Audi Unveils Crosslane Coupe Concept in Paris

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Convertible crossover concept built around lightweight construction and three-cylinder hybrid powertrain.

It seemed like a natural next step for a company that made its name pioneering all-wheel drive, but it wasn't until 2005 that Audi released its first real SUV. That was the enormous Q7, and since then Audi has followed up with the smaller Q5 and the smaller-still Q3. We may see a Q1 and a Q6 before all's said and done, but whatever size they take, they'll probably look something like this. Called the Crosslane Coupe, the concept previews Audi's next generation of Q crossover models.

It's based on a Multimaterial Space Frame chassis that uses aluminum, polymers reinforced by carbon fiber and fiberglass, and like many of the concepts showcased in Paris this year, it incorporates a hybrid powertrain. In this case, that means a new 1.5-liter turbocharged and direct-injection three-cylinder engine backed up by two electric motors to deliver 177 metric horsepower. Burdened by only 1,390 kg, that's enough to propel the Crosslane Coupe concept from zero to 62 mph in 8.6 seconds, or 9.8 seconds on electric-only mode.

The new hybrid drive system is packaged into a 2+2 crossover that gives us a hint at what to expect from future Q models, with a single-frame grille, trapezoidal LED headlamps, and a chopped-down, tapered greenhouse. The Crosslane Coupe also incorporates a unique luggage compartment that's affixed to the seatbacks, and a lightweight deployable roof for open-air, targa-style motoring. As with most concept cars, you can expect certain elements to make it to production, and others not. But if you want to know what Audi's new family of crossovers will look like, this is essentially it. (Images courtesy of Audi, Newspress and UnitedPictures.)

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