Svelt-looking Audi liftback shows Audi's interpretation of practical
THE AUDI Prologue Avant concept has been shown ahead if its reveal at the 2015 Geneva motor show. A derivative of the Audi Prologue shown at the 2014 Los Angeles motor show last November, which pointed towards the company’s new design direction under freshly installed chief designer, Marc Lichte, the Avant takes the same design language – including the trademark Audi single-frame grille – but gets a little different at the rear.
Sitting on those turbine-like 20-inch alloys that show off carbon-ceramic brake rotors, the seductive graphite-coloured front-end has been beefed up with more aggressive intakes for a slightly different front-bumper treatment than the LA show car. There’s the same skinny LED headlamps, with ‘light signature’ a key component of any Audi’s styling, but look further back, and the Avant – Audi-speak for wagon, of course – sprouts a second set of doors and a higher roofline than the LA coupe show car. While it keeps the same sharp-edged blisters on its wheel arches, the D-pillar hosts a massive third window section and a hatch-like tailgate with an integrated spoiler. Audi claims it’s the more practical application of its new design philosophy. Officially a five-door, it could well have been called a ‘Sportback’ in Audi terms.
“With the Audi prologue, the prototype meter of our new design language, we have clearly pointed the way in aesthetics. Now we are going one step further by presenting a concept which combines aesthetics, dynamics and function in a fascinating way,” says Lichte.
Both Prologue concepts are based on the Audi MLB platform, which will underpin the next Audi A8 flagship sedan. The Avant is 5.11m long, 1.97m wide and stands 1.4m tall, making it slightly longer and wider than the Prologue coupe, but it still strictly a four-seater. The cabin offers three touchscreen, two of which are OLED (that’s Organic Light-Emitting Diodes), with Audi’s virtual cockpit instrument cluster and surrounded by crisp-edged brushed aluminium and Nappa leather. It should be comfortable, given the adaptive air suspension set-up.
With the next A8 confirmed as an all-hybrid line-up, under the bonnet of the Prologue is the powerplant from the Audi Q7 e-tron that was shown last month at the 2015 Detroit motor show. The means a 3.0-litre turbodiesel and electric motor combination that produces a grunty 355kW, and with its quattro all-wheel drive system, boasts a 0-100km/h claim of 5.1sec. On electric power alone, the Prologue Avant can travel 54km, says a Audi – a 4km improvement on the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, the first plug-in hybrid form the company to arrive in Australia, with sales starting in the second quarter of 2015.
Audi says that the Prologue Avant concept is ‘very close to series production’ without confirming that it will arrive in showrooms. Along with the LA show car, which points to an Audi A9 (or possibly A10) as a derivative of the A8, the Avant is likely to see Audi fill yet another niche in its prolific model-line-up which the company aims to expand to 60 models by 2020.