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Audi Cross Coupe quattro

Audi has unveiled their ‘compact performance SUV’ concept at the Shanghai Motor Show. Whether you like it or not, car makers see this sector as being the next big thing, and the Cross Coupé quattro shows Audi’s approach in this area.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Audi are also keen to state the car’s green credentials. The car features a Bluetec engine. Mercedes showed this engine at the Geneva show, and now Audi are adopting the same technology in the transversely installed four-cylinder inline TDI engine with common-rail fuel injection and piezo injectors. Audi says that on average the 2.0 TDI needs just 5.9 litres of diesel per 100 km, and the diesel particulate filter and Bluetec system reduce soot and nitric oxide emissions effectively.

Audi claims that its Cross Coupé quattro combines the design and dynamism of a compact premium sports car with the spaciousness and versatility of a four-seat sport utility vehicle (SUV). It features the quattro permanent four-wheel drive system with a Haldex clutch to distribute traction according to the situation, and a sporty Audi S tronic dual-clutch gearbox that executes gearshifts in a matter of milliseconds.

In the face on ongoing comments for a long time in the motoring press about how Audis are just not fun or involving to drive, Audi also claims that the running gear, featuring a McPherson-strut front axle and a four-link rear axle, ‘is perfect for sporty and agile handling that retains a high degree of stability and makes cornering distinctly fun’.

An additional energy efficiency feature is the ‘Audi drive select system’, which makes it possible to preselect three highly individual configurations for the engine, gearbox, steering and adaptive shock absorbers. Besides the standard “dynamic” drive select mode and the “sport” setting, the Cross Coupé also has an “efficiency” driving programme, which changes the engine and gear shift points to produce greater economy. In addition, the system deactivates components that are particularly energy-hungry, for example the air-conditioning compressor. With features such as this, Audi reckons the fuel economy can be improved by up to 20%.

When can we expect to buy this car, or something similar in the UK? Not until 2010.