Today, at the opening day of the 2014 American International Auto Show in Detroit, Audi will unveil its second plug-in concept car in as many weeks with its three-door Allroad Shooting Brake compact crossover.
The unveiling comes a week after the German Luxury automaker debuted its Sport Quattro Laserlight plug-in V8 hybrid concept car at the Consumer electronics Show in Las Vegas. But while the Quattro Laserlight was clearly Audi’s vision of a distant future, the Allroad Shooting Brake hints at a car we might see on dealer lots in the very near future.
Based on Audi’s e-tron plug-in hybrid drivetrain technology, the Allroad Shooting Brake compact crossover is driven by a 2.0 litre transversely mounted, four-cylinder, TFSI (Turbocharged Fuel Stratified Injection) engine and a pair of electric motors. When working in concert, they can accelerate the 1,600 kilogram show car from 0-62 mph in around 4.6 seconds, going on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.
The larger of the motors, capable of 85 kilowatts of power and 270 Nm (199.14 lb-ft) of torque, drives the rear wheels via a direct-drive transmission. Powered primarily by the car’s on-board 8.8 kilowatt-hour liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack, it can operate in all-electric mode for up to 31 miles of range. In all-electric mode, top speed is electronically limited to 81 mph.
Meanwhile, a smaller, 40 kilowatt, disc-shaped electric motor is situated behind the 2.0-litre engine up front. Integrated into the car’s six-speed e-S tronic dual-clutch transmission, the electric motor can either be used alongside the main electric motor and 2.0 litre engine for maximum performance, as a generator to charge the car’s battery pack, or as an all-electric supplement to the rear-wheel drive motor in challenging conditions for all-wheel electric drive.
Like Volvo’s V60 plug-in hybrid, this makes the Allroad Shooting Brake a through-the-road hybrid, capable of a claimed 149 mpg UK (124 MPG US, 1.89 l/100km). With electric and gasoline combined, Audi claims a full-tank, full-charge range of 502 miles.
In addition to its EV, Hybrid and Sport modes, the Allroad Shooting Brake also offers charge sustaining and charge hold functionality, perfect for saving EV operation on long trips for congested city centres.
Finally, it’s time to talk style. Built with a combination of aluminium and carbon fibre reinforced plastic, the Audi Allroad shooting brake looks ready to take on everything from city streets to dirt tracks, while high ground clearance and 19 inch wheels placed fairly close to each corner hint at the car’s offroad intent.
As you’d expect of any electric car concept, LED lights are used all-round, while the interior includes a customisable centre console and multifunction steering wheel to give the driver easy and quick access to all the car’s functions.
Audi hasn’t said if or when the Shooting Brake will make it into production, but has said that the concept show car offers a ‘very concrete glimpse of the near future,’ which we take to mean a production version of this car will be unveiled at some point in the coming year.
Which brings us nicely to Audi’s on-off relationship with electric cars. After yo-yoing on its official stance on plug-in cars, it looks like Audi has finally made a commitment to include plug-in cars in its future lineup beyond the A3 sportback e-tron that will enter production later this year.
But what plug-in car will Audi offer next? An all-wheel drive shooting brake? A super-fast sports car?
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