Based on the highly anticipated 2014 Prologue Concept that was unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, the new Prologue Piloted Driving Concept brings even more Audi goodies in terms of technology at CES 2015. The main differences compared with the original concept car consist of a new paint job, a more powerful propulsion system thanks to hybrid technology, and the model’s ability to drive by itself. Other than that, the new Prologue Piloted Driving Concept is quasi-identical with the variant unveiled back in 2014 in Los Angeles. It is not entirely certain if it is in fact the exact same car but augmented with new technology and a different color or if Audi simply had two different versions of the Prologue all along.

Thanks to what Audi says is a new type of laser scanner, several video cameras and a bunch of ultrasound sensors mounted all around the vehicle, the Prologue Piloted Driving Concept can literally create a virtual impression of the car’s perimeter based on signals provided by the aforementioned technologies. This way, it can theoretically drive around without any driver intervention in normal traffic situations, although Audi didn’t mention if the car can finally handle itself in city traffic as well, as previous "piloted concepts" from Ingolstadt haven’t been able to.

Unlike the original Prologue Concept, the model presented at CES 2015 benefits from a new hybrid powertrain that pairs a 4.0, TFSI V-8 with a disc-shaped electric motor integrated into the ZF 8HP automatic transmission. Together, the two units offer a combined output of 677 horsepower and 701 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to catapult the not-exactly-small car from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.5 seconds, which isn’t half bad if you also take into account that it can also achieve an average of 29.8 mpg.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi Prologue Piloted Driving Concept.}

  • 2015 Audi Prologue Piloted Driving Concept
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    eight-speed e-tiptronic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    677
  • Torque @ RPM:
    701
  • Displacement:
    4.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    100000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Audi Prologue Piloted Driving Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Audi Prologue Piloted Driving Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Audi Prologue Piloted Driving Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Obviously, the main stylistic difference compared with the LA show car is the much darker paint job, which kind of makes the somewhat featureless exterior of the Prologue Concept stand out a bit more, despite not being a classic Audi color. Just a bit shorter and lower than the 2015 Audi A8, the concept is still rather massive for a coupe, with exterior dimensions being very close to the model whose success inspired its creation in the first place: the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe. That is where the similarities end, however, because the Prologue Piloted Driving Concept is all Audi in terms of design.

The now-traditional single-frame grille sits a bit lower and is much wider than on any other Audi model, while the side view loses some of the usual non-premium front overhang for a more balanced proportion between the front and the rear. Audi’s new head of design Marc Lichte says that versions of the wider and flatter grille with cambered edges will be found on the upcoming A6, A7 and A8 models as well, part of a so-called general restyling of the brand. The flared wheel arches emphasize the quattro all-wheel-drive system, while the rear is somewhat atypical Audi thanks to a strip of taillights and a concave rear window that is somewhat reminiscent of the Citroen C6 or the older Jaguar XJ-S.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 5,100 MM (200.8 inches)
Wheelbase 2,940 MM (115.7 inches)
Width 1,950 MM (76.8 inches)
Height 1,390 MM (54.7 inches)

Interior

2015 Audi Prologue Piloted Driving Concept High Resolution Interior
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2015 Audi Prologue Piloted Driving Concept Interior
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2015 Audi Prologue Piloted Driving Concept Interior
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Unlike other Audis, the interior of the Prologue Piloted Driving concept is decidedly minimalistic, with most buttons and knobs being replaced by three OLED screens that can be used via touch or hand gestures. Another premiere is represented by the so-called Easy Slot system, which is essentially a smartphone storage system that can both connect with and charge the phones put inside.

The mainly horizontal lines of the exterior are also found inside, creating the illusion of even more interior space, while the overall design is somewhat reminiscent of that found on old-school Bang & Olufsen audio equipment. Thanks to the OLED screens, the only real buttons that the driver has access to are found on the steering wheel and on the transmission tunnel, emphasizing the minimalist design approach even more.

Drivetrain

2015 Audi Prologue Piloted Driving Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The main means of propulsion is a new variant of the tried-and-true, 4.0, TFSI, V-8 engine. Thanks to its reworked hot-vee turbochargers, the powerplant is capable of 597 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, with another 37 pund-feet of torque being available in overboost mode — available for up to 15 seconds at a time. Paired with an electric motor that is integrated into the eight-speed ZF 8HP automatic transmission, the combined power output of the Prologue Piloted Driving Concept is a healthy 677 horsepower and 701 pound-feet of torque.

Thanks to the quattro all-wheel-drive system and its massive power, the car can accelerate from naught to 62 mph in just 3.5 seconds. With the compact electric motor taking its energy from a rear-mounted lithium-ion battery with a 2.6-kWh capacity, the concept has a full-electric range of around three miles, while the combined fuel economy is said to sit at 29.8 mpg if measured in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). Not to shabby for such a gargantuan vehicle that is faster than quite a lot of sports cars.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type Hybrid Powertrain
Combined Output 677 HP
Torque 701 LB-FT
0 to 62 mph 3.5 seconds

Prices

2015 Audi Prologue Piloted Driving Concept High Resolution Exterior
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As with just about any other concept car, the Prologue Piloted Driving Concept doesn’t actually have a price, which would probably be in the millions or tens of million if we take into account all the R&D money invested in its onboard technologies.

Competition

Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion

2015 Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion High Resolution Exterior
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Also launched at the 2015 CES in Las Vegas, the F 015 Luxury in Motion is based on a somewhat similar idea as the Audi model (read: autonomous driving), only a tad further into the future. Shaped like a cocoon and offering seats for four passengers, the Mercedes-Benz concept is said to offer a glimpse of what type of technology a luxury vehicle from 2030 could offer, apart from the option of autonomous driving.

Unlike the Audi concept car, the F 015 Luxury in Motion also doesn’t carry the styling motifs of upcoming three-pointed star vehicles, with the main idea behind it being that it is simply an exercise in both design and technology features. The model is powered by two electric motors that take their juice from both an externally-chargeable battery and an on-board fuel-cell system that runs on hydrogen.

Audi Prologue Concept

2014 Audi Prologue Concept Exterior
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Although they are like two peas in a pod in terms of styling both inside and out, the two Prologue concept cars symbolize two different futuristic approaches from Audi. The original Audi Prologue concept, unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, previews mainly a new design language for the Ingolstadt manufacturer, despite nay-sayers still criticizing the rather small step it introduced in terms of overall appearance compared with other Audi models. Not only that, but a long-rumored A9 model could end up looking not unlike the concept in the upcoming years, given the bean-counters running Audi give it the go-ahead.

Without the added oomph of a hybrid system, the original Prologue Concept "only" had 605 horsepower and 552 pund-feet of torque at its disposal, which translated into a 0-to-62-mph time of 3.7 seconds thanks to the quattro all-wheel drive system. Its classic Audi/Auto Union silver paint and gray neo-classic interior may not be for everyone, but the car’s unveil certainly dropped a lot of jaws in LA.

Conclusion

2015 Audi Prologue Piloted Driving Concept High Resolution Exterior
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From a personal perspective, the Audi Prologue Piloted Driving Concept should have been the only one, as the original Prologue seems very dated in term of technology just a few months after its reveal. On the other hand, I can’t blame Audi for milking a new variant of the car just for CES and I wouldn’t be surprised if a third version with even more advanced technology arrives at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. Either way, since most of the features in the car are pretty much production-ready, I certainly hope that the 2017 Audi A8 will feature at least 90 percent of the gizmos found on the Prologue Piloted Driving Concept, not to mention how awesome it would be for Audi to actually launch an A9 Coupe.

  • Leave it
    • * Rehashed old concept, rendering it obsolete
    • * Not as green as Audi suggests
    • * Not exactly an entirely new design language for Audi

Press Release

The Audi prologue piloted driving show car is a focus at CES. It not only stands for a new design era, but also integrates many innovations in the areas of connectivity, infotainment and user interface which Audi will be showing at 2015 CES. In this connection, this show car’s laser matrix headlights and perimeter sensorics will demonstrate how the car of the future will become ever more of an assistant to its occupants. After all, the Audi prologue piloted driving stands for the state of technology, which includes piloted driving.

2015 Audi Prologue Piloted Driving Concept High Resolution Exterior
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A novel laser scanner, several video cameras, ultrasound sensors mounted out of sight and front and rear sensors, themselves invisible, all cooperate in data capture. The central controller known as zFAS (zentrales Fahrerassistenzsteuergerät, central driver assistance controller) is the keystone of piloted driving. This compact master unit calculates a comprehensive impression of the car’s perimeter based on the signals provided by the scanners, the camera and the sensors.

At a length of 5.10 meters (16.7 ft), a wheelbase of 2.94 meters (9.6 ft), a width of 1.95 meters (6.4 ft) and a height of 1.39 meters (4.6 ft) the large luxury-class two-door coupé the Audi prologue is somewhat shorter and lower than today’s production A8*. A single frame integrated into the vehicle architecture and bearing the Four Rings dominates its low-slung front end. The large radiator grille has been widened significantly, and it is positioned lower than on today’s production models.
The headlights – shaped like wide, flat wedges – are located with their tips above the Singleframe. High-resolution matrix laser technology is yet another instance of Audi breaking new ground in design and function.

In side profile, the Audi prologue’s flowing silhouette expresses the car’s forward-moving character. It balanced proportions equally emphasize the front and rear wheels – a clear reference to the quattro DNA of Audi. The mighty wheels are set in widely flared wheel arches; they are 22 inches in diameter and are fitted with tires sized 285/30.

2015 Audi Prologue Piloted Driving Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The rear section of the Audi prologue also breaks with conventions. It is reminiscent of the side and rear appearance of a luxury yacht. Its separate tailgate means the Audi prologue piloted driving marries the practical strengths of a sedan with the aesthetic advantages of a coupé.

Its LED taillights made from 3D glass have also been designed anew yet are still characteristic of Audi. The taillight runs across the car’s entire width, illuminating the frame of the recessed glass volume, as fine lines seem to hover amid the lamps. The brake light is set deeply inside the lamp. When it is activated, it appears to be approaching the viewer to attract even more attention. The play on different levels and the switch between two- and three-dimensional effects endows the taillights with a very special dynamic.

Innovative: the interior and control concept

On boarding the car, this grand coupé’s passengers are greeted by an "electronic butler." An intelligent software identifies the user by his or her smartphone or smartwatch and adjusts the seats and the air-conditioning to suit. The system also makes recommendations for music and route planning that are oriented towards the owner’s preferences. The Easy Slot system, an advanced development of the Audi phone box, is located under lids in the console on the central tunnel. It can mechanically draw in and store smartphones, connect them with the onboard infotainment and simultaneously charge them

2015 Audi Prologue Piloted Driving Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Generous space: the interior

Tautly stretched lines and slender geometric forms give the interior a bright and clear ambiance. The instrument panel has a light and elegant appearance with its strictly horizontal layout that is not interrupted anywhere, and it emphasizes interior width.

It slopes down towards the interior on two levels. The upper level is positioned like a roof above the Audi virtual cockpit future – an evolution of the Audi virtual cockpit – and above the line of air vents. It is part of a wrap-around concept encompassing the driver and the front-seat passenger.

A second wrap-around connects the front and rear zone of the interior. On activation of the sound system, a novel sound spoiler emerges from the hat rack to create Audi’s typical premium sound.

Full-width display: the Audi virtual interior

Embedded in the elegant architecture is a radically innovative display and control concept, the cockpit of the future, which completely does away with switches.
Across its full width, the front of the instrument panel is designed to be a display surface which integrates three touch displays. The display to the left of the steering wheel controls the lighting and assistance systems functions. The driver-oriented operating unit to the right contains media controls.

The Audi virtual cockpit future offers a glimpse into the future of the digital cockpit: High-resolution displays and three mirrors generate a virtual stage on three levels – a fascinating view with visual depth. Staggering information at different levels makes it better structured and easier for the driver to comprehend. The content and colors of the Audi virtual cockpit future change as a function of driving style – in sporty driving for instance, the display switches to Sport mode with especially vivid presentation of information such as engine speed, temperatures and charger pressure.

2015 Audi Prologue Piloted Driving Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The front passenger faces a widescreen display integrated into the full surface of the instrument panel; it is used to operate the entertainment features with utmost convenience, enabling digital interaction with the driver for the first time. It is operated via gestures. A brief swipe by the copilot is all the driver needs to accept and transfer a preconfigured route into the Audi virtual cockpit future.

On the center tunnel console sits a fourth flexible touch display for climate control, handwriting input and other car settings. This display consists primarily of an extremely thin, bendable OLED film (OLED: organic light emitting diodes) and displays extremely sharp images rich in contrast. When not in use, the OLED display is integrated flush to the center console and is nearly invisible. When the car is started, the flexible display stands up. Its curved shape ensures a constant distance to the hand, making for better ergonomics. When operating the display, the wrist rests on the low-positioned gear selector lever of the eight-speed e?tiptronic.

Sporty, convenient and efficient: the technology

The technology of the Audi prologue is as sophisticated as its interior is thrilling. Its hybrid powertrain with a combined output of 505 kW (677 hp) and 950 Nm (700.7 lb?ft) of torque, delivers breathtaking performance. It takes this two-door coupé from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.5 seconds. Fuel consumption as measured under the New European Driving Cycle is just 7.9 l/100 km (29.8 US mpg) on average. This is equivalent to CO2 emissions of 185 grams per kilometer (297.7 g/mi).

2015 Audi Prologue Piloted Driving Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The biturbo V8 with direct fuel injection puts out 445 kW (597 hp) and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque. Another 50 Nm (36.9 lb-ft) are available in overboost mode, which the driver can actuate for about 15 seconds at a time. The 4.0 TFSI is meshed with a disc-shaped e-motor integrated into the eight-speed-e-tiptronic gearbox. The automatic transmission transfers both kinds of torque to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. The electrical energy of the hybrid drive comes from a rear-mounted lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 2.6 kWh. This enables a pure electric range of about three miles.

For the best networking experience: Audi connect

The Audi prologue piloted driving show car features the connect portfolio including an integrated LTE module. The Audi smartphone creates an onboard connection to Apple Car Play and Google Android Auto. If an iOS or Android cellular phone is connected to the USB port, the respective environment opens in the Audi smartphone interface. Both are tailored for use in the car.

Interaction with the Audi prologue piloted driving is possible via a smartwatch app enabling the user to access, lock and start the car. Users can also display up-to-the-minute vehicle information on their smartwatch and make configuration changes. For instance, a driver can call up the car’s remaining range or obtain directions back to his or her car.

2015 Audi Prologue Piloted Driving Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Light technologies in the Audi prologue piloted driving show car

The car’s headlights feature Audi’s high-resolution matrix laser technology. Matrix laser technology opens up not just new avenues in design, but enables all-new possibilities.

The headlight’s pupils consists of a projection lens with a laser as its source of light. This generates a high-resolution matrix which illuminates the entire roadway. Set below this element are five synthetic lenses enhancing the headlights. They are fed via a glass-fiber strand and are optically encased in a delicate lightweight structure. Thanks to the new laser technology, light designers have been able to create a light, compact and elegant shape which provides the eyes for the "face" of the Audi prologue piloted driving. At CES, a dedicated exhibit will demonstrate the showcar’s matrix laser technology in all its details.

2015 Audi Prologue Piloted Driving Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Light functions will be digitally animated. The car "greets" its driver on unlocking by switching on daytime running lights and taillights in a rapid movement from the car’s center to the edges. Subsequently, the matrix laser headlights’ reference cycle activates itself. These pupil-shaped headlight segment seem at first to move right, then left, after which all segments light up fully.

In designing the taillights, designers eschewed conventions and used 3D glass making the taillights benefit from all of the advantages of the new design leeway and run across the entire width of the car. Fine lines in the 3D glass appear to hover inside the lamp. The brake light is located deep inside the lighting unit. When braking, the bottom of the 3D imprint is also illuminated, which makes the light appear to move towards the observer.

The dynamic turning signal runs through the three-dimensional glass volume in a 200-millisecond sequence from inside to outside. The reversing light also makes an appearance from the car’s center to the edges, another first. Though it is transparent and sits below a chrome strip, rendering it almost invisible, it will create a significantly increased level of attention in drivers following behind on activation. This configuration on different levels, and the alternation between 2D and 3D lighting provides the taillights with an entirely new dynamic.

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