Audi crossover concept previewed before Detroit show

* Crossover coupe design previewed in sketches * Concept car will be revealed at Detroit in January * May hint at styling for the Q1 SUV due in 2016...

Audi crossover concept previewed before Detroit show

Audi has released four sketches that preview a new concept car to be revealed at the Detroit motor show in January.

The concept car is a three-door crossover with a raised ride height, plastic cladding and metal underbody guards.

The e-tron and quattro badging visible in the pictures confirms that the concept will have four-wheel drive, and be powered by either a pure electric or hybrid drivetrain.

Audi says the concept has a ‘shooting brake’ bodystyle and a ‘coupe-like rear’, although it would be just as reasonable to call it a three-door hatchback.

The front of the car sports the familiar hexagonal grille that appeared on the Audi Sport Quattro and Audi Nanuk show cars in Frankfurt this year.

Arrow-shaped dual headlights haven’t been seen on an Audi concept before, and could preview a design detail for future production models.

Inside, there's no conventional cluster of instruments. In its place, the concept might have a customisable backlit screen set-up.

The concept is 4.2 metres long, around 10cm longer than a Mini Paceman and 15cm shorter than a Range Rover Evoque Coupe. It’s also about 19cm shorter than the Audi Q3, the smallest SUV Audi currently makes.

News of the as-yet-unnamed Detroit concept car follows confirmation earlier this week that the Audi Q1 SUV will go into production in 2016.

The show car pictured here may preview the Q1’s styling, or it might even hint at a model to sit between it and the Q3. Such a car could give Audi a crossover coupe rival for the Mini Paceman.