Audi have unveiled their sporty looking compact crossover concept at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, called the Allroad Shooting Brake and is importantly part of Audis e-tron hybrid range. Offering only three doors, the crossover resembles a raised three door Audi A3 but with a plush interior which appears more appropriate for a sports car, with a high centre console and reclined seating position.
More interestingly, perhaps, is the use of the e-tron hybrid drivetrain. Producing 292 PS and 380 Nm of torque, the vehicle’s 2.0 litre TFSI unit is aided by electric motors to produce 408 PS and 650 Nm of system torque, drastically improving performance.
0-62 mph is dealt with in a mere 4.6 seconds and the car will accelerate onto a limited top speed of 155mph. of course, being a hybrid means that those statistics aren’t enough without their economy figures which are 149mpg and only 45g/km CO2. With the reasonably sized fuel tank, over 500 miles range should be possible too.
A bit speculatory but nonetheless interesting is that when Porsche recently released their new Macan model, it was mentioned that it will be offered with a four cylinder engine, in the future. Perhaps the drivetrain featured in the Audi Allroad Shooting Brake concept provides an indication as to what Porsche might be plotting, especially considering Porsche’s apparent love of hybrid technology (as seen in their 918 Spyder and forthcoming LMP race car) and that Porsche is part of the Volkswagen Audi Group (VAG).
Audi suggest that the Shooting Brake hybrid concept is an accurate depiction of what Audi’s design ethos will be in the very near future. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of AUDI AG, Technical Development, said:
“The show car combines sex appeal, highly efficient e-tron-quattro technology that produces 300 kW of power yet only consumes 1.9 l/100 km of fuel (equating to 149 UK mpg) and cutting-edge electronic applications. We are offering very concrete glimpses of the near future in this show car.”
The Allroad Shooting Brake hybrid concept is designed to elaborate on the Sport quattreo concept originally shown at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. The car’s construction is carbon fibre and aluminium for rigidity and strength without weight and Audi have fitted a whole host of technology, starting with the four-wheel-drive quattro system. Drivers have the option to choose EV mode only, which will concentrate the drivetrain in only using power from the electric motors, allowing for a silent drive.
Full details from the press release can be read below.
The allroad shooting brake has a wheelbase measuring 2.51 metres. It is 4.20 metres long, 1.85 metres wide and 1.41 metres tall, giving it a powerful stance on the road. The exterior shell appears as though it were sculpted from one solid piece, from the single-frame grille to the distinctive tornado line and crisp rear styling, in which the characteristics of the allroad and the shooting brake come together.
The low-profile dual headlights of the Audi allroad shooting brake are a classic reference to the look of the Audi quattro models. Braces partition the headlights into four segments; the matrix LED technology with its individually controlled light-emitting diodes guarantees excellent visibility without causing glare to oncoming traffic. Beneath the headlights, narrow cross fins provide structure to the large air inlets.
The centre console travels together with seat adjustments so that the controls remain at an optimal distance to the driver. Individual fine adjustment is also possible. The controls – the electronic selector lever of the e-S tronic (shift-by-wire) and the terminal of the MMI user interface – are always ideally within reach and can be optimally adjusted to the height and preferences of the driver.
There is a charging port in the left pillar and a fuel door in the right pillar.
More advanced MMI system
The new design of the MMI terminal and sporty design of the multifunction steering wheel lets the driver control nearly all functions of the Audi allroad shooting brake intuitively. The menu structure is based on that of a smart phone, which includes a free text search function. It is easy to access all major functions, and multitouch gestures on the touchpad of the MMI terminal enable quick scrolling and zooming in lists and maps.
The cockpit is very focused on the driver. The steering wheel and digital instrument cluster lie in a single direct line of sight. The TFT display with its 12.3-inch screen presents all key information in top quality 3D graphics and offers a variety of modes. In the classic view, the powermeter for the plug-in hybrid drive system and the speedometer are in the foreground, while in Infotainment mode elements such as the large navigation map dominate, and in Sport mode the tachometer is prominently displayed.
Another forward-looking feature in the show car is the Audi phone box, which links the driver’s mobile phone to the vehicle electrical system and can inductively charge it as necessary.
Three drive units: plug-in hybrid drive
The plug-in hybrid drive delivers impressive key performance data with 408 PS of system power and a system torque of 650 Nm (479.42 lb-ft). The show car, which weighs around 1,600 kg unladen, launches from a standstill to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds, and is capable of reaching an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.
Fuel consumption is measured at 148.7mpg according to the relevant ECE standard, which equates to CO2emissions of 45g/km. A total driving range of up to 510 miles is achievable.
The 2.0 TFSI in the Audi allroad shooting brake delivers 292 PS of power and generates 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque. The transverse mounted 2.0-litre four-cylinder with a large turbocharger is a high-end engine. In part-load operation, indirect injection supplements direct gasoline injection to improve fuel economy; the exhaust manifold that is integrated in the cylinder head enables high-performance thermal management.
The 2.0 TFSI operates together with a pancake electric motor via a decoupling clutch; the electric motor outputs 40 kW of power and 270 Nm (199.14 lb-ft) of torque. It is integrated in the six-speed e-S tronic. The ultra-fast shifting dual clutch transmission sends torque to the front wheels.
A second electric motor, which is separate from this drive unit, is mounted to the rear axle. It supplies propulsive power at low and moderate vehicle speeds with its maximum power of 85 kW and 270 Nm(199.14 lb-ft) of torque. It can also be operated in tandem with the motor and engine at the front axle if the hybrid management system decides that all-wheel drive makes sense. In such situations, e.g. on a slippery road or in light off-road conditions, this essentially makes the Audi allroad shooting brake an e-tron quattro.
Located just forward of the rear axle is a lithium-ion battery that consists of eight modules. It contributes towards a balanced distribution of weight, and it hardly affects cargo capacity at all. The liquid-cooled battery has an energy capacity of 8.8 kWh, which is enough for 31 miles of all-electric driving. An Audi wall box is used for stationary charging; it can operate with different voltages and plug connector types, and it regulates the energy transfer conveniently and intelligently.
Three modes for Audi drive select
Drive select management offers three driving modes. EV mode, which can be selected by a button on the multifunction steering wheel, prioritises all-electric driving.
In Hybrid mode, in many situations, the electric motor in the front acts as a generator – driven by the engine, which then charges the battery, and this extends the car’s effective electric driving range.
In Sport mode, which the driver can select via the Audi drive select system, the car’s full system power is available. When a high level of power is demanded by the driver, the electric motor at the rear axle works together with the 2.0 TFSI.
Depending on the driving situation, releasing the accelerator pedal can cause all drive units to be decoupled, or it can result in energy recovery by regenerative braking. In the first case, the show car coasts with zero emissions since the combustion engine is shut off; in the latter case, braking energy is fed back into the high-voltage battery.
The driver can use the “Hold” and “Charge” functions in the MMI user interface to specifically influence the battery’s charge state, e.g. to increase storage of electric energy so that it can be used over the final miles to the destination.
An electro-mechanical steering system is at work in the chassis of the Audi allroad shooting brake; it works together with a MacPherson front suspension and a four-link rear suspension. Audi say the sporty crossover is talented in off-road driving thanks to its high ground clearance, compact wheelbase, short overhangs and electric quattro drive.