If you thought Audi was getting a little monotonous in bearing a sibling similarity and with so many more now on the road, even a bit tiresome to look at again and again, the new-age Audi is showing itself at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Marc Lichte, Head of Design, calls the Audi Prologue a “foretaste of the future of Audi” while Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, the Head of Development describes the two-door coupe as the perfect showcase of Audi DNA and a design strategy that is seen as progressive and highly emotional – a ‘signature car’ for Audi.
Uniquely Audi by design
“Audi stands for sportiness, lightweight design and the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. In the Audi prologue, we have put the sportiest car in the luxury segment on wheels.” Mac Lichte comments.
With the Audi A8 as a benchmark, the Audi prologue is shorter and flatter. It is 5.10 meters (16.7 ft) long with a wheelbase of 2.94 meters (9.6 ft), width of 1.95 meters (6.4 ft) and height of 1.39 meters (4.6 ft). The low front-end features a single frame displaying the four rings with a wider radiator grille positioned even lower than contemporary models. Just that the genes seem to be a wee bit mutated to allow a hybrid visual appeal of the facade with Aston Martin.
The wide wedge-like headlights present the new high-resolution Matrix laser technology: an innovation from Audi that form the pupils by a projection lens with a laser light source. The new sculptural form of the air intakes have diamond pattern screens in their interiors. A dynamically contoured blade maintains a distance with the bumper, complemented by two additional spoilers in glossy black.
The front-rear balanced proportions of the 22-inch wheels set in widely flared wheel arches reflect the quattro DNA of Audi. The low profile tyres of 285/30 get ten intertwining Y wheel-spokes filigree alloys.
The workmanship of the window framing reminds of handcrafted quality. The fuel tank lid has an electric opening mechanism with no cap and can be lowered completely into the C-pillar by pressing a button in the interior. The doors have no handles, and they are opened electromechanically when the illuminated sensor surfaces are touched.
Interiors that recognize its occupants
The spacious interior of the Audi prologue is like a luxurious lounge. The interface visually adapts to the specific driving style. The architecture merges with the operating concept like in the displays and controls integrated into the instrument panel and console of the center tunnel, along with an interactive infotainment system.
The four-seat coupe welcomes passengers with the “butler” service – an innovative intelligent software program – that identifies them based on their smartphones – and adjusts seats and climate control to their preferences while also making music and route recommendations. The Easy Slot system, an advanced development of the Audi phone box, networks the smartphones to the vehicle infotainment system and charges them.
High-resolution displays and three mirrors structure driving information on three levels and with visual depth. The content and colors of the Audi virtual cockpit future change as a function of driving style – in sporty driving, the display switches over to Sport mode with special presentation of the relevant information such as engine rpm, temperatures and charge pressure. Inside the Audi prologue, attention to detail is evident even in the finely crafted perforated panel that covers the air vents. If the driver sets the blower to a higher stage, the panel retracts downwards.
The 4.0 TFSI produces up to 605 hp of power and 700 Nm of torque; 750 Nm in over-boost mode that lasts for 15 seconds The sonorous biturbo V8 of the Audi prologue accelerates the two-door coupe from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.7 seconds. Its dynamic all-wheel steering, with rear wheels that can turn up to five degrees, is designed to make the large coupe easy in parking lots and extremely responsive and stable.
The show car’s combined fuel consumption is just 8.6 liters per 100 kilometers (27.4 US mpg), which equates to CO2 emissions of 199 grams per kilometer (320.3 g/mile). One contributor to this high efficiency is a new 48-volt subsystem of the vehicle electrical system that will soon be introduced to Audi production cars. It involves a powerful belt starter generator, which turns the powertrain into a mild hybrid and has an energy recovery output of up to 12 kW during braking. An eight-speed tiptronic directs engine power to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive, which works closely with torque vectoring. The show car has an unladen weight of 1,980 kilograms (4365.2 lb)
The adaptive air suspension sport with controlled damping offers a large adjustment range between smooth rolling and very tight handling and varied ground clearance over several levels. The front and rear suspensions are engineered as lightweight five-link designs. The large carbon-fiber ceramic brake discs employ 20-inch front brakes gripped by six-piston fixed calipers.
The dynamic all-wheel steering boosts driving dynamics and ride comfort by an intelligent combination of dynamic and all-wheel steering. Which means, better agility and turning ability in the lower speed range and responsiveness and increased stability in the higher speed range.