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Audi’s new design prologue show car includes 48V subsystem; mild hybrid capabilities; soon to be in production cars

At the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, Marc Lichte, Head of Design, is presenting the Audi prologue concept car. Lichte is giving the Audi brand a new styling direction in the large coupe. Among the many advanced technology features of this “foretaste of the future of Audi” is a new 48‑volt subsystem of the vehicle electrical system—this is a technology that will soon be introduced to production cars at Audi. (Earlier post.)

The 48‑volt system is supplied by a powerful belt starter generator, which turns the powertrain into a mild hybrid and has an energy recovery output of up to 12 kW during braking. An eight‑speed tiptronic directs engine power to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive, which works closely with torque vectoring.

The prologue is powered by a biturbo V8 4.0 TFSI producing 445 kW (605 hp) and 700 N·m (516.3 lb‑ft) of torque; in overboost mode, which the driver can call up for around 15 seconds, a boosted torque of 750 N·m (553.2 lb‑ft) is available. The V8 accelerates the two‑door coupe, which has an unladen weight of 1,980 kilograms (4,365 lbs) from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.7 seconds.

Despite that performance, the show car’s combined fuel consumption is still only 8.6 liters per 100 kilometers (27.4 US mpg), which equates to CO2 emissions of 199 grams per kilometer (320.3 g/mile). One contributor to this high efficiency is the 48‑volt subsystem.

Dynamic all‑wheel steering, in which the rear wheels can turn up to five degrees, makes the large couple extremely responsive and stable while driving.

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