It’s not the production version of the new Q5 small SUV — that likely awaits a Geneva motor show introduction next year — but Audi’s new Cross Cabriolet quattro concept carries some hints as to what the Q5 will do and look like when it bows next year.
Cabriolet quattro concept will be unveiled today at the
The engine motivating the concept is a six-cylinder turbodiesel with 240 horsepower. A version of Audi’s new 3.0-liter turbodiesel six, the new engine comes with an ultra-low emission system using urea aftertreatment that meets European standards for the year 2014. The concept’s engine is teamed with a a Tiptronic eight-speed automatic. Audi claims a 0-60 mph time of less than 7.2 seconds.
Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system is of course beneath the Cross Cabriolet’s skin. It is set up to push torque to the wheels in a 40/60 front-rear split. Under extreme circumstances the system can deliver 65 percent of available torque to the front wheels, or 85 percent to the rears. Adjustable shocks and ride height are baked into the all-road gear, and derived in part from the applications found in the current Q7 SUV.
The body of the Cross concept is derived from the new A4/A5 architecture, as the production Q5 will be and as the next A6 is expected to be, too. Overall it’s 181.9 inches long, with a 110.6-inch wheelbase, and it rides 64.2 inches tall. Audi claims ”unbeatable” head and leg room for back seat passengers.
On its body, the Cabriolet top recedes or reattaches itself in 17 seconds. The lid itself folds in a Z-shape that makes for a compact top stack — and is much more lightweight than a folding hardtop might be. Copper Sunset paint highlights the body, which uses reinforced A-pillars and pop-up rollover bars to keep occupants safe in a crash.
From the face, the Cross Cabriolet fits neatly into the current Audi idiom, with a large grille frame and LED headlamps and daytime running lights. Big 21-inch wheels with 35-series tires and running boards beef up the SUV stance.
For the cargo side of the Cross Cabriolet’s SUV personality, the concept’s rear glass is hinged to the folding top, and folds out of the way for access to the cargo hold like a tailgate would. Elsewhere inside the Cross Cabriolet concept has some atypical features for a German-branded car — like heated and cooled cupholders, Bang & Olufsen audio, integrated Google Earth software for navigation, and intercoms for communication between passengers in top-down mode.
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