Audi has unveiled its latest Prologue concept car, and it’s a hybrid wagon with over 700 horsepower, 20-inch brake discs, and a digital butler that caters to your individualized tastes. It’s called the allroad, and it serves as a reimagining of the German brand’s highly practical A4 and A6 allroad models, sporting a new exterior design language, a high-tech interior, and a cutting-edge drivetrain. Audi says it can do it all, and if even half of the proposed features and specs make it to production, I’d be inclined to agree.

The new five-door will appear in public for the first time at this year’s Auto Shanghai show. This is the fourth Prologue vehicle we’ve seen from Audi, with the 2014 Prologue Coupe revealed in 2014 at the LA Auto Show, the 2015 Prologue Piloted Driving Concept at CES 2015, and the 2015 Prologue Avant revealed in Geneva this year.

The Prologue allroad comes with some pretty wild claims – supposedly, it’s fast but economical, sensible but comfortable. But all things considered, that’s par for the course for concepts. It’s one possible vision of things to come from the four-ring badge, which means all we can do is sit back and ask: why not?

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi Prologue allroad.

  • 2015 Audi Prologue Allroad
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    eight-speed tiptronic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    734
  • Torque @ RPM:
    663
  • Displacement:
    4.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    55000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Audi Prologue Allroad
- image 626895

As part of Audi’s Prologue series of concept vehicles, the allroad show car features new exterior design language for the German automaker. Part of this is seen in the thin, wedge headlights and lower LED-lined air inlets bisected by the bumper blade. The headlights are outfitted with Matrix laser technology, which uses “countless tiny pixels” to distribute the light in “virtually boundless” configurations. Viewed head-on, an enormous single-piece grille sporting brushed aluminum crossbars takes precedence in the front fascia. This piece sits evenly with the rest of the body, and uses a shape seen in current production models.

An enormous single-piece grille sporting brushed aluminum crossbars takes precedence in the front fascia..

 

Viewed in profile, we can see just how long this vehicle really is. At nearly 17 feet, the Prologue allroad is the same length as the A8. The stretched hood line visually extends the vehicle to equalize with the gently descending roofline. The wheel arches are high and flared, fitting positively massive 22-inch five-spoke wheels. Vehicle height is three inches taller than the Prologue Avant. 

In back, simple horizontal lines for the taillights and rear apron emphasize the car’s width. The taillights use LEDs and 3D glass for a more dynamic look. Split openings in each bottom corner integrate the exhaust into the overall design structure.

Finished in Dehua White paint, the Prologue allroad has many smaller details to tie it together visually. You’ll find aluminum accents in the roof rails, mirror housings, and window surrounds, while a raised gray offset runs the length of the car from the wheel arches to the side skirts.

Interior

2015 Audi Prologue Allroad
- image 626906

When the Prologue Coupe concept was unveiled in LA, the interior was strictly off limits. This time around, Audi is ready to share a glimpse into the cabin space, hoping to provide an appointment that combines elegance and functionality with the latest technology.

Thanks to its large exterior dimensions, the allroad’s insides are roomy. There’s seating for four, and many components are shaped in pleasing geometric designs. Like the exterior, horizontal contours in the instrument panel, center console and doors visually enhance the car’s natural proportions. A wraparound element present in the upper portion of the console extends rearwards into the luggage space. A perforated trim panel covers the air vent, retracting when the A/C is set to high.

There’s seating for four, and many components are shaped in pleasing geometric designs.

The front console also uses three individual touch displays for infotainment and driver information duties. An aluminum surround frames the driver’s displays located on either side of the steering wheel, while the front passenger can browse infotainment options on an adjacent widescreen display. The passenger can also send information to the right-hand driver’s display or virtual cockpit with a single swipe. The virtual cockpit uses three semi-transparent mirrors to generate a three-staged information display in the driver’s field of vision, making stuff like mileage, velocity and battery charge easily accessible.

A large central console tunnel houses yet another touch display for climate control, infotainment, and text input. This features OLED technology and uses a thin, flexible film for HD images. When the car is off, the display retracts flat, and angles upward when the car is started.

In the rear, each passenger enjoys his own seat, along with additional OLED displays in the center console to adjust seating position, climate control, infotainment and communication with the driver. A “sound spoiler” extends from the rear wheelhouse panels to broadcast music equally throughout the cabin. There are also thin OLED tablets mounted in the back of the front seats for even more infotainment functionality.

An intelligent software program dubbed the “butler” provides further personalization. By identifying passengers from signals emitted from their smartphones, the butler automatically adjusts parameters like seating position, climate control, and music to fit each individual’s tastes. The navigation also customizes suggested routes according to the driver’s preferences. An “Easy Slot” inductive charging system keeps cell phones charged.

The top portion of the instrument panel is finished in Lifestyle Blue, while the seats, carpeting, and lower half of the panel come in Sard Brown. The wraparound boasts open-pored, dark fine-grain ash veneer, which extends to the doors and center console. Aluminum is used for accents. Unicum leather upholstery is present in the instrument panel, console tunnel and seats, while a band of Alcantara connects the door inserts and luggage compartment. Finally, window-capping strips use sensors to automatically lock the doors after exiting, while the covers for the charging port and fuel tank are electric.

Drivetrain

2015 Audi Prologue Allroad
- image 626899

Audi claims it has endowed the Prologue allroad with a hybrid drivetrain that’s capable of both lightening-fast performance and earth-friendly economy, while the chassis and suspension supposedly provide both comfort and a modicum of off-road capability.

That’s quite the incredible combo, but under the hood, we find the right bones to get it done. Powering the Prologue allroad is a 4.0-liter TFSI ICE with a double helping of turbochargers. Mated to this unit is a single electric motor that boosts output to a grand total of 734 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed tiptronic gearbox routes the power through Audi’s iconic quattro AWD system.

Claimed performance figures include a blast to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. However, that velocity shouldn’t come at the price of frequent strops at the pump, as the hybrid is supposedly capable of 98 mpg. Emissions look like 56 g/km. The electricity comes from a rear-mounted lithium-ion battery with a 14.1 kWh capacity, pushing the Prologue allroad 33.6 miles in emission-free driving mode. Additionally, Audi says the vehicle can be charged inductively, and has stated it will develop the system for series production some time in the future.

Finally, with so much power, you’d be right to expect the chassis to be equally as capable. Under the 22-inch wheels are positively gargantuan 20-inch brake rotors made from carbon-ceramic material. The suspension is an adaptive air sport setup offering a range of settings for either comfort or performance. There’s also all-wheel steering using a variable-ratio, dynamic steering unit to rotate the large vehicle with a bit more grace.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type 4.0 TFSI V-8 + electric motor
Output 734 HP
Torque 663.8 LB-FT
Transmission eight-speed tiptronic
0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) 3.5 seconds
Purely electric range 54 kilometers (33.6 mi)

Prices

2015 Audi Prologue Allroad
- image 626876

As a concept car, the Prologue allroad doesn’t come with a sticker price. However, given the amount of tech and speed you get from this one package, I wouldn’t be surprised if a production version cost between $160,000 and $200,000, slotting it above the sporty RS6 Avant in terms of catalog placement.

Competition

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

2015 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid - Driven High Resolution Exterior
- image 562572

Using technology first developed during the creation of the 918 hypercar, the electrified Panamera seeks to combine economy and performance with luxury and practicality. While generally not considered the prettiest car in Porsche’s lineup, the Panamera gets it done with large alloy wheels, a low and wide body, and that trademark Porsche beak. Inside, there’s plenty of luxury, like leather upholstery, brushed aluminum trim, and comfortable seating for four.

The most interesting facet is the powerplant, which consists of supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 and electric motor that combine for 416 horsepower and 435 pound-feet of torque. Launch from a stop and you’ll hit sixty mph in around five seconds, charging on to a 180 mph top speed.

Read our full review here.

Tesla Model S

2015 Tesla Model S High Resolution Exterior
- image 572379

While many have tried, no one has been able to topple the highly venerated Tesla Model S for all-electric vehicle supremacy. From the outside, the sedan looks good, with muscular proportions and simple, elegant lines. You’ll find tons of tech in the cabin, like large high-definition screens and a semi-autonomous driving function. For motive power, Tesla offers a variety of electric options, from the entry-level 60 kWh model with 380 horsepower, to the top-range P85D boasting 691 horsepower. Range varies between 208 and 295 miles. Prices start at $69,900 and rise to $120,170 for the P85D.

Read our full review here.

Conclusion

2015 Audi Prologue Allroad
- image 626893

Audi is bringing some pretty cool ideas to the table with this latest Prologue concept. Visually, it’s a reasonable continuation of the new design language, a break from the nearly static aesthetics Audi is infamous for. I’m not the biggest fan of that gaping maw of a grille, but that’s just me. On the other hand, I think the laser headlights and LED taillights are wonderful, and the overall shape of the wagon is quite handsome (albeit a bit large).

The interior design is equally pleasing. The layout feels fresh but comfortable, while the various gadgets mimic industry trends with typical Audi panache. You can never have too many screens, and the digital butler is a logical next step in customization.

The drivetrain seems outlandish at first, but not necessarily implausible. The $142K RS6, for example, hits 60 mph in under four seconds with 560 horsepower from its 4.0-liter V-8. Throw on another two hundred horsepower and an electric motor, and three and half seconds sounds reasonable, although 98 mpg might be optimistic.

Most interesting, however, are Audi’s intentions to develop an inductive charging system. This is a clear indicator of the brand’s electrified future, and is sure to charge the rumor mill when it comes to speculations about future hybrid models.

For now, we’ll have to wait and see what else Audi might deem worthy of full-scale production. Hopefully, the list includes that 700-horsepower hybrid drivetrain, real-world mileage figures be damned.

  • Leave it
    • * Vaporware spec claims
    • * If put into production, will be ludicrously expensive
    • * Concept car daydreaming

Press Release

High-end technology and unrestricted everyday practicality, plus alluring elegance: The Audi prologue allroad is making its world premiere at Auto Shanghai. In any terrain, in any situation: the five-door model with the raised body provides a new emphasis in the Audi prologue show car family. Its operating concept enables digital interaction between driver and passengers; the plug-in hybrid drive impresses with 540 kW (734 hp), yet low consumption.

2015 Audi Prologue Allroad
- image 626885

Audi prologue, Audi prologue Avant and now the Audi prologue allroad: the new Audi design language is diverse, emotional and groundbreaking.

Like all allroad models from Audi, the Audi prologue allroad makes no compromises. 15 years ago, a new class of automobile debuted with the Audi allroad quattro: a car combining the comfort and dynamics of the luxury class with maximum variability and masterful off-road capability. Audi is now presenting a study in China that reflects a fresh interpretation of the typical allroad themes, providing a clear glimpse at the brand’s design future. The design of the Audi allroad prologue accentuates the elegant sportiness and uniqueness of the allroad concept.

Powerful and elegant: the side view
Viewed from the side, the 5.13 meter (16.8 ft) Audi prologue allroad displays the new, dynamic interpretation of the Audi allroad philosophy. A long front-end, a roofline that quickly begins to drop again and extremely flat D-pillars give it an athletic profile and emphasize the elegance and dynamics of the allroad concept in a fresh way.

The prominent bumpers and the flared wheel wells make the all-around talents of the Audi prologue allroad abundantly clear at the very first glance. The proportions emphasize the front and rear wheel equally. The widely flared wheel wells house 22‑inch wheels with a five-arm design.

The show car, demurely finished in Dehua White, is a stage for progressive elegance in every detail. The window capping strips include sensor surfaces for the door locks; the covers for the charging port and fuel tank are also electric. Aluminum accents the roof rails, the mirror housings, the area around the windows and both the front and rear of the car. An extension offset in gray runs along the wheel wheels and the entire bottom edge of the raised body. It expresses the power and robustness of the car and makes it seem even wider.

Progressive: the front end
A flat and wide Singleframe grille dominates the front. It is flushly integrated into the body of the automobile. With their cohesive appearance, its brushed aluminum crossbars create a new variant of the Audi e-tron look. The show car’s wedge-shaped headlights feature Matrix laser technology, an innovation that further extends Audi’s lead in lighting technology. The light is broken down in to countless tiny pixels, and the possibilities for distributing this light are virtually boundless. LED light guides sketch a new e-tron light signature at the upper and outer edges of the air inlets, which are bisected by the bumper blade.

2015 Audi Prologue Allroad
- image 626886

Dynamic: the rear
The rear of the Audi prologue allroad is strongly drawn-in laterally and as with a yacht is tilted in the direction of travel, giving the show car a dynamic appearance even when standing still. A narrow strip of lights connects the LED rear lights. Their housings are made of 3D glass producing three-dimensional, sculpted effects. The sporty rear apron includes flat, horizontally split opening on both sides that graphically integrate the exhaust system into the rear-end design. This detail symbolizes the drive concept of the Audi prologue allroad – the efficient interplay of combustion engine and electric motor.

Spacious and airy: the interior
With its serenely elegant and highly variable interior, the Audi prologue allroad is the perfect car for everyday driving and recreation. Driver and passengers experience the spacious interior of the show car as a luxurious lounge. Lithely drawn lines and slender geometric bodies convey the impression of expanse, serenity and lightness. The continuous center console and the front seats appear to float. The instrument panel features a strictly horizontal orientation. Its upper level is part of the wraparound – the arc encircling the cabin and the luggage compartment. A perforated trim panel covers the broad air vent; it retracts as soon as the air-conditioning is set higher.

Glimpse into the future: the instrument panel
The interior architecture of the Audi prologue allroad merges with a groundbreaking new display and operating concept. Across its full width, the front of the instrument panel is designed to be a display surface which integrates three touch displays. Aluminum frames surround the driver displays to the right and left of the steering wheel. The front passenger can configure infotainment options using a widescreen display fully integrated into the instrument panel. He can swipe to send these to the right driver display or to the Audi virtual cockpit future behind the steering wheel.

2015 Audi Prologue Allroad
- image 626876

The center console tunnel houses an additional driver display for climate control system, infotainment and text input. Featuring innovative OLED technology with an extremely thin, flexible film, it displays brilliant, high-contrast images. When inactive, the display is in a flat retracted position; as soon as the car is started, it moves up at an angle. The brand with the four rings is also breaking new ground with the Audi virtual cockpit future, which lies in the driver’s field of view. High-resolution displays and three semi-transparent mirrors generate a virtual visual stage with three levels. Thanks to this staggered approach, information is structured better and is easier to grasp.

Innovation in the rear
Rear passengers in the Audi prologue allroad sit in individual seats. They use an additional OLED display on the center console to adjust the seats, the climate control system and the infotainment for their area or to exchange data with the driver. When the audio system is switched on, a sound spoiler moves out of the rear wheelhouse panelings, homogeneously distributing music in the interior in top quality. Two Audi tablets, which can be mounted in the backs of the front seats, also use OLED technology. They are extremely thin and slightly curved.

The show car offers its driver and passengers superior comfort before the car even begins to move. The “butler” – an innovative, intelligent software program – identifies the passengers as they get based on their smartphones and adjusts the seats and climate control system according to their preferences. The system also makes suggestions for music and route planning according to the owner’s preferences. The Easy Slot system in the center console connects the phones with the onboard infotainment system and charges them inductively.

Novel: the materials and colors
The color and trim concept in the interior of the Audi prologue allroad emphasizes comfort and sporty elegance. The upper section of the instrument panel is finished in Lifestyle Blue, while the lower zone, the seats and the carpeting are Sard Brown. Bezels of open-pored, dark fine-grain ash veneer adorn the wraparound, the doors and the center tunnel console. Aluminum elements set powerful accents.

2015 Audi Prologue Allroad
- image 626877

Natural-looking Unicum leather is in large sections of the instrument panel, on the center console tunnel and on the seats. Artfully designed perforations in the seat center lines are evocative of the Singleframe grille bars. A generous band of Alcantara runs from the door inserts over the arm rests to the luggage compartment.

Powerful efficiency
Powerful on the road, superior in light terrain, always efficient: the technology in the Audi prologue allroad offers the ultimate in automotive freedom.

The 4.0 TFSI engine – a V8 with twin turbochargers – and the electric motor integrated into the eight-speed tiptronic produce 540 kW (734 hp) of system power and 900 Nm (663.8 lb-ft) of system torque. The quattro all-wheel drive system utilizes the power of the Audi prologue allroad perfectly in every situation.

The show car rockets from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.5 seconds, yet consumes just 2.4 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (98.0 US mpg) according to the NEDC standard for plug-in hybrids, which corresponds to 56 grams CO2 per kilometer (90.1 g/mi). The lithium-ion battery mounted in the rear of the car has a capacity of 14.1 kWh for a purely electric range of 54 kilometers (33.6 mi). With its AWC (Audi wireless charging) technology which the brand is developing for series production, the Audi prologue allroad can also be charged inductively.

2015 Audi Prologue Allroad
- image 626878

The body of the Audi prologue allroad is 77 millimeters (3.0 in) higher than that of the Audi prologue Avant. The chassis is state-of-the-art. The front and wheel axles are lightweight, five-link constructions. The 20-inch brake discs are made of weight-saving carbon-fiber ceramic. The adaptive air suspension sport – an air suspension system with controlled damping – offers a wide range between extremely comfortable cruising and tight handling. The dynamic all-wheel steering combines a variable-ratio, dynamic steering unit with an additional steering unit for the rear wheels to harmoniously resolve the conflict between dynamic driving and stability.

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