Despite the rumors, Audi didn't show off its X3-fighter here in LA. Instead, the quad-ringed quattro folks pulled the curtains on a drop-top version of the Cross Coupe quattro concept it originally debuted in Shanghai. Designed by the automaker's studio in Santa Monica, CA, Audi maintains that the Cross Cabriolet quattro concept is distinctly American in its styling, with a jacked up ride height, elongated wheelbase and retractable soft-top.
As mentioned previously, power comes courtesy of a diesel mill putting 240 HP and 369 lb.-ft. of torque through all four wheels. Audi says the Cross Cabriolet will make it to 60 in 7.2-seconds, and if you tap the "Drive Select" option, fuel economy is boosted by an additional ten-percent.
While both the presentation and styling of the concept left us cold, some of the interior appointments piqued our curiosity. The MMI infotainment system combines traditional GPS functionality with Google Earth, to provide a real-time rendering of the world in which it's traveling, and while wind noise is always an issue with convertibles, Audi decided the best way to facilitate conversation within the cabin was to employ an intercom system that picks up the voices of the occupants and amplifies them through the Bang & Olufsen sound system.
According to Audi, the aforementioned X3-competitor – the Q5 – will debut sometime next year, and the Cross Coupe quattro and its Cross Cabriolet sibling foretell the design direction the automaker plans to take.