Audi showed a glimpse of the shape of things to come at the Paris Motor Show—a shape that identifies the potentially highly significant A1 range. An extrapolation of the Project quattro three-door concept seen at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show, the A1 Sportback concept is a five-door gasoline hybrid with a claimed CO2 figure of 92 g/km.
With an overall length of 3.99 m (157 in) and width of 1.75 m (69 in), it fits the subcompact class and is expected to be seen in production form in 2010. The concept has a 1.4-L turbocharged gasoline engine producing 110 kW (148 hp) and 240 N·m (177 lb·ft)—80% of the latter available from 1250 rpm—and a 20-kW electric motor producing torque of 150 N·m (111 lb·ft) that operates in tandem or independently. The car's lithium-ion batteries provide a range in concept form of up to about 100 km (62 mi). Stop-start and energy regeneration are part of the technology. The car has a plug-in recharge facility.
Performance figures include a 200-km/h (124-mph) top speed and a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) time of 7.9 s, with an average fuel consumption of 3.9 L/100 km.
Unlike the Tokyo Show's Project quattro concept, the A1 concept has only front-wheel drive, but all-wheel-drive is likely to be on offer for some production variants into the manufacturing program. The A1 concept has a dual-clutch S tronic transmission.
The Sportback is built on elements of a Volkswagen Group modular platform with a 2.46-m (97-in) wheelbase. The engine is transversely positioned. Packaging has taken priority, but the Show car’s interior was very much in the exotic concept category, although some cues are likely to carry over into production.
Communication systems include the facility for the driver to use a mobile phone also as an address database, navigation system, and audio/video player. And it could control some vehicle systems. Audi would provide software downloadable from the Internet to allow the phone to span these tasks, together with some others such as vehicle-security functions and monitoring.
Also new from Audi at Paris was the latest S4 with a V6 supercharged gasoline TFSI engine, which the company states not only outperforms its V8 predecessor but does so with a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions (225 g/km) and 9.7 L/100 km fuel economy—a 27% improvement over the V8-powered S4.
The new 3.0-L V6 gets a compact supercharger because "it delivers keener response than even two turbochargers could achieve," says Audi. The supercharger fits inside the 90-degree vee of the cylinder banks, with resultant shortened gas paths and improved throttle response. The V6 generates 245 kW (329 hp) and 440 N·m (325 lb·ft), the latter available from 2500 to 4850 rpm to provide a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) time of 5.1 s for the manual sedan with the Avant (wagon) 0.1 s slower.
An S tronic twin-clutch transmission developed specifically for Audi models with longitudinal engine installation is an option. In this form, fuel consumption is reduced to 9.4 L/100 km and emissions to 219 g/km.
At Paris, Audi also announced the A4 concept e. Scheduled for production, it emphasizes dynamic efficiency. Powered by a 1.9-L diesel, it has a combined fuel consumption of 3.99 L/100 km and CO2 emissions of 105 g/km.