Vijay Pattni22 April 2014

Meet the 408bhp Audi TT offroader

SUV concept arrives in Beijing sporting hybrid turbo, is quicker than an Audi TT-S

Here's the TT-based SUV concept Audi teased earlier this month. It's called the TT ‘offroad concept', and it's many things rolled into one yellow lump of metal.

First off, it's just a concept, but previews what Audi could do with the TT. "The offroad concept provides a glimpse of how we might imagine a new model in the future TT family," explains Audi's technical chief Dr Ulrich Hackenberg.

Underneath sits a turbocharged 2.0-litre turbo FSI engine producing 292bhp and 280lb ft of torque, with the exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head, and indirect injection supplementing direct injection for better fuel efficiency. Clever stuff.

A separating clutch links the engine to an electric motor producing a further 162lb ft of torque, integrated into the six-speed automatic gearbox, that works with the engine to operate the front wheels. On the rear axle sits the second electric motor, producing its own 199lb ft.

The battery - mounted just ahead of the rear axle for a 54:46 front/rear weight distribution - stores enough charge for a 31.1 mile purely electric range, and can be charged by plugging it into an Audi ‘wall box'. It also premieres a wireless charging function; you simply drive and park onto a ‘plate' which sucks the electricity from the floor, inverts the current and feeds it into the electrical system into the car. Very, very clever stuff.

And it's quick, too. This TT offroad concept will accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds (quicker than a TT-S Coupe, no less), and will hit an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.

When driven solely by the rear axle electric motor, the TT offroad concept is capable of an 80.8mph top speed (a rear-wheel-drive TT SUV!), while underneath it's based on the regular TT - think MQB platform - with the front suspension largely made of aluminium. The body is made of the stuff too.

Step inside and there's space for four, as well as the interior elements from the TT - think 12.3in TFT display and 3D graphics - as well as elements from the Q family. In fact, Audi even references its own Q3. Take a look around the body and you'll spot the familiar TT design cues, though here jacked up to go, well, wherever you want to really.

It's a clear sign Audi believes the TT 'brand' can be expanded beyond the current coupe and convertible into a family of cars - think the expanding Range Rover family, or, to take things yet further, Citroen's standalone DS brand. Does the world need more TTs, or should Audi keep its sports car pure?

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