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Audi Allroad Shooting Brake concept brings e-tron offroad (pictures)

At the 2014 Detroit auto show, Audi unveiled its Allroad Shooting Brake concept, using a plug-in hybrid system for an all-wheel-drive light offroader.

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Wayne Cunningham
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DETROIT -- Audi shows off its Allroad Shooting Brake concept at the 2014 Detroit auto show, incorporating many of its technologies and styling ideas. The car builds on the Allroad model idea, a wagon with Quattro all-wheel-drive capable of handling light offroading. Incorporating the Shooting Brake reduces the size and makes it a two-door format. Finally, Audi gives it an efficient spin, equipping it with an e-tron plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
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The very angular design and LED headlights suggest a future design direction for Audi's production cars. Similar to Audi's smaller cars, such as the A3 and A4, the Allroad Shooting Brake is a front-wheel-drive design, with a transverse-mounted 2-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood. Turbocharging and direct injection give the gasoline engine 292 horsepower.
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A small car, Audi designates the Allroad Shooting Brake as a four-seater. It is reminiscent of some older Audi A1 and Metro concepts from the previous decade. Two-door hatchbacks are not very popular in the US so it is unlikely a car like this concept would be released as a production vehicle.
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The e-tron label means that this concept has a plug-in hybrid system. In this case it actually uses two electric motors, one integrated with the dual-clutch transmission and one driving the rear wheels. Audi rates total system output at 408 horsepower.
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An 8.8 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack gives the Allroad Shooting Brake about 30 miles of pure electric range. That gasoline-free range, along with the efficient hybrid drive system, lets Audi claim fuel economy of 124 mpg using a European test cycle.
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The Quattro all-wheel-drive system is programmed to intelligently apply power to the rear wheels from the rear electric motor at low to medium speeds. In most driving situations, the concept would work as a front-wheel-drive car.
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The rear seats fold down, offering some cargo versatility in this minuscule concept.
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Some of the interior ideas seem to be taken from Audi's upcoming TT model, which will be unveiled later this year.
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The Allroad Shooting Brake uses the Virtual Cockpit that Audi recently showed at CES for the TT. This interface puts a large LCD on the instrument cluster showing gauges, navigation, and other infotainment functions.
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The driver can easily choose to search destinations, music, and contacts on the instrument panel LCD.
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The Audi MMI controller in the concept is the same as that in the new TT, with a touch pad on top of the dial, and a refined button layout.

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