Audi prides itself on being able to make almost any kind of car — even cars as ridiculous as a three-door subcompact crossover — into a thing of beauty. But Audi can: just stir in a heap of whizbang technology and body bling and such a car as the Allroad Shooting Brake Concept could woo crowds from an auto show stand all year long.
Audi is not resurrecting the unloved 80’s-era AMC Eagle Kammback and giving it a plug-in hybrid power source. It is, however, previewing the next generation TT.
It’s worth noting that Audi previewed the second-generation TT with another Shooting Brake concept in 2005 (look it up), so it’s safe to say that the next TT will look pretty much like this car, only lower and rounder on the top. So for now, ignore the Quattro all-wheel drivey-ness (like the skid plates and matte body cladding) of the Shooting Brake and concentrate on the fuselage and the lighting if you want to see what the next TT is going to look like.
To that end, it appears that the TT won’t change too radically. As with many Audi redesigns of late, stylistic changes involve refinements to the grille shapes and inner workings of the lights, which are sideways T shapes, in this case—two of ‘em…two Ts. Anyway, the pronounced wheel arches remain, as do the bulbous butt, high waist and slim windows. Wheels will certainly be downsized a bit from the cartoonish size seen here, and the suspension will probably not be cleared for off-roading.
The Allroad Shooting Brake’s four-passenger interior is very close to that of the new TT, said one Audi insider. Particularly nice is the deep dish steering wheel, containing a red engine start button, and the trick “Audi phone box,” a mobile phone holder capable of wireless inductive charging. The rear seat, while not exactly limo-like, is more accommodating than that of the current TT, though some of that space comes courtesy of the long roof. We’ll see once the production car arrives how much headroom remains once the roof tumbles home at an angle.
The car’s e-Tron plug-in hybrid powertrain is also quite remarkable, blending a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a six-speed dual clutch automatic transmission containing an integrated electric motor driving the front wheels, and a separate electric motor to power the rear wheels. An 8.8-kWh lithium ion battery stores and supplies the juice for the electric motors. Together, they produce 408 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, according to Audi, allowing the 3,527-lb car to launch from zero to 60 in 4.6 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph. In e-mode, the axle powertrain components are locked out, with the rear electric motor doing the driving up to 81 mph. It also boasts an electric-only driving range of up to 31 miles.
The Allroad Shooting Brake is built on the same “MQB” platform that will underpin many other VW and Audi products from the Q5 crossover to the sporty VW Scirocco and Mark VII GTI. MQB can also support a variety of powertrains from full electric to diesel to plug-in hybrids such as the upcoming A3 e-tron, whose front-wheel-drive powertrain is much like this car’s, sans the rear motor part. So while Audi has no plans to build the Shooting Brake as you see it here, in theory, there is no reason why we couldn’t see some form of jacked up TT in the future. Unless, of course, no one wants it.