At the ongoing Beijing Motor Show Audi showcased an offroad concept based on its TT sports car. At the outset, we like the fact that Audi has plainly (and wisely) chosen to call it the Audi TT Offroad Concept rather than giving it a vague nomenclature as seems to be the norm these days.
Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi technical chief, said, "The Audi TT offroad concept provides a glimpse of how we might imagine a new model in the future TT family. It will be the peak sporting SUV in its class." He added, "We chose to present the Audi TT offroad concept in China, our second domestic market, because it represents the urban mobility of tomorrow: It is sustainable, dynamic, intelligent and connected".
The offroad concept is a four-door compact SUV that utilises a plug-in hybrid drive system featuring not one but two electric motors powered by a 12 kWh battery mounted in front of the rear axle.
There is a turbocharged 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine under the hood that sends 288 horses to the front wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission that features an integrated electric motor, rated at 40 kW. The second electric motor is mounted on the rear axle and produces 85 kW of power. In fact, this motor is single-handedly capable of taking the car to speeds up to 80.8 mph in pure EV mode.
In hybrid mode all three drives work together, while the 'Sport' mode is offered if you want to enjoy the combined maximum output rated at 402 bhp. The concept is believed to hit the ton in 5.2 seconds while the top speed would be limited to 250 km/h.
Audi says that while an all-electric range of 50 km is possible, an overall range of 880 km is very much real, thanks to the stupendous fuel economy of the hybrid system.
Audi's concept also features "wireless charging" allowing the car to simply be parked over a plate to receive a charge. The company claims that it takes "about as long as charging via a cable" and that the technology is around 90 per cent efficient.
According to Hackenberg, this vehicle could see the light of day within a timeframe of about two years. However, the decision on whether to give the model a green signal will take six months or so. If it goes into production it would compete head on with the Range Rover Evoque, Porsche Macan and BMW X4.