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Audi Gives a First Look at New E-Tron Crossover Concept

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On: Thu, Dec 12, 2013 at 4:52PM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi Gives a First Look at New E-Tron Crossover Concept

Audi will use the upcoming 2014 North American International Auto Show to showcase a new two-door sports crossover design. It appears to be more of a styling exercise than a production-car preview, but the car does have appeal and versatility, so the future will tell.

The new show car appears to be Audi's own answer to the growing trend in urban small crossover concepts designed to combine reliable street service with sporty off-road capabilities. The 13.78-ft shooting brake-style crossover slides between the A3 and A1 hatchbacks in terms of overall length, well smaller than existing Audi crossovers like the Q5. The lack of rear doors, along with the short overhangs and stocky build, keep size to a minimum.

Audi calls the unnamed show car "a car for all roads and tracks, for everyday driving and sporty recreational use." To convey that sporty-meets-rugged intention, Audi mixes Allroad styling with cues that it says will appear in future sports cars.

"Precise and clearly drawn lines as well as geometric surfaces are combined to create a sculptured, clear design form," Audi explains. "It is almost as if the outer skin of the two-door car has been modeled from a solid piece, from the Singleframe grille and striking side tornado line to the taut, coupé-like rear. The overhangs are short; the roof line is low and it ends in a strong C pillar."

The initial renderings give the image of a swept back body that's lifted on oversized 19-inch wheels. The short overhangs, sloped roof, and tailgate spoiler say something to the effect of "sports car with a set of off-road legs." Helping the latter is a high ground clearance and an aluminum underbody guard that protects the rear and front.

Audi has not revealed any details about the car's powertrain, but the "e-tron" signature on the side tells us to expect an electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain. It looks like a gas door on the hip, so we'll guess hybrid.

Because Audi describes the show car as a continuation of the evolution of design language first used on previous show and concept cars, we don't anticipate production plans. The automaker says that elements like the ribbed grille and air inlets are inspired by e-tron concepts while the dual headlights further the styling presented on the Sport Quattro, which debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

NAIAS 2014 opens to the media on January 12.

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Robert | 8:13AM (Mon, Apr 21, 2014)

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