|Audi Cross Cabriolet Quattro|
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Audi introduced a new vehicle segment with its presentation of the Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro concept car at the Los Angeles Auto Show (14 - 24 November 2007). The two-door, four-seater car measures 4.62 metres in length and combines the genes of a typical dynamic soft-top convertible from Audi with the all-round qualities of a fully fledged SUV. The muscular, powerful, but also elegant lines make no secret of this vehicle's potential. The 240 bhp three-litre TDI engine with ultra-low emission technology delivers sporty driving dynamics with exhaust emissions on the level of the EU 6 limits. The quattro permanent four-wheel-drive system and high-tech chassis with electric ride height adjustment are a recipe for driving pleasure on all terrain and in any curve radius.
The Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro offers a new dimension in open-top driving among the SUV field: its fabric hood lowers itself to disappear completely behind the rear seats in a spectacularly brief 17 seconds; no B-pillar and no roll-over bar obscure the view of the heavens. And for convertible fans, it offers a new dimension in spaciousness: as an SUV, the Cross Cabriolet quattro provides its occupants with copious headroom, legroom and shoulder width in addition to an off-roader's typical height and comfortable sitting position. So when cruising along the beachfront, for instance, all four occupants can enjoy the open-air experience to the full.
The longitudinally mounted six-cylinder TDI in the Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro is the brand's latest diesel engine. With a power output of 240 bhp and 500 Nm of torque, at this stage in its evolution the 3.0 TDI is now more efficient than ever - its average fuel consumption is a mere 7.3 litres of diesel per 100 km. The engine is also equipped with what is currently the most elaborate emissions reduction system developed for a production engine: the ultra-low emission system.
This does more than just ensure that the vehicle complies with all current exhaust emissions standards worldwide. It already meets the expected limits of the EU 6 standard, which is only due to be introduced in 2014 - and does so with quattro permanent four-wheel drive and tiptronic transmission.
Spectacular - a term which sums up the visual impact of the Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro painted in "Copper Sunse", whether the top is up or down. After all, without the hint of a compromise, the concept car combines classic Audi convertible hallmarks, such as the elegant fabric hood and aluminium A-pillar surface, with the undisguised dynamism of a sports car and the masculine presence of a genuine SUV.
4.62 m long, 1.91 m wide and with a wheelbase of 2.81 m: the Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro has the dimensions of a B-segment vehicle. The longitudinally mounted engine and the basic chassis and drivetrain architectures are taken from the inventory of modules used in the current Audi A4 and Audi A5 model lines. The SUV-style height of 1.63 m with the hood closed marks the most significant difference to these relatives of the Cross Cabriolet quattro.
Power is supplied by the latest stage of evolution of the three-litre diesel with common rail direct injection. It develops 176 kW (240 bhp) and has an impressive maximum torque of 500 Nm. It is this ultra-powerful TDI with a displacement of 2,967 cc that truly makes the Cross Cabriolet quattro a sports car. It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 7.2 seconds and has a top speed of 240 km/h - yet the average fuel consumption is a mere 7.3 l/100 km. The 500 Nm provide a mighty surge of acceleration starting from just above idling speed.
The 3.0 TDI is coupled to the quattro permanent four-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. If the driver wishes to change gear manually, the shift paddles at the steering wheel can be used. The especially designed selector lever with integrated control wheel for gear selection is a newly developed variation of the shift-by-wire system.
The latest 3.0 TDI is notable not only for its low fuel consumption, but also for its especially clean exhaust. A diesel particulate filter is used to reduce soot emissions: it cuts the already low level of untreated emissions further, by more than 90 percent.
The dynamic chassis on the Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro combines precision and dynamism with a high level of stability. The suspension mountings, steering, wheels and brakes have been developed for top performance and numerous aluminium components are used to keep unsprung masses to a minimum. As in the Audi A5 and A4 models, the five-link front suspension makes a considerable contribution to the car's dynamic character.
The CDC (continuous damping control) shock absorbers, similar to those that Audi already uses on the luxury Q7 SUV with air suspension, are twin-tube gas-filled hydraulic units with an additional external valve and connecting pipe. Their operation can be continuously varied. An electromagnetically energised proportional-action valve regulates the flow of hydraulic fluid between the inner and outer damper tubes. A smaller flow cross-section makes the damping characteristic firmer, a larger one makes it softer.
The Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro is equipped with ceramic brakes on all four wheels for effective deceleration even under the most demanding conditions. Compared with conventional steel discs, ceramic brakes not only last four times longer, up to 300,000 kilometres, but also offer high resistance to fading. The significant reduction in weight also leads to advantages in terms of comfort and handling, thanks to reduced unsprung masses.
On the front axle, 380-millimetre ceramic discs are fitted in combination with 21-inch wheels. The rear discs have a diameter of 356 millimetres. The elaborate cooling duct geometry of the ventilated brake discs ensures optimum brake disc cooling. Firm grip on the brake disc is guaranteed at the front by 6-piston monobloc aluminium brake callipers, and at the rear by floating-calliper brakes.
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