It’s still only a concept car, but is the Audi TT Offroad Concept plug-in hybrid just smoke and mirrors?
Imagine an Audi TT, jacked up to give it better ground clearance, and then adding an all-wheel drive two-motor plug-in hybrid powertrain. That’s what Audi is showing off at the 13th Beijing International Automobile Exhibition, Auto China 2014. The Audi TT Offroad Concept certainly looks the part, and under the hood is what you’d expect of something with the TT moniker, including a 408 hp, 408 lb•ft, powertrain. Power comes from a 292 hp 2.0 ℓ turbocharged engine, aided by a 40 kW electric motor, embedded in the six-speed automatic transmission, and an 85 kW electric motor, driving the rear axle.
Given such impressive power specifications, it should come as no surprise that Audi is claiming a zero-to-sixty sprint time of 5.2 seconds. What does come as a surprise is Audi’s claimed fuel economy of 124 mpg. In spite of its TT-like aerodynamics, the ground clearance and extra weight are surely going to drag this plug-in hybrid down. If the Audi TT Offroad ever gets out of “concept” stage, and into production, I’m certain those numbers will need some revision.
Still, the 12 kWh lithium-ion battery is claimed to give the Audi TT Offroad Concept an all-electric range of 31 miles, which is just enough to get the average American around his daily drive, with none of the range anxiety associated with pure electric vehicles. Of course, that would depend on Audi bringing it to the US, but the focus seems to be on China’s burgeoning automobile market right now. One really nice addition to this particular plug-in hybrid is the wireless induction charger, requiring zero cord-wrangling for the driver when time comes to recharge.
Image © Audi