LA 2007: Audi creates another niche with the Cross Cabriolet quattro
At the Los Angeles Auto Show today, Audi carves out yet another niche in the market by attempting to answer the question of what happens when a TT roadster and a Q7 head behind the barn for some fun. Apparently, the answer is the Cross Cabriolet quattro. This new crossover with a retractable soft-top features Audi's obligatory quattro all-wheel-drive and gets propulsion via the latest version of the 3.0L TDI V6.
The updated TDI has 240hp and 369 lb-ft of torque and is fully compliant with the Euro 6 emissions regulations. The diesel is equipped with a particulate filter and uses urea injection to clean up the NOx emissions. The fifteen foot long four-seater has 110.6-inch wheelbase. All the torque is distributed to the corners by way of an eight speed automatic transmission and motion is arrested by big ceramic brakes. Check out the details after the jump.
Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro
Los Angeles / Ingolstadt, 14 November 2007
Open for any adventure
Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro
Audi is introducing a new vehicle segment with its presentation of the Audi
Cross Cabriolet quattro concept car at the Los Angeles Auto Show
(14 Ð 24 November 2007). The two-door, four-seater car measures
4.62 metres in length and combines the genes of a typical dynamic soft-top
convertible from Audi with the all-round qualities of a fully fledged SUV.
The muscular, powerful, but also elegant lines make no secret of this vehicle's
potential. The 240 bhp three-litre TDI engine with ultra-low emission
technology delivers sporty driving dynamics with exhaust emissions on the
level of the EU 6 limits. The quattro permanent four-wheel-drive system and
high-tech chassis with electric ride height adjustment are a recipe for driving
pleasure on all terrain and in any curve radius.
The Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro offers a new dimension in open-top driving
among the SUV field: its fabric hood lowers itself to disappear completely behind
the rear seats in a spectacularly brief 17 seconds; no B-pillar and no roll-over bar
obscure the view of the heavens. And for convertible fans, it offers a new
dimension in spaciousness: as an SUV, the Cross Cabriolet quattro provides its
occupants with copious headroom, legroom and shoulder width in addition to an
off-roader's typical height and comfortable sitting position. So when cruising
along the beachfront, for instance, all four occupants can enjoy the open-air
experience to the full.
The longitudinally mounted six-cylinder TDI in the Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro
is the brand's latest diesel engine. With a power output of 240 bhp and 500 Nm of
torque, at this stage in its evolution the 3.0 TDI is now more efficient than ever Ð
its average fuel consumption is a mere 7.3 litres of diesel per 100 km. The engine
is also equipped with what is currently the most elaborate emissions reduction
system developed for a production engine: the ultra-low emission system.
This does more than just ensure that the vehicle complies with all current exhaust
emissions standards worldwide. It already meets the expected limits of the EU 6
standard, which is only due to be introduced in 2014 Ð and does so with quattro
permanent four-wheel drive and tiptronic transmission.
Design and body
Spectacular Ð a term which sums up the visual impact of the Audi Cross Cabriolet
quattro painted in "Copper Sunset", whether the top is up or down. After all,
without the hint of a compromise, the concept car combines classic Audi
convertible hallmarks, such as the elegant fabric hood and aluminium A-pillar
surface, with the undisguised dynamism of a sports car and the masculine
presence of a genuine SUV.
4.62 m long, 1.91 m wide and with a wheelbase of 2.81 m: the Audi Cross
Cabriolet quattro has the dimensions of a B-segment vehicle. The longitudinally
mounted engine and the basic chassis and drivetrain architectures are taken from
the inventory of modules used in the current Audi A4 and Audi A5 model lines.
The SUV-style height of 1.63 m with the hood closed marks the most significant
difference to these relatives of the Cross Cabriolet quattro.
High passive safety
Body stiffness and passive safety measure up to the typical standards of an Audi
convertible. This is achieved with reinforcements to the A-pillar, the rear seat
cross member and the sill area, in addition to a simple trick that exploits the extra
body height of an SUV. The Cross Cabriolet quattro has a double underbody that
turns the open profile of a convertible body into a closed structure, producing a
major increase in stiffness. This design feature is efficient and economical in
equal measure, since it replaces conventional modifications that involve numerous
body components and require significantly more material, thus adding more
The A-pillar and the top edge of the relatively shallow windscreen have been
heavily reinforced to aid roll-over protection. Two roll-over bars, normally
lowered out of view, are located behind the rear seats and are preloaded by
powerful springs. If the vehicle is in danger of rolling over, the sensor system
releases the spring retaining mechanism, causing the bars to shoot up within
milliseconds to provide effective protection together with the A-pillars for the
occupants in the interior.
The dominant element of the face-on view is the single-frame radiator grille with
polished aluminium longitudinal struts, emphasising its vertical orientation Ð a
clear signal of the concept car's sporty character. Behind its clear-glass headlight
covers, the latest lighting technology can be seen: the Cross Cabriolet quattro is
the latest Audi to be equipped with full LED headlights, which also feature the
characteristic strip of daytime running lights and the electronically controlled
swivelling cornering light. The turn signals, brake lights and tail lights also use
fast-reacting LED light units. In addition to the front and rear light units, the
exterior mirrors also have integrated turn signals.
In the side view, a distinct aspect of current Audi design can be seen in the
shoulder line and dynamic line, which divide the vehicle body volume into a
clearly defined sporty architecture. An equally characteristic feature is the
proportion between the large body surface and shallow window area beneath the
soft top's sweeping roof line Ð the hallmark of a sports car.
Within the pronounced styling of the wheel arches, the large 21-inch wheels with
tyres of size 265/35 R21 send out a clear visual message and make an additional
contribution to both driving pleasure and safety.
The fabric hood, which lowers itself fully automatically in a Z-fold behind the
rear seats at the push of a button, is a trademark of all open-top Audi models. It is
a stylistic feature that makes the car recognisable as a convertible, even with the
hood up, and requires considerably less space in the rear and adds less weight than
a complex folding steel roof.
In terms of noise and heat insulation, the Audi A4 Cabriolet's multi-layer fabric
hood has long been found to compare very favourably with a solid roof in
The underbody guard and metal running boards are classic off-roader features.
They have been given a modern interpretation on the Audi Cross Cabriolet
quattro. The running boards are integrated into the sills with a seamless transition
to the door opening. The underbody guard covers the whole width of the vehicle.
The LED front fog lights are integrated into the front section and the rear section
accommodates the two exhaust tailpipes on the left and right.
Two generously sized doors provide access to the interior in typical convertible
style. Thanks to the lack of a B-pillar and the easy entry front seats, rear
passengers have no trouble getting in and out.
The rear loading solution is a perfect synthesis of convertible design and SUV
functionality. When closed, the short stepped boot lid forms a continuation of the
fabric hood's coup line. When it opens, however, with the assistance of its gas
springs, it lifts up high to provide a surprisingly large opening. At the same time,
the glass rear window, which is hinged to the fabric hood, automatically lifts up
too. The result is an opening to the luggage compartment that matches that of a
conventional SUV equipped with an off-roader's traditional large tailgate. The
loading width is 1.16 m and the load-area width is 1.05 m.
The Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro thus gives its driver the best of both worlds Ð
the freedom and elegance of a convertible blended with the spaciousness and
versatility of an SUV.
The interior of the Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro offers sophistication and
ergonomically perfect solutions in all areas and with all its materials. The smooth
and soft surfaces together with a gentle, natural blend of colours help to provide
an atmosphere of absolute ease for the occupants. For additional convenience,
each passenger has a heatable and coolable cup holder, located in the centre
console at the front and in the side walls at the rear.
The driver and passengers enjoy the comfort of four spacious individual seats. The
seating is entirely upholstered in "White Stone" leather. All occupants benefit
from lateral support and excellent long-distance comfort. To enhance comfort
when driving with the top down, all four seats are equipped with an airscarf
function. Air vents on the head restraints serve to compensate for the air
turbulence around the occupant's neck.
The space available in the second row is unique for the convertible world: the
legroom, shoulder space and headroom are unbeatable, even with the roof closed.
The centre console continues far into the rear of the interior and provides the rear
passengers with a stowage box with lifting lid.
A regular Audi characteristic of the cockpit area in the Cross Cabriolet quattro
concept car is the way it is markedly angled towards the driver. The controls can
be found here, while the front-passenger area is emphatically neat and
architecturally clear-cut. In turn, the dashboard and doors are connected by
flowing lines, while the cockpit itself is smoothly and organically integrated.
In addition to the instrument dials under the dome-shaped cowl behind the
steering wheel and a central LCD colour display integrated between them, the
MMI also supplies information via its swivelling flat screen, well positioned
within the driver's field of vision in the upper section of the centre console.
The MMI terminal on the centre console is also extremely neat. The central
operating button and the six hard keys are the simplest way imaginable to operate
the vehicle and infotainment functions.
In addition to the MMI terminal, the Cross Cabriolet quattro also has a touch-
sensitive sensor field (touch pad) in front of the MMI control element. Like on a
laptop, this can be used, for example, to move image sections of the map display.
The system is also capable of recognising and processing commands entered by
tracing letters with your finger on the touch pad.
Google Earth, the interactive, three-dimensional atlas of the world, has gained a
firm role on all personal computers. Now this software is making life easier on the
road too. Audi has, for the first time ever, brought together the merits of the
internet-based system Google Earth and its own built-in navigation system to
create countless information facilities with user-friendly graphics.
The high-resolution display and photorealistic 3D maps provide a new dimension
in intuitively understandable bird's eye visualisations that are rich in detail. The
image angle and section can of course be adjusted to suit the driver's wishes at
any time. By connecting to the internet, it will also be possible in future for traffic
and weather information or even data on air quality to be included and taken into
account in planning your route.
Using Google Earth's search function, the driver can also find addresses or service
providers at the chosen destination and navigate directly to them Ð for instance
restaurants, car parks or an Audi dealer.
To enter a navigation destination, there is no longer any need to enter the address
by hand. The driver can click on an image in the Google Earth user interface and
be directed to the identified destination.
Bang & Olufsen sound system and internet radio
Leading the way in technical and acoustical quality is the sound system from
Bang & Olufsen. Derived from the unit used in the A8 luxury saloon, it is no less
of a delight to the ear in the Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro. With its sparkling,
brilliant reproduction, detailed resolution, precise spatial imaging and broad, well-
defined frequency spectrum, this product from the Danish sound specialists
satisfies every wish with its high precision and quality.
The key element in the Bang & Olufsen sound system is an amplifier with a
supreme output rating of 505 watts. It processes signals digitally according to the
manufacturerÕs own surround algorithm, which enables the occupant of every seat
to enjoy the full splendour of the systemÕs audio quality. The numerous user
settings include four sound focuses. The system analyses the noise level inside the
vehicle by means of a microphone and makes selective adjustments to its output
signals in specific frequency ranges.
The advantages of a digital sound system really come into play in the Audi Cross
Cabriolet quattro's innovative internet radio system. This provides access to the
countless radio stations broadcasting over the World Wide Web.
At the same time, it turns radio into a highly personalised medium. Simply by
pressing a button, the user can give a positive or negative verdict on a music track.
The system will thereafter only offer the user tracks and music styles that match
his/her preferences. This enables the internet radio to create a highly customised
virtual station for each individual listener.
In addition, the internet delivers a large range of supplementary data besides the
music being played Ð from a graphic display of the CD cover to information about
the track and the artists.
An intercom system is fitted to assist the occupants in communicating with each
other. This removes the need to raise your voice Ð especially welcome when
driving with the top down. Four microphones pick up the speakers' voices and
relay them at a subtly amplified volume via the vehicle's audio system. The sound
processor filters out background noise to give an extremely natural voice
Power is supplied by the latest stage of evolution of the three-litre diesel with
common rail direct injection. It develops 176 kW (240 bhp) and has an impressive
maximum torque of 500 Nm. It is this ultra-powerful TDI with a displacement of
2,967 cc that truly makes the Cross Cabriolet quattro a sports car. It accelerates
from 0 to 100 km/h in just 7.2 seconds and has a top speed of 240 km/h Ð yet the
average fuel consumption is a mere 7.3 l/100 km. The 500 Nm provide a mighty
surge of acceleration starting from just above idling speed.
The 3.0 TDI is coupled to the quattro permanent four-wheel drive and an eight-
speed automatic transmission. If the driver wishes to change gear manually, the
shift paddles at the steering wheel can be used. The especially designed selector
lever with integrated control wheel for gear selection is a newly developed
variation of the shift-by-wire system.
The latest 3.0 TDI is notable not only for its low fuel consumption, but also for its
especially clean exhaust. A diesel particulate filter is used to reduce soot
emissions: it cuts the already low level of untreated emissions further, by more
than 90 percent.
The cleanest diesel in the world
The new 3.0 TDI with ultra-low emission system is a further step forward that
demonstrates the potential of the Audi TDI. Drivers are thrilled not only by the
dynamism of 176 kW (240 bhp) and the outstanding torque of 500 Nm, but also
by its modest fuel consumption and extremely low emissions.
The ultra-low emission system raises the principle of the direct-injection
turbocharged diesel to a new level. To develop it, AudiÕs engineers combined a
whole package of innovative measures. A new common rail system with piezo
injectors operating at a pressure of 2,000 bar, high-efficiency exhaust gas
recirculation and further optimised turbocharging join forces to achieve a
significant reduction in untreated emissions.
A further technical breakthrough is the actual exhaust aftertreatment system,
which cuts emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by as much as 90 percent. This
system operates with the additive AdBlue, an aqueous solution of carbamide,
small amounts of which are injected ahead of the DeNOx catalytic converter. In
the hot exhaust gas, the solution breaks down into ammonia, which splits the
oxides of nitrogen into nitrogen and water.
The AdBlue solution, which is biodegradable, is topped up as a routine operation
each time the car is serviced, without the customer having to take any action.
Since consumption of the solution is very low, Audi can guarantee that the
amount carried on the car will be sufficient from one service to the next. The
system will remain effective for the entire service life of the vehicle.
Thanks to their extremely low emissions, from 2008 Audi is able to sell its clean
direct-injection diesels all over the world, even in the US states of California,
Massachusetts, Maine, New York and Vermont where extremely stringent
emission limits apply.
From 2010 on, Audi will be offering this new technology in further car and power
output classes. The brand is pursuing a systematic strategy aimed at lowering fuel
consumption and pollutant emissions still further. By 2012, Audi will have
reduced its modelsÕ CO2 emissions by some 20 percent Ð yet their sporty character
will be enhanced at the same time.
The Audi Cross Cabriolet always transmits its power to the road through the
quattro permanent four-wheel drive. Here again it delivers the supreme
capabilities that have become an Audi hallmark in the years since this driveline
was launched in 1980 Ð enhanced driving dynamics, safety and directional
stability, together making up AudiÕs proverbial ÔVorsprung durch TechnikÕ.
Added to this, there is the legendary traction of the quattro driveline even under
the toughest conditions, making it ideally suited to off-road driving.
The key element in the quattro driveline is its centre differential. It is a purely
mechanical unit and therefore responds without the slightest delay. Its locking
action is only active when the throttle is open; differences in rotational speed are
tolerated when the brakes are applied and when cornering.
In normal driving conditions, 40 percent of engine power reaches the front wheels
and 60 percent the rear wheels, permitting sporty handling with a rear-driven
emphasis. When needed Ð i.e. when the wheels on either axle start to spin Ð the
differential redirects most of the torque to the axle revolving more slowly and
therefore having better traction.
The centre differential can direct up to 65 percent of the power to the front wheels
and up to 85 percent to the rear wheels; as a result, the concept car can normally
tackle situations close to its handling limits without braking intervention by ESP.
The dynamic chassis on the Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro combines precision and
dynamism with a high level of stability. The suspension mountings, steering,
wheels and brakes have been developed for top performance and numerous
aluminium components are used to keep unsprung masses to a minimum.
As in the Audi A5 and A4 models, the five-link front suspension makes a
considerable contribution to the carÕs dynamic character.
By moving the differential to the front and the clutch to the rear, the front axle is
repositioned 154 millimetres further forward. Together with the relocation of the
carÕs battery to the boot, this optimises the load distribution between the front and
The front axle comprises five suspension links per wheel Ð one supporting link
and one guide link form the lower level and two guide links the upper level. The
fifth link Ð the track rod Ð joins the steering box to the wheel bearing housing. All
suspension links are forged aluminium parts, which guarantee low unsprung
masses and extremely precise wheel location.
If sporty handling is to be combined with a high standard of ride comfort, the
unsprung masses must be kept as low as possible. Audi has pursued this approach
for all the rear-axle components. The upper transverse links and the track rods are
aluminium forgings. Their high rigidity ensures that toe and camber angles
change very little when dynamic forces act on the wheels.
The springs act directly on the wheel carriers. The design engineers adopted this
layout because it enabled them to increase the ride comfort to luxury-car level and
at the same time achieve the road dynamics of a sports saloon.
Stepless Ð the shock absorbers
The CDC (continuous damping control) shock absorbers, similar to those that
Audi already uses on the luxury Q7 SUV with air suspension, are twin-tube gas-
filled hydraulic units with an additional external valve and connecting pipe. Their
operation can be continuously varied.
An electromagnetically energised proportional-action valve regulates the flow of
hydraulic fluid between the inner and outer damper tubes. A smaller flow cross-
section makes the damping characteristic firmer, a larger one makes it softer.
The control unit applies adaptive operating characteristics within the mode the
driver has chosen via Audi drive select. It adapts to match the driver's driving
style and the road conditions. Even from the comfort mode, the shock absorbers
can be switched in an instant to a firm setting if desired, though not to the absolute
limit. They are fitted in conjunction with sports suspension springs, which still
provide a good standard of ride comfort, even off road.
The control unit selects the optimum damping force for the current driving
situation, for instance firmer damping to prevent body roll and pitch when
cornering fast or braking, lower damping force in off-road terrain where the
surface under the wheels is hard and uneven.
Electric ride height adjustment
As a true SUV, the Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro displays impressive off-road
talents. These include its innovative electric ride height adjustment, which varies
ground clearance by a total of 40 millimetres at the touch of a button. It works by
means of electric motors under each wheel's spring plate that raise or lower the
vehicle body. In addition to its low weight, one of this system's winning features
is its operating speed: the preselected ride height level is reached in a maximum
of four seconds.
This brings obvious advantages for the driver, not only when venturing into rough
off-road terrain. The height of the vehicle body can be adjusted to make getting in
and out that bit easier and also Ð as already seen in the Q7 Ð the rear can be
lowered separately for easier loading into the luggage compartment.
For reasons of safety, handing dynamics and economy, the body moves
automatically to the low setting at speeds above 80 km/h, thus both lowering the
centre of gravity and reducing air resistance.
The system is operated either via the MMI, a button in the luggage compartment
or even from outside the vehicle using the key.
Controlled power Ð the ceramic brakes
The Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro is equipped with ceramic brakes on all four
wheels for effective deceleration even under the most demanding conditions.
Compared with conventional steel discs, ceramic brakes not only last four times
longer, up to 300,000 kilometres, but also offer high resistance to fading. The
significant reduction in weight also leads to advantages in terms of comfort and
handling, thanks to reduced unsprung masses.
On the front axle, 380-millimetre ceramic discs are fitted in combination with
21-inch wheels. The rear discs have a diameter of 356 millimetres. The elaborate
cooling duct geometry of the ventilated brake discs ensures optimum brake disc
cooling. Firm grip on the brake disc is guaranteed at the front by 6-piston
monobloc aluminium brake callipers, and at the rear by floating-calliper brakes.
Audi drive select
The Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro is equipped with Audi drive select, as optionally
available in the current generation of the bestselling Audi A4. This allows you to
preselect three highly individual configurations for the engine and gear-change
characteristics, and the adaptive shock absorbers. The result is a car that can be
enjoyed in completely different ways and that offers a huge potential in the field
The default setting is the "dynamic" mode, which is automatically activated every
time the engine is started and is designed purely to produce the dynamic yet
comfortable driving feel typical of the brand, which Audi drivers have come to
expect of their cars.
The "sport" mode gives the Cross Cabriolet quattro an emphatically sporty driving
feel. The shock absorbers are set firm, the engine responds more spontaneously to
the throttle and the tiptronic transmissionÕs shift points move higher up the engine
speed range: the ideal basis for active driving pleasure on winding roads.
When the driver switches to the "efficiency" mode using the MMI, the engine and
S tronic respond gently to commands from the accelerator and shift paddles. This
setting is ideal for a relaxed driving style, as well as offering tremendous potential
for effectively lowering fuel consumption, and therefore emissions too.
In efficiency mode, the air conditioning system is automatically switched off and
is only reactivated if the driver so wishes. A completely new interpretation of the
cruise control system also moves the vehicle with minimum fuel consumption,
allowing it to drop below the set speed within a certain lower limit in favour of
lower fuel consumption, for example on gentle uphill stretches of motorway.
The efficiency mode also makes use of route data from the navigation system and
the adaptive cruise control to reduce speed early and make driving as economical
as possible by avoiding the need for heavy braking when approaching a tight bend
or a vehicle driving ahead.
In this way, under normal operating conditions and combined with a forward-
looking driving style, Audi drive select can achieve fuel savings of well over
20 percent compared to dynamic mode.
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