Audi Allroad Shooting Brake concept revealed

* Petrol-electic plug-in hybrid SUV revealed * Shooting Brake has up to 402bhp; 0-62mph in 4.6sec * In efficiency modes, claims 148.7mpg and 45g/km CO2...

Audi Allroad Shooting Brake concept revealed

The Audi Allroad Shooting Brake has been revealed ahead of its motor show debut in Detroit.

Sketches of the Allroad Shooting Brake were released in December, but this is the first time we’ve seen the car in detail. The concept car is a three-door petrol-electric plug-in hybrid SUV, with a high ride height, plastic cladding and metal underbody guards.

In most hybrid systems, a separate electric motor either drives the same axle as the engine, or powers the alternate axle to provide a four-wheel-drive set-up. However, the Allroad Shooting Brake has two electric motors, which can support both functions.

The show car’s engine is a 2.0-litre petrol with 288bhp and 280lb ft of torque, which drives the front axle. This is supplemented by a 54bhp electric motor that’s integrated within the six-speed automatic gearbox.

The second motor is mounted to the rear axle, and produces 114bhp and 199lb ft of torque. It can either power the car on its own – in rear-wheel-drive pure electric mode – or combine with the powertrain over the front axle to turn the Allroad Shooting Brake into a four-wheel-drive hybrid.

In pure electric drive mode, the rear motor can propel the car up to 80mph, while the battery can power the car for 31 miles. A hybrid mode lets the engine and motors work together as efficiently as possible, permitting the front motor to top up the lithium-ion battery when required.

This generator function means that the pure electric range can be replenished, which would allow for multiple stints of all-electric driving on a long enough journey. The car has a range of 510 miles using the most efficient settings. Average fuel economy is a claimed 148.7mpg, while CO2 emissions are just 45g/km.

There are ‘Hold’ and ‘Charge’ settings within Audi’s redesigned MMI infotainment system that allows the driver to choose how the battery’s charge is managed. Hold mode will keep the battery at its current state of charge, while Charge mode will replenish it until it is full.

The final drive mode is Sport, which combines the petrol engine and both motors to give a total power output of 402bhp with 479lb ft of torque. In this set-up, the car has a 0-62mph time of 4.6 seconds, and a limited top speed of 155mph.

The Allroad Shooting Brake is 4.2 metres long, 1.85 metres wide and 1.41 metres tall, which makes it comparable in size to a Mini Paceman. The Audi is slightly longer, while the Mini is slightly taller.

The body panels and exterior trim of the show car are a mix of aluminium and carbonfibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). The car’s flared arches cover 19-inch wheels, which feature CFRP rims, and there are dual exhaust tailpipes within the rear diffuser.

At the front, the concept uses the same ‘Matrix LED’ headlight technology that’s been launched on the latest Audi A8. At the back, a third brake light runs in an ultra-thin strip across the width of the car, under the rear window.

The Allroad Shooting Brake’s interior showcases the same ‘virtual cockpit’ dashboard as the cabin of the 2014 Audi TT, which was revealed last week.

The uncluttered design features a new 12.3-inch TFT screen within a wide binnacle behind the steering wheel. Three different modes change the size and position of key displays like the speedometer, rev counter and sat-nav, depending on the driver’s preference.

The new turbine-style vents have integrated fan speed and temperature adjustment, which was also seen in the Audi TT preview. However, in this concept car, the rotary controls pop out automatically when they sense a hand nearby, so don’t need to be pushed in and out manually.

There’s more automatic adjustment for the centre console itself. As the driver moves their seat to get comfortable, the ‘floating’ central tunnel will follow its movement, meaning the gearlever and MMI controller are always the same distance away.

Audi’s R&D chief, Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, says that the concept ‘combines a host of visual elements of future sports car models’. While it’s likely that the Allroad Shooting Brake previews design cues that will appear on the 2014 TT model, it’s also thought to hint at the styling of the forthcoming Audi Q1. The latter goes into production in 2016.

By Ed Callow