Yet another city car concept comes from Audi with what looks quite possibly to be the forerunner to the MINI-fighting A1. The metroproject quattro concept is equipped with a hybrid drivetrain that involves a 1.4-litre TFSI engine developing 148hp directed to the front wheels via an S-tronic Direct Shift Gearbox. Another 40hp comes from an electric motor positioned on the rear axle is able to deliver up to an additional 200Nm of torque when the vehicle is accelerating.
That’s an incredible total of 440Nm whenever the TFSI is between 1,600-4,000rpm and given the division of responsibility, results in a sly sort of quattro drive. 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 100km in pure electric mode and 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. Projected to do the 0-100 in 7.8s with a top speed of 201 km/h, the study uses just 4.9 litres of premium unleaded for every 100km, while CO2 emissions average 112 g/km.
The Audi metroproject quattro concept also uses the new Audi drive select system that made its debut with the latest generation Audi A4. This allows the driver to pre-select one of two specially adapted configurations for the drivetrain, shift characteristics and magnetic ride shock absorbers. The default ‘efficiency’ mode makes the drivetrain components respond gently to throttle input, for a relaxed drive.
The other setting is the “dynamic” mode which is sportier, and in this mode the electric motor’s additional torque is also harnesses more often to increase acceleration.
The centre console houses a new, innovative technology: the removable Audi mobile device. This portable unit functions as an access authorisation system for the vehicle, mobile phone, navigation unit and audio and video player all in one. Think of it as an iPod-like remote that integrates a host of communications devices that were previously only available separately.
This allows the driver to use the compact device as an MP3 player, an input tool for the navigation system or even switch on the vehicle’s heating and program the sound system to suit his personal preferences, before actually getting into the car. The navigation system itself is unique as its maps have altitude data, allowing the Audi metroproject quattro to calculate energy requirements such as increases in requirements during inclines, or chances to recharge the battery during downhill routes.
Looking at the Audi metroproject quattro from a purely aesthetic point of view, it’s no surprise that Audi management is still in disagreement over how the final look of their new B-segment car will look like, if you know what I mean.