Audi has given us ‘a foretaste of the future’ at the LA Auto Show in the US. The Audi Prologue show car, as it is officially known, was unveiled by design head Marc Lichte.
The Audi Prologue has a 4.0-litre TFSI V8 biturbo engine capable of 605PS and 750Nm (553.2ft/lb). 0 to 62mph takes 3.7 seconds. All-wheel drive ensures all four 22-inch wheels get a share of the power, while the rear wheels steers up to five degrees to help with stability.
Even with all that power on tap, Audi claims the Prologue can manage 32.8mpg and 199g/km of CO2 emissions, making your average Ferrari slower and worse for the planet. An eight-speed triptronic powertrain and a regenerative braking system help conserve and recover energy.
In terms of size, the Audi Prologue is smaller than an A8. It measures 5.1 metres long, 1.95 metres wide and 1.39 metres high. The wheelbase, meanwhile, is 2.94 metres. It weighs 1,980kg, giving the 20-inch front brake discs a relatively easy job of bringing the occupants to a halt.
Various neat touches bring the Prologue to life. There are no door handles, instead the doors open electromechanically upon pressing an illuminated sensor surface. Up front are matrix laser headlights that are said to be brighter than conventional alternatives.
There’s also a bit of software called the ‘butler’ that identifies a person based on their smartphone and adjusts the seats and climate control based on their preferences. It even suggests places to go via the navigation and music to listen to depending on your previous habits.
Rather than a typical dashboard, Audi has given the Prologue concept three displays span much of the width of the car. To the right of the driver is a display for media controls and to the left for controlling lighting, while the right section in front of the passenger deals handles entertainment.
In the central console is a fourth bendable OLED display. Here the driver can adjust climate control, use the handwriting recognition feature for typing out, say, a postcode and adjust other vehicle settings.
Lichte said: “Audi stands for sportiness, lightweight design and the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. In the Audi prologue, we are expressing this know-how in a new form – we have put the sportiest car in the luxury segment on wheels. Our team took new approaches in both exterior and interior design.”
Whether this beast on wheels make it to a showroom is unclear. But elements of the design and the clever technologies will almost certainly filter down into Audis you can buy in years to come.