Audi Allroad Shooting Brake Concept Bows at 2014 Detroit Auto Show
Audi is going crossover crazy with a raft of new models in the pipeline, including the rumored Audi Q2, Q4, and Q9 models along with a redesigned Audi Q7. At the 2014 Detroit auto show, the company is showing the Audi Allroad Shooting Brake Concept, which, by the looks of it, is a preview of some sort of upcoming Audi crossover that could join the automaker's expanding lineup over the next few years.
At first glance, the two-door Allroad Shooting Brake, with its hatchback profile and rounded rear end, looks like an Audi TT on stilts. If that seems familiar, it's because Audi has shown this look before with the Audi Steppenwolf concept from the 2000 Paris motor show. That's not a bad thing, though. The Allroad Shooting Brake concept represents a nice integration of Audi's signature front grille framed by narrow, LED matrix front headlights and an aggressive lower air dam. A strong character line arcs across the Allroad Shooting Brake's profile and leads to the rounded, sloped hatch in the rear. Styling elements like the chrome roof rack, lower-body cladding, and slightly raised ride height contribute to what Audi calls the Allroad stance.
Given that the Allroad Shooting Brake concept is two feet shorter than the smallest Audi crossover sold in the U.S., the Audi Q5, it's hard to say exactly how a production version would fit into Audi's model range. The Allroad name is currently used on a slightly raised version of the Audi A4 wagon, so it's possible that a production version of this concept would not use a "Q" prefix at all.
The Audi Allroad Shooting Brake concept is also notable for being the first application of a new version of Audi's e-tron hybrid system, which provides all-wheel drive through a second electric motor mounted at the rear axle. Predictably, Audi is calling this system "e-tron Quattro." In this concept car, the familiar 2.0-liter TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine combines with the aforementioned rear electric motor and an electric motor integrated into the six-speed dual-clutch transmission for a total output of 408 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. Like other Audi e-tron models, this concept is a plug-in hybrid with an approximate electric-only range of 31 miles. The Allroad Shooting Brake can go up to 80 mph in EV mode, and in sport mode—which uses the full system's power—it goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.
The sleek, minimalist interior of the Audi Allroad Shooting Brake concept is meant to suggest a future direction for Audi's user interface and how it might be integrated into future Audi cockpits. Some of the materials, such as the Alcantara headliner and futuristic leather, may be typical show-car fare, but the streamlined control interface without a central display screen looks nearly identical to the recently-revealed cabin of the upcoming 2015 Audi TT. Instead of a console-mounted display screen, this new Audi interior design direction migrates the infotainment display to the fully-digital color instrument cluster. The climate controls integrated into the air vents and the new multi-touch MMI controller from the Allroad Shooting Brake also make their way into the 2015 TT. Other interesting aspects of the interior include a center console that moves with the driver's seat, a smartphone docking station with inductive charging.
We like the clean, stylish looks of the Audi Allroad Shooting Brake concept, so Audi's reference to it as "a concrete look into the near future" is a good sign. Even if the exact body style doesn't make it into production, look for the key aspects of this concept—most notably the e-tron Quattro drivetrain and an updated interior interface—to appear in various future Audi models. Look for the Audi Allroad Shooting Brake concept at its official debut at the 2014 Detroit auto show next week.