, the rear wheels turn up to five degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels. This gives the responsiveness of the car a further boost and reduces its turning circle. At higher speeds, the Audi prologue Avant handles swerving very calmly and with superior reliability: in such a manoeuvre, the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front wheels.