TOKYO -- The crowd at the auto show here expected to see Audi's A1, but the German automaker popped a surprise today with the Metroproject plug-in hybrid concept.
Based on Volkswagen groups modular Polo platform, the Metroproject hints at Audi's future small-car A1. Metroproject is a 3910mm-long study for the two-door small car, which Audi wants to sell starting in 2009, to be built in Brussels. Its body style hints at the looks and proportions of the A1, although it is not the final design, Audi sources said.
The Metroproject powertrain has two parts. One is a so-called downsized 1.4-liter 150hp direct-injection gasoline turbo engine that drives the front wheels. The other is an additional 30kW electric motor driving the rear wheels when required.
In a combined mode, the gasoline engine and electric motor generate a cumulative 440Nm of torque and also transfers the power into a four-wheel-drive Quattro. Its lithium-ion batteries, which can be charged on any external power source, are big enough to permit autonomous zero-emission electric driving for 100km.
Including a stop-start system and brake energy regeneration, Audi claims that the Metroproject reduces fuel consumption by 15 percent, resulting in average CO2 emissions as low as 112 grams per kilometer.
An additional innovative feature is a removable touch-screen control unit that allows the owner/driver to preset certain functions of the car while sitting at home.
You may e-mail Wim Oude Weernink at [email protected]