Audi introducing Audi prologue Avant diesel plug-in hybrid show car at Geneva; 147 mpg, wireless charging
At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Audi presented the Audi prologue concept car, featuring a mild hybrid powertrain with a 48V electrical subsystem. (Earlier post.) At the upcoming Geneva show, Audi will show a new variant of the prologue—the Audi prologue Avant—featuring a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Both prologue variants provide a view into coming Audi design language, as well as the technology experience inside and outside.
The Audi prologue Avant uses technology which is close to series production. It is equipped with the plug‑in diesel hybrid drive from the Audi Q7 e‑tron quattro (earlier post)—which achieves even higher performance in the show car.
The 3.0 TDI engine installed in the Audi prologue Avant delivers a maximum of 260 kW (353 hp), while the electric motor integrated in the eight-speed tiptronic contributes up to 100 kW. System output is 335 kW (455 hp), while system torque is 750 N·m (553 lb-ft). The eight‑speed tiptronic directs engine power to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive.
|The Audi prologue Avant uses a version of the Q7 e-tron plug-in hybrid powertrain. Click to enlarge.|
The show car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.1 seconds. Its top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). The Audi prologue Avant consumes an average of only 1.6 liters per 100 kilometers (147 mpg US) according to the NEDC standard for plug-in hybrid vehicles—corresponding to 43 grams of carbon emissions per kilometer. The lithium-ion battery pack in the rear storing 14.1 kWh of energy gives the car a range of 54 kilometers (33.6 mi) in pure electric drive mode.
With its AWC (Audi wireless charging) technology which Audi is developing for series production, the battery can also be charged inductively. AWC technology provides energy from a floor plate which is connected to the power grid and which can be embedded on or into the asphalt. This plate integrates a primary coil and an inverter (AC/AC converter). When active, this coil induces a magnetic field of alternating current. On the basis of state-of-the-art technology, Audi uses 3.6 kW of power as provided by a wall socket with a maximum of 16 amps of charging current.
The chassis of the Audi prologue Avant is also loaded with high-end series production technology. The adaptive air suspension sport—an air suspension system with controlled damping—offers a wide spread between smooth power transmission and tight handling. Front and rear axles are lightweight five‑arm wishbone constructions. The 20-inch brake disks are made from carbon fiber ceramics.
The dynamic all-wheel-drive steering system resolves the classic conflict between dynamic handling and stability. The system combines a dynamic transmission steering system on the front axle with an additional steering system for the rear wheels where an electric motor actuates two tie rods.
When the driver steers at low to moderate speeds, the rear wheels turn up to five degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels. This gives the responsiveness of the car a further boost and reduces its turning circle. At higher speeds, the Audi prologue Avant handles swerving very calmly and with superior reliability: in such a maneuver, the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the front wheels.
Three-part display: the instrument panel. Across its full width, the front of the dashboard is designed as a display surface which integrates three touch displays. Aluminum frames surround the two driver-faced displays left and right of the steering wheel. The left one serves to control the assist functions, the right one is for multimedia management.
The front passenger faces a widescreen display that is integrated into the full surface of the instrument panel; it is used to configure entertainment features individually and conveniently. With a wiping movement, the front passenger can send media content such as music playlists to the right driver display or navigation data to the Audi virtual cockpit behind the steering wheel.
On the console of the center tunnel, there is another display for text entry, air conditioning and infotainment designed for the driver. It consists primarily of an extremely thin, bendable OLED film (OLED: organic light emitting diodes), and it displays extremely sharp images that are rich in contrast. When inactive, the OLED display is in a flat retracted position; as soon as the vehicle is started, it moves up at an angle. The curved display ensures a constant ergonomic distance to the driver’s hand, his wrist calmly resting on the eight‑speed tiptronic selector lever.
Within the driver’s field of view lies the Audi virtual cockpit future. High-resolution displays and three mirrors generate a virtual visual stage with three levels. In the navigation view, for instance, the first level presents information that is important for driving; levels two and three generate the depth effect in the cockpit. Thanks to this staggered approach, information is structured better and is easier to grasp. According to driving style, content and colors will change in the Audi virtual cockpit future.
Overall design. The Audi prologue Avant picks up on the tradition of the design and space concepts, for example, of the proto Avant from 1982, and re-interprets this design. With a length of 5.11 meters (16.8 ft), a wheelbase of 3.04 meters (10.0 ft), a width of 1.97 meters (6.5 ft) and a height of 1.4 meters (4.6 ft), the Audi prologue Avant is a little larger than the two-door coupé Audi prologue. Four individual seats, four doors and a large tailgate round off the concept.
With the Audi prologue, the prototype meter of our new design language, we have clearly pointed the way in esthetics. Now we are going one step further by presenting a concept which combines esthetics, dynamics and function in a fascinating way. The progressive body design expresses our technological competence and reveals the values which render our brand unique: sportiness, high-quality, progressiveness.—Marc Lichte, Head of Design at Audi