January 8, 2001

NAIAS 2001 - Audi Steppenwolf Project
Article Compiled by Jamie Von Druska
From the Audi Press Release

Audi will be presenting a study for on-road and demanding off-road use. Following the successful launch of the Audi allroad quattro, this concept vehicle now shows how the Audi development engineers visualize a high-performance all-rounder for the compact class. And it embodies a study which represents the consistent evolution of contemporary Audi design.

But that's not all: the "Steppenwolf" project - as this three-door four-seater is known - also provides evidence of the kind of "Vorsprung durch Technik" which has long since become synonymous with the name Audi.

This study for the compact class also makes use of Audi's quattro expertise and experience with the height-adjustable air suspension. The engineers had set themselves the following goal: the "Steppenwolf" project should be able to master rough terrain in extreme conditions just as effortlessly as high-speed driving. It should feel equally at home in the outback as on the motorway.

The free-revving 3.2-liter V6 engine developing 165 kW (225 bhp) allows acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in under eight seconds. Its top speed is well over 230 km/h. Its peak torque of 320 Nm (236 lb/ft) is available across a wide speed range.

The quattro permanent four-wheel drive system ensures maximum traction and excellent directional stability in all conditions and in all types of terrain. The electronically controlled Haldex clutch distributes power between the front and rear wheels. If the front wheels slip, part of the torque is put to the road smoothly via the rear wheels as required. In addition, the Electronic Differential Lock EDL distributes torque between the wheels on one axle. And the Electronic Stability Program ESP helps the driver remain in control if confronted with potentially critical driving situations at the limit.