|Audi Metroproject Quattro|
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At the Tokyo Motor Show Audi has unveiled the metroproject quattro, an original, characteristically Audi design study for the sub-compact segment. The three-door four-seater car blends dynamic styling with exemplary economy of space and supreme quality in trailblazing fashion. At the same time, a series of visionary technical solutions take efficiency, dynamism and motoring pleasure into new territory as only Audi knows how.
The drive unit for the metroproject quattro showcases a fully independent, innovative hybrid technology. At work under the bonnet is a 1.4.litre TFSI engine developing 110 kW (150 bhp), whose power is directed to the front wheels by means of the S-tronic Direct Shift Gearbox. A 30 kW (41 bhp) electric motor positioned on the rear axle is able to deliver up to an additional 200 Nm of torque when the vehicle is accelerating. When boosting, in other words driving the vehicle simultaneously by TFSI and electric motor to achieve a dynamic driving style, the study is transformed from a front-wheel-drive car to a quattro, and power is transferred to the road in the most effective way possible.
The electric motor is furthermore capable of powering the vehicle alone for zero-emission driving in residential areas, for instance. The capacity of the lithium-ion batteries gives the vehicle a range of up to 100 km in pure electric mode; the motor can be recharged from any power socket. The automatic start/stop facility, energy regeneration and phases of purely electrical operation reduce the fuel consumption and emissions of the Audi metroproject quattro by around 15 percent compared to when it is running exclusively on the combustion engine. Despite its sporty performance (0-100 km/h in 7.8 seconds, top speed of 201 km/h), the study uses just 4.9 litres of premium fuel for every 100 km, while CO2 emissions average a mere 112 g/km.
The concept car's styling is simple and coherent, making it look as if it has been cast from a single mould. The basic proportions, with a high vehicle body and a flat window area bordered by a coupé-like roof line, produce a virtually classic look for a vehicle bearing the four rings. Tracing the roof's silhouette are two striking, sturdy aluminium arches which run along the top edge of the windows to connect the A and C-posts, further emphasising the dynamic appeal of the powerfully built, compact vehicle body. The tail is rounded off by a spoiler integrated into the rear window.
The side-on view presents another typical coupé attribute in the form of doors with frameless windows and no visible B-pillar. The bold segmentation of the study's side panelling with its gently rising shoulder line accentuates the styling.
The shoulder line of the Audi metroproject quattro with its Racing Red paint finish is a new interpretation of yet another trademark feature of the current Audi design. Here, the prominent double lines continue around the entire vehicle as a curvaceous band that links the front end - from which it seems to emerge - with the vehicle's tail, that rises to create a slightly wedge-shaped effect. At the front, the metroproject quattro's lowered bonnet that is virtually embedded into the shoulder line forms a novel styling element.
The interior, with its four individual seats and a surprisingly generous amount of spaciousness for this class, has a tidy, no-frills appearance. The curving wrap-around element merges the doors and the sporty cockpit into a single whole. The dashboard and centre console are designed entirely around the driver. Ergonomics and aesthetics unite to create an ambience of clear-cut architecture and high-class appeal. This impression is further enhanced by the two-tone colour concept. The instrument cluster shroud, the wraparound and the centre console are trimmed in a contrasting colour to inject the interior with added dynamism. Details such as the air vents and air conditioning controls seem to be straight out of a jet plane. This same thinking was behind the soft finish of the interior's surfaces. The round dials and the air vents, which are also circular, are reminiscent of a classic sports car cockpit à la Audi TT.
Characteristic Audi sportiness plus a whole new dimension in efficiency - it is all down to the novel combination of a state-of-the-art Turbocharged FSI engine with an electric motor and innovative control electronics.
Under the bonnet of the Audi metroproject quattro sits a four-cylinder TFSI with a capacity of 1.4 litres and a Turbocharger. This engine is an advanced version of the unit that made its series production debut in the Audi A3 only a few months ago. Whereas the 1.4 TFSI musters 92 kW (125 bhp) in the A3, it delivers 110 kW (150 bhp) at 5,500 rpm in the study. Its peak torque of 240 Nm is on tap over a broad rev band from 1,600 - 4,000 rpm.
The Audi engineers have long since proven the performance potential of Turbocharged FSI technology, both on race tracks around the world and out on the road. Indeed, a jury of experts awarded the accolade of "Engine of the Year" to the 2.0 TFSI for the third year in succession in 2007.
The new 1.4 TFSI builds on this very same concept in order to maximise efficiency on the one hand and performance on the other. Multi-hole injectors result in very homogeneous mixture formation and extremely efficient combustion. This is also an effective means of helping to cut pollutant emissions.
The integrated Turbocharger promises optimised responsiveness and even more harmonious torque build-up. 80 percent of peak torque can be summoned up from as low down as 1,250 rpm, in other words barely above idling speed. And despite its power, the 1.4 TFSI sets new benchmark standards in its class for its acoustic output too.
Power transmission to the front wheels is the task of the sporty Audi S-tronic Direct Shift Gearbox. It allows drivers to make lightning-fast gear changes, without a clutch pedal and without any interruption in the power flow. Gearshifts can also be fully automated if desired. If drivers wish to change gear manually, they can do so by using the shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. Reverse and Park, meanwhile, are engaged using the shift lever knob on the centre console.
When running on the combustion engine alone, drive power is delivered to the study's front wheels. If it is being propelled purely by the electric motor, on the other hand, the vehicle is transformed into a rear-wheel-drive car. The 30 kW (41 bhp) electric motor transmits its power directly to the rear wheels; the differential compensates for any slip on one side.
When the two drive units are working in unison, however, the Audi metroproject is transformed into a genuine quattro and can count on all the benefits of four-wheel-drive system. This ensures that the high torque of 440 Newton metres in total - 240 Nm from the 1.4 TFSI plus an extra 200 Nm from the electric motor - is transformed into the required level of tractive power when accelerating.
The second fundamental ingredient for outstanding handling dynamics is supplied by the sophisticated chassis design, comprising McPherson front suspension and four-link independent rear suspension. Large 18-inch wheels with size 225/35 R18 tyres boost both driving pleasure and safety.
The dynamic chassis is tuned for sporty, agile handling combined with excellent stability, and makes cornering a particular delight. What's more, the chassis excels with a level of ride comfort befitting of higher vehicle classes.
The braking system with its large-diameter discs (measuring 312 mm across at the front wheels) is more than a match for the drive power. Bred on the racetrack, the system promises outstanding, fade-free stopping power.
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|Article||Image gallery (12)||Specifications|