Audi teases plug-in hybrid concept (and lasers)
Much like Ford, Audi is choosing a leading consumer electronics trade event instead of the upcoming Detroit Auto Show to unveil a plug-in hybrid concept. The German automaker will reveal next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the Audi Sport quattro lasterlight concept.
This new coupe plug-in concept, said Audi, is “reminiscent of the classic Sport quattro of 1983 while pointing towards the future – with the latest of the brand’s technologies in plug-in hybrid drives, user control and display interfaces and lighting technology.” To this end, under the hood, its system output
is 515 kW (700 hp), and its system torque is 800 Nm (590.05 lb-ft). Power flows via a modified eight-speed tiptronic to the quattro drivetrain, which features a sport differential at the rear axle. The show car’s combined fuel consumption, based on the applicable fuel economy standard, is just 2.5 liters of fuel per 100 km (94.09 US mpg) – which equates to CO2 emissions of 59 g/km (94.95 g/mile).
The combustion engine is a four-liter V8 with biturbo charging; it produces 412 kW (560 hp) of power and 700 Nm (516.29 lb-ft) of torque. The cylinder on demand (COD) system, which deactivates four cylinders under part load and a start-stop system make the sonorous eight-cylinder engine very efficient. Located between the 4.0 TFSI and the transmission is a disc-shaped electric motor that produces 110 kW and 400 Nm (295.02 lb-ft). It draws its drive energy from a lithium-ion battery at the rear, which stores 14.1 kWh of energy – enough for up to 50 km (31.07 miles) of all-electric driving. An Audi wallbox that is used for charging provides for optimal energy transfer.
Three different driving modes are possible with this car, including EV mode, in which one can drive the concept under electric power only. This contrasts to a sports mode that configures the V8 and electric motor for maximum power so that it “accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 3.7 seconds and can reach a top speed of 305 km/h (189.52 mph).”
In keeping with its namesake “laserlight,” Audi said it is “demonstrating the future of lighting technology by combining matrix LED and laser light technologies. Two low-profile trapezoidal elements are visible within the headlights – the outer one generates the low beam light using matrix LEDs and an aperture mask, while the inner element produces laser light for high-beam functionality.” The built-in laser diodes “are significantly smaller than LED diodes; they are only a few microns in diameter. Illuminating the road for a distance of nearly 500 meters (1,640 ft), the laser high-beam light has approximately twice the lighting range and three times the luminosity of LED high beam lights.”
As with most concepts, don’t expect this car as configured to actually ever appear in Audi showrooms. It is possible though some facets of its technology might make their way into future production models.