This week at the Paris Motor Show Audi provides a glimpse of the future shape of design, along with automotive and drive concepts, through its Audi crosslane coupé concept car. This vehicle is an entirely new fusion of technology, engineering and design, and provides pointers to the design language of future Audi Q models.
With a Multimaterial Space Frame, the vehicle concept breaks new ground in terms of weight, costs and energy usage over its lifecycle, and is an evolutionary stage of Audi ultra – the lightweight construction principle from Audi.
An innovative and efficient plug-in hybrid drive based on a purpose-designed 1.5-litre three-cylinder TFSI and two electric motors redefines the benchmark, with potential fuel economy returns equivalent to 256.8 mpg and CO2 emissions of just 26 grams per km.
The result is a sophisticated vehicle that will appeal to young customers in particular thanks to its removable roof and the customisable services available under the Audi connect concept.
Pioneering concept: the Multimaterial Space Frame
The Multimaterial Space Frame of the compact Audi crosslane coupé comprises three materials – aluminium, carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) and glass fibre-reinforced polymer (GFRP). The concept car has an unladen weight of about 1,390 kg, including the large lithium-ion battery.
The aluminium profiles form a continuous, rigid structure around the occupant cell. Beams beneath the front lid join the single-frame grille, which performs a supporting function and is also made from aluminium, with the occupant cell.
The front and rear crash structures are made from CFRP and the supporting CFRP structures inside the occupant cell include the inner sills, the centre tunnel, the bulkhead and the cross-members in the floor. Surface GFRP components with partial CFRP reinforcements complete the body concept.
Audi is convinced that the highly integrated Multimaterial Space Frame is the right path to the future. Its weight is of the same magnitude as a monolithic body of CFRP. It also offers convincing advantages in terms of costs to the customer and its energy usage in a life cycle assessment.
Innovative: dual-mode hybrid concept
The plug-in hybrid drive of the Audi crosslane coupé, which is described as a dual-mode hybrid, is as innovative as it is efficient. It comprises a combustion engine, two electric motors and a single-stage transmission; its system power is 177PS. The Audi crosslane coupé sprints from zero to 62mph in 8.6 seconds, and in pure electric mode takes 9.8 seconds. The car’s top speed is 113mph. It offers the potential for up to 256.8mpg and emits 26 grams per km of CO2. The lithium-ion battery has an output of 17.4 kWh, sufficient for an operating range of around 53 miles in the electric mode.
The combustion engine is a purpose-developed three-cylinder TFSI with a displacement of 1.5 litres, delivering an output of 130PS and 200 Nm (147.51 lb-ft) of torque. The three-cylinder engine is coupled to an electric motor (EM 1), which acts primarily as a starter and an alternator. It develops an output of 68PS and 210 Nm (154.89 lb-ft) of torque. Electrical traction is provided by the second electric motor (EM 2) developing 116PS and 250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft) of torque. The transmission makes it possible to connect the combustion engine complete with alternator to the remainder of the drivetrain by means of a claw clutch.
The dual-mode hybrid concept enables different operating modes. From 0 up to 34mph, drive power is supplied solely by the EM 2, which draws the energy it needs primarily from the battery. In serial mode, the combustion engine and the alternator (EM 1) produce electrical energy to support, relieve or substitute the battery should it be discharged.
The electric mode is possible up to 80mph. From around 34mph the drive system allows the TFSI engine together with the alternator to couple to the drivetrain – in this hybrid mode, the drive sources combine to optimise both efficiency and performance. Above 80mph, the three-cylinder engine becomes the main drive source but the EM 1 can support it if required.
The driver of the Audi crosslane coupé can choose between the “cruise” and “race” settings. The “cruise” mode prioritises electric driving. The driver does not notice either gear changes or the power source kicking in. When the TFSI is running, its engine speed is always adapted to the road speed – without a “rubber-band” effect. The high efficiency of the transmission makes the dual-mode hybrid drive especially efficient in urban traffic.
From Motorin news