Audi has made no secret of its plans to expand the next generation of its TT model lineup, which was introduced last month in Geneva. The first of what could be at least two new variations on the theme - the Audi TT Offroad Concept seen here -- made its debut in Beijing over the weekend. Should a version of this show car be approved for production, possibly as a Q4, it would be a natural rival to the BMW X4, Land Rover Evoque and Porsche Macan.
Like the new TT, the Offroad Concept is based on the Volkswagen Group's aluminum-intensive MQB Modular Transverse Matrix platform architecture. Roughly the size of a new Audi A3, this compact 4-door shares many of the TT's design cues but has a personality all its own. Motivation comes from a gas-electric plug-in e-tron Quattro hybrid system that matches a 2.0-liter turbocharged TFSI 4-cylinder engine with a pair of electric motors - one integrated into its 6-speed e-S tronic automatic transmission that helps to power the front wheels and the other aft, driving the rear axle.
Collectively the package develops 408 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. That's sufficient to let the TT Offroad Concept sprint from 0-62 mph in 5.2 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. With its 12kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery fully charged, the TT Offroad Concept can travel 31 miles on pure EV power and has a total per-tank/charge range of up to 547 miles. Audi also notes the battery pack can be replenished using a conventional wall charger or a wireless inductive unit. Like other current Audi intelligent hybrid setups, the TT Offroad Concept features a tri-mode (EV/Hybrid/Sport) Audi drive select management system as well as an energy-recovering "coasting" mode and conventional regenerative braking.
New Virtual Cockpit Instrumentation
The stylish, tech-rich and leather-lined cabin of this Audi show car offers room for four and features all of the automaker's latest design flourishes, starting with the new "virtual cockpit" dash/instrumentation introduced in the production TT. Audi connect keeps all aboard online at LTE speed and a trio of Audi Smart Displays serve as mobile infotainment terminals inside - or outside - the vehicle. Other neat touches include a Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System, an ionizing air purification setup from the A6/A8 and a box in the rear bay that contains a 1:8 scale radio-controlled replica of the car.
Audi plans to use public reaction to help determine whether a TT-based crossover should ultimately join the family. However, with Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development, describing the Offroad Concept as "sustainable, dynamic, intelligent and connected," we suspect a production variant will turn up in Audi showrooms within the next 12-18 months.
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