Brains and brawn have combined to formidable effect in a spectacular new Audi sport utility vehicle (SUV) design study set to debut at this month’s North American Auto Show in Detroit (Jan 15-23). Bearing the familiar Audi allroad quattro name, but this time based on the all-new A6 Avant that opens for UK ordering this week, the new concept car features the latest Audi adaptive air suspension for impeccable all-terrain credentials, a potent new Piezo-injected V8 TDI engine and numerous technological advances.
For the new allroad quattro concept, the elegant lines of the new A6 Avant body shell have been given a harder edge by striking new bumpers, flared wheel arches, visible ribbed stainless steel under-body protection and a special treatment for the now familiar Audi single frame grille. Imposing 19-inch alloy wheels and piercing LED front and rear lights also add to the visual appeal.
To help make molehills out of mountains the allroad quattro concept can muster huge reserves of torque from a new 4.0-litre V8 TDI engine boosted by two turbo chargers and incorporating common rail fuel injection with state-of-the-art Piezo injectors. Notable not only as the lightest eight-cylinder diesel in the world, but also the first to comply with EU4 emissions regulations through the use of a particulate filter, this new powerhouse is good for 286PS and an incredible 650Nm of torque. As a result, the allroad quattro concept can sprint from rest to 62mph in 6.4 seconds, dispatch 50-70mph in 4.9 seconds and power on to an electronically governed top speed of 155mph.
Almost exactly 25 years since Audi unleashed its first quattro model on an astonished market, and set exceptional new precedents for agility and control on both rally stage and road, the latest evolution of the concept takes the potential of this system to new heights yet again. The allroad quattro concept features a modified version of the latest adaptive air suspension first used by the A8 luxury saloon, with electronically controlled four-mode adjustable damping giving optimum ride comfort and handling balance in all conditions, combined with a variable ride height. The lowest 160mm setting benefits on-road agility by dropping the centre of gravity, and reduces wind resistance and fuel consumption for motorway cruising in the process. The maximum height setting of 210mm gives the best possible ground clearance on rough terrain and steep inclines.