A week ahead of its public debut, Audi has released photos and details on its new hybrid wagon.
Audi’s prologue Avant concept is a station wagon that doesn’t appear very wagon-like, with a design far removed from the original 1977 Avant wagon.
It’s part of Audi’s new prologue series. The prologue coupe, which is very similar to the wagon, was seen at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show with a hybrid powertrain.
Marc Lichte, Audi’s new design chief, said the overall purpose behind the prologue concepts was to create a design base on which to build the A6, A7 and A8.
“With the Audi prologue, the prototype meter of our new design language, we have clearly pointed the way in esthetics. Now we are going one step further by presenting a concept which combines esthetics, dynamics and function in a fascinating way,” said Lichte when describing the prologue Avant.
But unlike the prologue coupe – which is powered by a 597 horsepower V-8 and an 80 horsepower electric motor – the prologue Avant combines diesel with electric to form its powertrain.
The 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel uses an efficient direct injection system. The electric motor is built into the eight-speed transmission, with a14.1-kilowatt hours battery pack mounted in the rear of the car.
Running only on electric, Audi said the Avant has a 33.6-mile range. The estimated combined fuel use is between 28.3 and 41.3 mpg.
This hybrid powertrain, though unusual in the current market, isn’t a new concept for Audi. It mimics the Q7 e-tron Quattro, a concept SUV that debuted earlier this year. The Avant’s powertrain is more powerful, though, with an overall output of 455 horsepower and 553.2 pounds-feet of torque. The Q7, in comparison, is rated at 373 horsepower and 516.3 pounds-feet of torque.
Striking features on the new five-door prologue Avant include a wide-mouthed grille, sleek Matrix Laser headlamps and oversized 22-inch wheels.
The interior is luxury-grade, with Unikat leather covering the four spacious seats. The German automakers technology looks crisp and innovative (though it’s user friendliness is unknown).
A curved OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) display in the center console operates the HVAC system and infotainment options, with a separate widescreen for the front passenger. Both connect to a set of OLEDS tablets for the rear passengers, which are removable from the headrests.