Latest iteration of the automaker's next-gen design language, the Audi Prologue Allroad Concept made its global debut in Shanghai. Following on the original Prologue Coupe and Prologue Avant one-offs, this third take on the theme complements its even sportier active-lifestyle character and introduces a new and more sophisticated extension of Audi's pioneering Virtual Cockpit. To properly round out its personality, this striking on/off-road plug-in hybrid also delivers an exhilarating 724 horsepower with unprecedented efficiency through its Quattro all-wheel-drive system. 

Fashion melds with function 

While sharing fundamental styling cues with its Prologue predecessors, the new Allroad Concept does move the visual marker in subtle but effective ways Audi characterizes as "progressive elegance." The changes start up front where brushed aluminum crossbars that reflect a new interpretation of the e-tron look fill its Singleframe grille that here, too, is flanked by Audi's laser Matrix headlamps. In keeping with its multi-faceted personality, the Allroad rides 3.0-inches higher than the Prologue Avant and features more terrain-friendly front/rear lower fascia treatments as well as tastefully rendered dark grey protective cladding around the lower perimeter and wrapping its flared fenderwells that are neatly filled with a 22-inch wheel/tire package. Finished in Dehua White, the Prologue Allroad complements its graceful roof and pillar treatments with a selection of brushed aluminum accents. 

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The spacious cabin of the Audi Prologue Allroad displays a similar avant-garde edge. Rendered in Lifestyle Blue and Sard Brown set off with fine-grain dark ash, aluminum and Alcantara, its four individual seats are covered in supple Unicum leather. A software "butler" automatically identifies each occupant using an electronic profile stored in their cellphone and then adjusts both the seating position and the temperature level to accommodate all on board than offers suggestions for music or route planning. The Allroad's console-mounted Easy Slot system also interfaces cellphones with the vehicle's infotainment system and provides convenient wireless recharging.  

Always in touch 

Taking interactivity to a new level, the Allroad Concept features a groundbreaking dash design that boasts three interconnected displays. The main programmable Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster is now complemented by a second touch/gesture-controlled widescreen unit positioned in the upper part of the dash as well as a smaller display in the lower center console area dedicated to the climate control system as well as various infotainment functions and text input. The Allroad's full-length console also features an additional screen in the aft quarters that allows rear passengers to make personal infotainment choices, manually control seating/climate settings and communicate with the driver. Each also has access to an Audi tablet device that can be mounted onto the front seatback.   

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Spun from the same aluminum-intensive platform that underpins its Prologue predecessors, the new Allroad variant also boasts sport-tuned adaptive air suspension and 4-wheel steering. It's motivated by the 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged TFSI V8 found in the Coupe, here paired with an electric motor integrated into its 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. That combo cranks out a collective 724 horsepower along with 664 lb-ft of peak torque -- sufficient thrust to send the Allroad from 0-62 mph in 3.5 seconds. A rear-mounted 14.1kWh lithium-ion battery holds enough charge to let the Allroad travel 33.6 miles on pure EV power, and Audi says it returns the equivalent of 98 mpg on the European NEDC cycle for plug-in hybrids. Like the Prologue Avant, the Allroad makes use of various regen features to help generate electricity on the fly and is capable of having its battery fully replenished inductively using the Audi Wireless Charging system currently being developed for production. 

While there's no indication the Audi Prologue Allroad Concept will be rolling into showrooms anytime soon, the automaker once again confirmed its bold visual cues provide "a clear glimpse at the brand's design future." The most likely candidates to benefit from Audi's new direction in style and technology appear to be the upcoming A6, A7 and A8 models lines. 

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