Executives at Audi’s press conference at the 2014 Detroit auto show today confirmed connections between the Audi Allroad Shooting Brake concept and the next-generation 2015 Audi TT. The concept’s interior and exterior design, as well as the powerful hybrid powertrain, gives us an overall glimpse into a promising and expanding future for the four-ringed brand.
Audi development chief Ulrich Hackenberg excitedly addressed journalists at the conference, and stressed that the combination of sportiness, on-board technology, and fuel efficiency, featured on the Allroad Shooting Brake is a useful indicator of Audi’s strategy moving forward. Hackenberg acknowledged to reporters that “it would be possible to see an electric TT in the future,” and that the formula could even be potentially adapted to a small performance crossover. “We have the right technology,” said Hackenberg. “The plug-in hybrid gives us the best of both performance and efficiency.”
According to Audi, the concept Audi Allroad Shooting Brake can produce 402 hp and achieve 130 mpg on its hybrid drivetrain, which integrates a 2.0-liter direct-injection turbo four-cylinder gasoline engine and dual electric motors mated to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Plug-in battery charging is available, as it is on other e-tron-designated models, and all-electric range is approximately 31 miles. The all-wheel-drive concept can sprint from zero to 62 mph in just 4.6 seconds.
Audi of America president Scott Keogh was animated in his explanation of the new single-screen setup, identical to what we’ll see in the 2015 Audi TT, which he told us works particularly well in sports cars. “This interior is the next step that will work its way into our other cars,” Keogh told us in an interview, focusing on the mix of advanced materials like consumer-grade computer chips with high-quality graphics cards that can really deliver on the functionality of a single, consolidated infotainment and instrument cluster. There’s no question now that we’ll start to see this setup as well as other overall design language elements in all new Audis, such as the LED headlamps and three-dimensionally inset front grille.
With the Audi Q1 crossover starting production in 2016, it’s not terribly hard to imagine another crossover slotted somewhere else in Audi’s growing stable looking a lot like this concept. The 2015 Audi Q3, coming to the U.S. this fall, measures in at just over 172 inches, compared to just over 165 inches for the Audi Allroad Shooting Brake concept. While Audi downplayed any connection between the concept and a future Q1 crossover, citing any similarities as more general Audi design cues, the concept’s hybrid powertrain, all-wheel-drive, and smoothly sloping rear hatch are easy to imagine on a small two-door crossover positioned below the Q3 — the Range Rover Evoque coupe and MINI Cooper Paceman are evidence there is at least some market for these goofy cars. Furthermore, it’s entirely feasible to imagine Audi’s new modular architecture handling the necessary transformation.
We’ll have to wait and see how the Audi Allroad Shooting Brake influences the future of Audi’s lineup, but you can definitely count on seeing plenty of new models and variants, such as a TDI-powered Audi A3, as the brand seeks to become the world’s best-selling luxury brand.
Keep up with our coverage of the 2014 Detroit auto show for more details as this story develops.