TOKYO Audi showed a luxury three-door, four-seat subcompact car at the Tokyo motor show targeted at premium buyers.
Rupert Stadler, CEO of Audi AG, says the Metroproject quattro has elements that will make their way into the new A1 Audis smallest car expected in 2009. Sources at Audi of America say there are no plans to import the teeniest Audi, but Stadler wouldnt rule it out. The smallest Audi sold in America is the A3.
Stadler says the concept shows that small cars can have higher price tags when they have unique features and are loaded with high-technology.
The Metroproject is a hybrid with a 150-hp, transversely mounted, turbocharged in-line four-cylinder 1.4-liter engine. The engine is mated to a 41-hp electric motor with Audis S-tronic direct shift gearbox. It has Audis quattro four-wheel-drive system.
Audi says the car can be plugged into an electric outlet and recharged. Emissions are about 15 percent lower than with the normal combustion engine.
The car has a coupelike roofline and no visible B-pillar. The A- and C-pillars are connected by two aluminum arches that run along the roofline. The car is only 3.91 meters (153.93 inches) long and 1.75 meters (68.89 inches) wide. Like the R8, the engine can be seen through a glass panel when the rear hatch is opened.
Inside, the center console has a removable mobile unit that contains a phone, navigation system, audio and video player. It has a touch-screen like the Apple iPhone and a wireless communications link.