Two-Door Crossover with a Four-Ringed Badge
The Audi Allroad Shooting Brake concept is a case where the name is funkier than the car itself. Here, Audi attempts to combines the distinctive and bulbous profile of a shooting brake with the pseudo-rugged looks typically associated with Allroad models. The plug-in hybrid concept, however, is essentially a two-door compact crossover, which isn’t too much of a shocker considering Audi’s plan to significantly expand its lineup of Q-badged crossovers.
That said, two-door crossovers are nothing new. Range Rover has its Evoque and Mini entered the fray with the Paceman. Dimensionally, the Allroad Shooting Brake concept is within inches of Audi’s own Q3 and the Paceman, which will likely be the main competitor for the funky Audi (should it make it to production).
At first glance, the concept appears as if the A3 hatch and A4 Allroad have morphed together. There are even hints of the first-generation TT in the concept’s curvy rear end. A few notable design touches include the absence of a B-pillar, the rakish hatch, and wide fender flares. Everything else is relatively familiar. Audi’s signature trapezoidal grille dominates the concept’s mug, while each headlight unit houses two clusters of the automaker’s new matrix LED lighting system. Gray body cladding, a familiar Allroad design trait, is used for the lower edges of the fenders, bumpers, and rocker panels.
Audi says the concept, which tips the scale at 3527 pounds, features a body of aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CRFP) to save weight. In fact, the center-locking 19-inch wheels are also CRFP.
Hiding beneath the concept’s lightweight shell is a relatively fancy version of Audi’s e-tron hybrid system. The main source of power comes courtesy of a 2.0-liter, direct-injected turbo-four that makes 288 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Also included in the hybrid equation are two electric motors. The first is nestled within the six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and is rated at 54 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque. This motor, along with the gas engine, is responsible for powering the front wheels. The second electric motor is mounted to the rear axle and provides up to 114 hp and 199 lb-ft. The 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery, which stores enough juice for about 31 miles of pure-electric driving. Audi rates the entire system at 408 hp and 479 lb-ft.
The hybrid drive select system has three modes to optimize the powertrains efficiency, power, and all-wheel drive grip. An EV mode relies on only the rear motor for all-electric driving. The hybrid mode utilizes the entire powertrain. Here, the front electric motor’s primary duty is to serve as a a battery-charging generator. Finally, “Sport” mode will squeeze the most performance from the hybrid system. Audi provided an estimated 0-62 mph time of 4.6 seconds.
With a wheelbase of 98.8 inches and an overall length of 165.4 inches, the Allroad Shooting Brake concept is relatively small. The cabin will accommodate four adults who will be surrounded by Alcantara headliner, aluminum accents, and dark gray leather. Overall, the interior is reminiscent of a few recent model launches including the 2015 A3 and the next-generation TT. The instrument panel, for example, is completely digital with a high-resolution 12.3-inch screen. Drivers can select among three display modes including a “classic” view that shows the speedometer and information pertaining to the hybrid system. An “infotainment” mode displays navigation or audio details, while a “Sport” mode is highlighted by a tachometer.
The center stack features an updated version of Audi MMI infotainment system, with a touchpad integrated within the rotary knob. The two toggle switches are simple and allow the user to choose among navigation, audio, and car system control. The flat-bottom steering wheel looks sporty and includes a red button to start and stop the engine. The air vents are reminiscent of jet turbines and also include center-mounted knobs and buttons for the climate control system.
Audi is debuting the Alload Shooting Brake concept at the 2014 Detroit auto show. And should this crossover get the green light for production, expect it to be powered by a more conventional powertrain, while wearing Q2 or possibly even Q4 badges.