By Matt Schmitz on January 13, 2014
Looks like: A sleek, sporty crossover
Defining characteristics: Low, muscular stance; powerful and efficient plug-in hybrid drivetrain
Ridiculous features: Nothing really ridiculous, unless you count Audi's touting of its "sex appeal"
Chances of being mass-produced: Seems reasonable enough
Audi says its new, recreational-sports-influenced crossover concept, the allroad shooting brake show car — which bows today at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit — offers "very concrete glimpses of the near future." The automaker says the compact two-door crossover has the ruggedness it needs to leave paved roads, while its two-motor gas/electric hybrid powertrain boasts a fuel economy of around 124 mpg-equivalent.
The exterior of the allroad shooting brake aims to evoke a powerful stance on the road as "cleanly drawn lines and the taut muscular tension of its surfaces create a sculptural, emotional design." Audi's signature hexagonal, single-frame grille dominates the front end of the Ice Blue-painted crossover, along with low-profile LED headlights and large air inlets. The body is a mix of aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced polymer, or CFRP. Large wheel flares accentuate lightweight 19-inch wheels with rims also made of CFRP. The rear view is defined by a diffuser that stretches between two large exhaust pipes and an open roof spoiler.
Audi says the interior design caters to sporty, active types and includes narrow sport seats in front, an easy-entry function to assist rear passengers entering and exiting and a flat-folding rear seat that creates a large cargo area for bulky sports equipment. The cabin is colored Anthracite and Rock Grey, with an Alcantara roof lining, as well as leather and aluminum features elsewhere.
The plug-in hybrid powertrain, mated to a six-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, makes 408 horsepower and just more than 479 pounds-feet of torque, and boasts a zero-to-62-mph time of 4.6 seconds; Audi claims a top speed of 155 mph. That's in addition to its 124 mpg-e fuel economy and range of nearly 510 miles. Those figures combine the outputs of a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a pair of electric motors with a lithium ion battery pack. Power is sent to the front wheels unless the drive system detects, for example, a slippery surface, and then all-wheel drive kicks in. A trio of driving modes includes electric vehicle-only, range-extending hybrid and performance-focused Sport.
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News Editor Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt