Audi and Volkswagen both unveiled sporty new concepts at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
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The two cars are very different in character, with Audi showing a large, luxury grand touring coupé dubbed the Sportback, and VW a compact, environmentally-efficient roadster, the Concept BlueSport.
Volkswagen Concept SportBlue
The Volkswagen Concept SportBlue features a mid-mounted 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine driving the rear wheels via a twin-clutch ‘DSG’ automatic gearbox. Producing 178bhp, it sprints 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds and has a top speed of 140mph.
Yet the Concept SportBlue emits just 113g/km CO2, thanks to an ‘Eco’ mode with stop-start function and brake energy regeneration.
Sadly, Volkswagen claims the Concept SportBlue is just a design study, and that it has no plans to put it into production.
Audi Sportback – the new ‘A7’
The Audi Sportback, however, is almost certainly a precursor to a forthcoming A7 coupé model.
The Sportback concept is longer, lower and wider than the current Audi A6, yet uses suspension and other components from the A4 and A5 – including Audi drive select with Continuous Damper Control.
And as a four-door coupé, comparisons will inevitably be drawn between the Sportback and the Mercedes-Benz CLS – especially as the two have nearly identical dimensions.
For the show, the Sportback featured a 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine, helping Audi promote its clean ‘TDI’ technology to the American people. With this 222bhp engine, the Sportback is capable of 0-62mph in ‘under seven seconds’, has a 152mph top speed, and emits 156g/km CO2. Impressive for such a large car.
As you have probably come to expect, the concept is kitted out with all the latest fuel saving gizmos, including start-stop.
The Sportback also has ceramic brakes – much more powerful and longer lasting than regular steel disks – and is trimmed throughout in leather. This includes not only the dashboard and seats but also the rooflining, and even the boot. The interior offers generous seating for four adults, a pop-up central screen, and a large glass roof panel. The 500-litre boot should swallow plenty of luggage.
Expect more news on the Audi A7 soon.
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