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First look: Audi reveals Allroad future

Bristling: three new driver-assist systems and a 4.0-litre TDI V8 lurk within.

Audi shores up Allroad's future with a buffed new A6 Avant-based concept

10 Jan 2005

NOT content with waiting until this year’s Frankfurt motor show in September to reveal the production version of its first dedicated SUV, Audi has used the Detroit motor show to instead unveil a bahnstorming new Allroad Quattro concept.

Presented today at the largest motor show in SUV-mad America, for which it was specifically developed, the Allroad concept moves several steps ahead of Audi’s current Allroad production car.

First, it’s based on the new A6 Avant that will go on sale in Australia late this year, thus featuring the over-sized, single-frame grille that’s become Audi’s corporate face.

Second but perhaps more importantly is the Allroad Quattro concept’s employment of a brand-new 4.0-litre turbo-diesel V8 producing 210kW and a bullocking 650Nm of torque.

Using common-rail and piezo-injection technology, the surprise new oil-burning bent eight pushes the Allroad concept to 100km/h in a sports car-like 6.4 seconds as well as claiming to be the first V8 diesel engine to meet strict EU4 European emissions standards.

The V8 TDI engine drives through a six-speed auto transmission and Audi’s permanent, torque-sensing all-wheel drive quattro system, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2005 following the production of 1.8 million quattro-equipped production cars.

Third, Audi’s latest concept comes packed with significant new electronic driver-assist technologies Audi says will enter series production in "just a few years".

Claimed to be a world-first Audi "road vision" is an optical sensor system able to recognise the condition of the road and its surface, and informs the driver of potentially critical conditions such as gravel or black ice as well as gives its stability control and adaptive cruise control systems additional, crucial parameters for greater better proactive control.

7 center image Audi "lane assist" induces vibrations on the steering wheel to inform the driver as soon as he or she inadvertently leaves a marked lane, while Audi "side assist" incorporates radar sensors to monitor the area behind and next to the car.

When the system detects vehicles approaching or driving in the car's blind spot, the driver is informed by a warning light in the exterior mirror on the appropriate side.

Measuring 4.93 metres long and 1.89 metres wide Allroad Quattro concept also runs adaptive air suspension - a combination of air suspension and electronically controlled dampers which delivers a ground clearance range of between 160 and 210mm.

While the Allroad concept is clearly designed to attract attention in the world's largest SUV market, it also hints at the German giant's desire to persevere with the popular A6 wagon-based Allroad concept despite its overdue plans to produce the purpose-built, Porsche Cayenne/Volkswagen Touareg-based Q7 (due on sale in 2006) and A4-based Q5 (due in 2008) SUVs.

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