Audi pays homage to Japan’s flair for miniaturisation this week with its
new sub-compact metroproject quattro design study.
Condensing the premium quality, innovation and design progressiveness
for which the Audi range is renowned into less than 4 metres of road
space, the metroproject quattro could provide clues to the look and
packaging of a future Audi sub-compact production car.
Power for the Vorsprung durch Technik
study is provided by a modified version of the 1.4-litre Turbo FSI
petrol engine recently adopted by the A3, combined with a lithium-ion
battery-powered electric motor mounted behind the rear seats which
reduces fuel consumption and emissions by around 15 per cent. The petrol
engine’s increased 150PS output, up from 125PS in the A3, is delivered
at 5,500rpm, and its 40Nm higher torque output of 240Nm peaks from just
1,600rpm. The electric motor adds 41PS (30kW) and an extra 200Nm of
torque, and when engine and motor work in unison the metroproject
quattro is able to accelerate from rest to 62mph in 7.8 seconds.
Delivered via the widely
acclaimed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, the impressive
performance can, in the right conditions, culminate in a top
speed of 124mph. With slightly more judicious accelerator
control, a combined economy figure of 57.6mpg is possible,
coupled with modest C02 output of 112g/km.
The metroproject quattro is able to
derive its power solely from its petrol engine, purely from its electric
motor or through a combination of the two, their interplay controlled by
the highly intelligent on-board management system.
If the driver opts for electric operation alone - a particular advantage
for urban driving and shorter distances – the metroproject quattro is
able to cover up to 62 miles at speeds of up to 62mph, silently and
completely cleanly, before its lithium-ion batteries need to be
‘refuelled’ by a power socket. Energy released during braking is
transformed back into electrical energy rather than being released as
heat and wasted, helping to conserve resources even more effectively.
While only the petrol engine is
running, the metroproject quattro sends drive through its front wheels,
and while powered by the electric motor on the back axle alone it is
effectively rear-wheel-driven. When the two operate simultaneously, the
compact Audi is able to offer all the advantages in composure and
control that four-wheel-drive brings.
The highlight of the typically meticulously finished cabin is the new,
removable hand-held Audi mobile device, which not only offers mobile
telephony, GPS navigation and audio and video playback, but also serves
as the control unit for numerous vehicle systems which can be set and
adjusted from outside the car. The driver can, for example, enter
destinations into the satellite navigation unit, program the audio
system or switch on the heating from the comfort of an armchair at home
before setting off.