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Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro Prototype

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Khatir Soltani
There are very few convertibles on the market that can tackle off-road terrain or winter conditions with ease. At the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show, Audi is introducing a vehicle that cradles four passengers both under the sun and above the rough stuff. Though the Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro is a concept, it hints towards the direction of the future Q5 - a rival to the BMW X6 sports utility 'coupe'.

The Cross Cabriolet quattro shelters the cabin with a fabric top that clears in 17 seconds. Tucked behind the rear seats are two rollover bars that hopefully never spring into use.

Audi has nicely powered the Cross Cabriolet with a three litre turbo diesel engine that is both efficient and sporty; the car can average 7.3 L/100km of fuel and scoot to 100km/h in 7.2 seconds. The new motor uses piezo injectors and has an operating pressure of 29,000 PSI, producing 237 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque.

Exhaust gasses are filtered and treated with AdBlue to help meet strict future emission regulations; AdBlue (a biodegradable carbamide solution) is injected ahead of the catalytic converter to help break down the harmful nitric oxides of the exhaust gas into ammonia. AdBlue needs to be topped up only at normal service intervals.

The engine's power is delivered by a permanent, active quattro all-wheel-drive system that normally distributes 60 percent of the power to the rear wheels. The Cross Cabriolet is cornered by 21 inch alloys wrapped in rubber ten and a half inches wide. Behind these wheels are light-weight fade-resistant ceramic brakes which clamp the 15 inch ceramic front discs by 6-piston aluminum callipers. Though more expensive, these brakes can last 300,000 kilometres.

Suspension geometry is derived from Audi's A4 and A5 models. The electromagnetic damping controlled air suspension of the Q7 is also employed on the Cross Cabriolet for adaptive driving dynamics; body roll and pitch are reduced while comfort is improved. The high off-road ground clearance can also be lowered by four centimetres for loading and improved high speed dynamics.

Khatir Soltani
Khatir Soltani
Automotive expert
  • Over 6 years experience as a car reviewer
  • Over 50 test drives in the last year
  • Involved in discussions with virtually every auto manufacturer in Canada