By: IOL Motoring Staff
Beijing Motor Show - The Audi TT and Q3 have just had a baby and it goes by the name of TT offroad concept. As Audi puts it, the new design study “combines the sportiness of a coupe with the utility of a compact SUV.”
Although the TT offroad concept has yet to be given the green light for production, Audi board member Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg hints that it may well be on the cards: “The Audi TT offroad concept provides a glimpse of how we might imagine a new model in the future TT family.”
Measuring 4.39 metres in length and 1.85 metres in width, the new concept is similar in size to the current Audi Q3, although it is a full 8cm lower to the ground and it boasts a far sportier design attitude that's been heavily influenced by the TT coupé.
Who ever thought that Audi would even imagine a TT with more than four doors, let alone a crossover version?
SMART SAFETY GADGETS
However, there's a lot more to this concept than just style. For starters, it showcases two driver assistance technologies that are almost ready for production.
The intersection assistant, as its name suggests, helps the driver to avoid side-impact collisions at intersections and at lane mergers by using radar sensors and a wide-angle video camera to scan the zones to the front and sides of the car for danger.
The other new innovation goes by the name of 'online traffic light information' and it uses the cell phone networks to connect to traffic light systems in the city, after which it tells the driver what speed to drive in order to reach the next traffic light while it is green.
PERKY PLUG-IN HYBRID
Onto a different shade of green, the Audi TT offroad concept is powered by a plug-in hybrid drivetrain that mates a 2-litre turbopetrol engine to two electric motors to achieve total system outputs of 300kW and 650Nm. According to Audi, the drivetrain is capable of shunting the TT offroad from 0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds. After a full battery charge (which can be done wirelessly) it's also capable of covering 50km on electric power alone.
The production version, however, would almost certainly offer a full range of conventional engines. And as strange as it seems in concept, we have a feeling that a TT crossover would be quite a hit on the sales charts. But it makes us wonder what's next - an R8 station wagon?