2007 Audi Metroproject Quattro Concept

October 24, 2007

Think of this as the face of the future for Audi, the future of the A1, anyway, the new minicar program that will reach market late in 2009.


“The final design for the production car has not yet been signed off,” reveals Thomas Krauter, project leader from the German automaker’s Concept Development Department, but what you see here is a strong indication of what’s to come, especially, adds Krauter, if the Metroproject Quattro generates a positive response from the public and press.”


The four-seater’s unusual, three-door design is intended to convey a sporty, coupe-like appearance, adds Audi’s CEO, Rupert Stadler, the sweeping roofline accented by a one-piece aluminum accent that is all but certain to remain on the production car, insiders told TheCarConnection.com.


The challenge Audi faces, like makers going into the minicar segment, is to break the traditional link between vehicle size and price. One way to do that is to load up with upscale features, suggested Stadler, suggesting that the concept vehicle – and the production A1 to follow – “sets an extra-high standard when it comes to its use of materials.”


Aimed at a young, sporty and affluent buyer, the Metroproject incorporates some intriguing technology, including something dubbed the “Audi Mobile Device.” Most makers long ago abandoned the idea that they could build in cellphone systems, so they use Bluetooth technology to link to an owner’s portable phone.


The AMD suggests that a similar approach may eventually be used for other hi-tech systems. An iPhone-like unit would allow a driver to carry around not only a music storage and playback device, but navigation and other systems. Placing the AMD into a central dock would link all those features to the car.


Stadler cautioned that while the Audi Mobile Device is a “very interesting concept,” it is little more than that, right now, and doesn’t appear to have a place on the production A3, at least not initially.


The concept on display in Tokyo features another unusual touch, a prototype hybrid system that drives the front wheels with a 1.4-liter, direct-injection, turbocharged in-line four making 140 horsepower. The rear wheels, meanwhile, are powered by an electric drive system making 41 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque, creating an effective, if unique, all-wheel-drive system. The result is a drivetrain that still manages to deliver 48 mpg.


Stadler said he’s convinced buyers will be willing to pay “a premium” for a car like the Metroproject Quattro. And industry analysts agree that there’s growing demand in markets like Europe and Japan for a vehicle in the A1 segment.


But what about the U.S. ? “Why not?” said Stadler, voicing confidence that the production model, likely to carry a 2010 model designation, will make it to the States.


Related Articles


2007 Tokyo Motor Show Coverage by TCC Team (10/14/2007)
Ready for wild and weird?


2008 Audi RS4 Cabriolet Road Test by TCC Team (10/23/2007)
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Audi Plans Q5, Four-Door Coupe by TCC Team (9/19/2007)
Big ambitions, bigger product lineup.

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