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Audi Metroproject Hybrid

Audi is showing a design study for a small hatchback at the Tokyo
Motor Show. The good news is that it’s a hybrid, and a plug-in hybrid
at that. The bad news is that it’s called the metroproject quattro.
Hopefully Audi will lose the Metro association if they launch this car
in the UK.

An electric motor drives the
rear wheels, which reduces fuel consumption and emissions by around 15
per cent. Audi says that the capacity of its lithium-ion batteries
makes a range of up to 62 miles possible without petrol engine
intervention. The company also says that the car will do 57.6mpg and
emit 112g/km CO2, but an electric range of 62 miles doesn’t seem to
stack up with these relatively average figures (bearing in mind that
the Polo BlueMotion, from the same parent company, can do over 70mpg,
and that can’t travel any distance on electric power).

Audi says the metroproject quattro could provide clues to the look and packaging of a future Audi sub-compact production car.

Power
for the study is provided by a modified version of the 1.4-litre Turbo
FSI petrol engine recently adopted by the A3, combined with a
lithium-ion battery-powered electric motor mounted behind the rear
seats. The petrol engine’s increased 150PS output, up from 125PS in the
A3, is delivered at 5,500rpm, and its 40Nm higher torque output of
240Nm peaks from just 1,600rpm. The electric motor adds 41PS and an
extra 200Nm of torque, and when engine and motor work in unison the
metroproject quattro is able to accelerate from rest to 62mph in 7.8
seconds. Delivered via the widely acclaimed S tronic dual-clutch
transmission, 124mph is possible.

The
metroproject quattro is able to derive its power solely from its petrol
engine, purely from its electric motor or through a combination of the
two, their interplay controlled by the on-board management system.

If
the driver opts for electric operation alone – a particular advantage
for urban driving and shorter distances – the metroproject quattro is
able to cover up to 62 miles at speeds of up to 62mph, silently and
completely cleanly, before its lithium-ion batteries need to be
‘refuelled’ by a power socket. Energy released during braking is
transformed back into electrical energy rather than being released as
heat and wasted, helping to conserve resources even more effectively.

While
only the petrol engine is running, the metroproject quattro sends drive
through its front wheels, and while powered by the electric motor on
the back axle alone it is effectively rear-wheel-driven. When the two
operate simultaneously, the compact Audi is able to offer all the
advantages in composure and control that four-wheel-drive brings.

The
concept has electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering with a low
energy draw and Audi magnetic ride adaptive damping technology, which
has won plenty of praise already in the TT and R8 sports cars.

The
metroproject quattro also features Audi drive select system, introduced
recently in the all new A4 Saloon, which enables the driver to
fine-tune suspension, steering and transmission characteristics to suit
his or her preferences.

The highlight of
the cabin is the new, removable hand-held Audi mobile device, which not
only offers mobile telephony, GPS navigation and audio and video
playback, but also serves as the control unit for numerous vehicle
systems, which can be set and adjusted from outside the car. The driver
can, for example, enter destinations into the satellite navigation
unit, programme the audio system or switch on the heating from the
comfort of an armchair at home before setting off.