Engine and transmission
Powerful and confident - the power unit of the Shooting Brake Concept is a transversally installed V6 engine with a displacement of 3.2 litres, which has already thrilled many thousands of customers in currently the most sporty versions of the A3 and TT car lines.
The six-cylinder engine is equally suited to such a distinctly sporty vehicle as the Audi Shooting Brake Concept thanks to its outstanding torque and power characteristics.
Its maximum output is 184 kW (250 bhp) at 6,200 rpm, and the torque range is particularly impressive, peaking at 320 Nm between 2,500 and 3,000 rpm.
The ideal basis for forceful acceleration in all speed ranges and fleet-footed sprints is this engine in conjunction with the sporty, closely spaced 6-speed gearbox that paves the way for crisp, short gearshifts.
The performance figures of the Shooting Brake Concept 3.2 are correspondingly impressive: it accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just six seconds and reaches a top speed of 250 km/h (governed).
Throttle valve actuation is designed for an exceptionally agile, spontaneous engine response to accelerator pedal movements.
The dual-branch exhaust system both helps to cut emissions and makes a very presentable sound. Indeed, Audi's acoustics specialists have created sonorous sound in this case, which, without being unpleasant or even obtrusive in any way at all, perfectly reflects the sporting potential of this very special power unit in acoustic terms.
The Shooting Brake Concept is equipped with quattro permanent four-wheel drive. A hydraulic multi-plate clutch varies the distribution of power between the front and rear wheels.
This technical solution is indeed particularly suitable for cars with the engine fitted transversely, incorporating all the well-known advantages of an Audi quattro.
Offering a permanent, situation-specific distribution of propulsive power between all four wheels, quattro drive guarantees maximum traction and, as a result, optimum acceleration at all times. At the same time there are still ample reserves for transmitting cornering forces in the interest of cornering safety and directional stability.
With the engine at the front and the four-wheel-drive multi-plate clutch at the rear, axle load distribution benefits accordingly. Indeed, this weight distribution is crucial to the excellent driving stability and good handling of the Audi Shooting Brake Concept.
The second key to its excellent dynamics on the road is its highly effective suspension with McPherson strut layout at the front and the new four-link independent suspension at the rear. Large 19-inch wheels with size 245/40 R18 tyres promote driving fun and safety.
The dynamic suspension is designed for sporty, agile handling with a high standard of stability, and makes cornering a distinct pleasure. An additional forte is the high standard of ride comfort, as befits a car in a segment further up the range.
The Audi Shooting Brake Concept features ceramic brakes which ensure the appropriate braking performance. Compared with conventional steel discs, these not only last four times longer, but also offer high braking performance, even when driving at the limit, as well as maximum resistance to fading.
The significant reduction in weight also leads to advantages in terms of comfort and handling thanks to reduced unsprung masses.
The electromechanical steering with speed-dependent power assistance is furthermore one of the keys to optimum handling. It combines optimum steering feedback with minimal sensitivity to excitation from the road surface, and operates on far less energy.
The particular strengths of the four-link suspension layout stem from the functional separation of longitudinal and transverse forces. This provides a high standard of lateral rigidity in the interests of optimum dynamics and driving safety and, at the same time, makes the suspension relatively soft lengthwise in order to improve the standard of ride comfort.
Separate springs and shock absorbers provide the necessary vertical support. The shock absorbers are fitted right next to the wheels, leaving space for a particularly generous through-loading width in the luggage compartment. A tubular anti-roll bar is secured to the axle beam by means of extremely stiff rubber-to-metal mounts; it reduces body roll effectively and has a positive influence on the amount of lateral force that can be absorbed and thus on the vehicle's handling.
An innovative technology is used for the shock absorbers: Audi magnetic ride. Instead of the conventional damper fluid, a magnetorheological fluid is used - in other words, a fluid whose viscosity can be influenced by an electromagnetic field. This effect enables to damping characteristic to be influenced electronically at will by applying a voltage to the electromagnets.
Audi uses this property to supply the correct damping forces in every driving situation, thus optimising ride comfort and road behaviour. A computer equipped with sensor technology determines the prevailing driving situation in a matter of milliseconds. The driver can choose from two driving programs depending on whether they want to drive in a very sporty style - in which case the magnetorheological fluid exhibits high viscosity - or more with the accent on ride comfort.
Lighting design and electronics
Visible innovation is to be found beneath the covers of the headlights and rear lights of the Audi Shooting Brake Concept - this is where a fascinating formal idiom and trailblazing technology come together. The design of the lighting elements and the night design simultaneously give the overall appearance of Audi's latest study car an utterly new visual accent.
The design of the decidedly three-dimensional main headlights, using LED technology, is particularly eye-catching. Bionics, in other words drawing design inspiration from nature, has been at work here. The light unit has a design reminiscent of an open pine cone. Reflector shells arranged concentrically one behind the other each concentrate the light from one diode, producing a high-luminosity, even form of driving light.
By contrast the high-beam headlights, located on the inside, are blossom-shaped. The indicator lights, in the form of narrow light strips, delineate the lower edge of the headlight housings and the exterior mirrors, providing prominent signals and original visual accents. The daytime running lights naturally also use LED technology, the merits of which include particularly low energy consumption, over and above their attractive design.
The rear lights of this study, recessed deep into the vehicle body, likewise have a highly innovative design. The transparent red covers again provide a clear view of the LED technology. The diodes actually cast their light forwards onto the reflector, which distributes it back to the rear through a mask in the shape of a double cloverleaf. This results in an unmistakable appearance for both the rear lights and the brake lights. The turn indicators again take the form of narrow horizontal strips.
New navigation system
There are electronic innovations in other areas of the vehicle, too. An enhanced version of the DVD screen-based navigation system plus offers special operating functions and a new screen presentation. Audi uses touch screen technology for the first time here. The driver can activate the basic architecture of the MMI screen directly by touching the function panels in the display.
The new system generation moreover permits operation of the navigation menu by direct input, e.g. of destinations, via the monitor. Instead of having to compose them one letter at a time from the menu, the driver can simply write them on the monitor with their finger. Alternatively, a remote control with pressure-sensitive surface can be used to make inputs, as on a PDA computer. The input monitor pops up out of a slot beneath the centre display at the push of a button.
The special feature is that the system is not only capable of reading in handwriting, but can also identify a wide variety of scripts. The computer is equally able to read the conventional Latin alphabet and Japanese characters.
Another new aspect is the scope provided for choosing between two different navigation modes. Those who prefer the "Tour" mode can view the route on the monitor from an appreciably enhanced, three-dimensional bird's-eye perspective. The driver can take photos of destinations with a camera at the front of the car and store these as visual route markers.
Activating the "Sport" mode displays optical information above all via the central display in the instrument cluster. As well as spoken instructions, there are direction arrows to point the way. Again in the "Tour" mode, the driver can call up a further option that acts like an electronic rally co-pilot and makes the journey an end in itself: whenever the driver feels the urge to drive along a particularly challenging, winding route, they can call up an appropriate itinerary from the computer. While following the proposed route, as well as receiving directions they are then advised on the best gear to engage and the speed at which to take the next bend.