Audi's awd hybrid concept previews TT design, SUV plans

Audi's allroad shooting brake concept is powered by a plug-in hybrid, awd powertrain that is fuel efficient while achieving 408 hp.
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DETROIT -- Audi's allroad shooting brake concept unveiled at the Detroit auto show today demonstrates three big shifts at the German luxury car brand: an embrace of plug-in hybrids, a rush toward smaller SUVs, and updates to the trendy designs that have aided Audi's recent rise.

The subcompact SUV concept is powered by a plug-in hybrid, awd powertrain that combines 408 hp with fuel economy of 1.9 liters per 100 km (123 U.S. mpg; 148 UK mpg).

"The show car combines sex appeal, highly efficient e-tron-quattro technology … and cutting-edge electronic applications," Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi's board member for technical development, said in a statement. "We are offering very concrete glimpses of the near future in this show car."

The most concrete of those glimpses is an interior that appears almost identical to that of the next-generation TT coupe. Audi revealed the TT's interior this month at the CES technology convention in Las Vegas. The car goes on sale in Europe later this year.

The concept has a 292 hp, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine that operates together with a 40 kW electric motor. A dual clutch transmission that sends torque to the front wheels. A second electric motor, which is separate from this drive unit, is mounted to the rear axle, offering all-wheel drive.

It has a range of 50 km (31 miles) in electric mode.

Other features of the allroad shooting brake -- including its revised grille, new LED headlights and taillights, and metallic fuel-filler caps -- may also preview the TT.

You can reach Gabe Nelson at gnelson@crain.com.

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