( Worldcarfans ) - Later today, Audi will introduce its new concept, the Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro, at the Los Angeles Auto Show. In advance of the debut, the German automaker has sent WorldCarFans a bundle of photos and video, as well as details about the first mover in this "new vehicle segment."
Looking quite a bit like an elongated A1 convertible, Audi claims the Cross Cabriolet is an attempted merge of a rag-top convertible and a full-size SUV. At 182 inches this concept is a full two-and-a-half feet longer than the Audi A1 Metroproject Quattro concept from Tokyo, but it is also eight inches longer than a four-door Jeep Wrangler. At least it is six inches shorter than a Ford Mustang. The concept is also 75.2 inches wide, similar to the Mercedes M-Class.
Don't get too excited about an A1 convertible just yet though. The Cross Cabriolet is actually based on the chassis and drivetrain structure of the A4 and the A5. The car's height of 64.2 inches is almost five inches taller than the A4 convertible, making it more like an Audi Q5 Cabriolet.
A 3.0 liter, 240 horsepower TDI engine with 369 ft-lb of torque gives this new breed of crossover its muscle, while the quattro permanent four-wheel-drive system gives it some all-terrain capabilities. 21-inch wheels are found on this concept, which also comes with electric ride height adjustment to make sure most drivers can comfortably maneuver this car on uncomfortable roads.
Even with that nice engine, the Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro gets an average of over 32 mpg on diesel. That impressive figure coincides with Audi's impressive emissions reduction system, that would make this car compliant with very strict EU regulations being put in place within seven years.
Inside, the "White Stone Leather" gives the crossover a classy feel. Almost immediately we noticed Audi's use of Google Earth inside the car. Audi has combined Google Earth with its own navigation system to provide the driver with a wealth of information about where he is, where he is going, and where he will be able to grab a bite to eat.
Outside, the "Copper Sunset" color looks good on this concept in pictures, but it does seem like more of a concept car color than something we would really like to have on a car. Something that matches the aluminum A-pillar and dark-toned fabric top may be nicer in a real-world setting. The all-LED exterior lighting (headlights, taillights, turn signals, etc.) is a nice touch. Underbody guard and metal running boards should help this vehicle travel across sand, gravel, or rock.
There are some limitations to this car entering production. Although it does roof which completely retracts and hides from view in 17 seconds, the Cross Cabriolet quattro has no roll bar, making it somewhat less likely to be used as a true off-roader. But, as the press release points out, "when cruising along the beachfront ... all four occupants can enjoy the open-air experience to the full."