Audi considering a production version of the Cross Cabriolet Concept

Article by Christian A., on May 9, 2011

Those who value style over performance will like this crossover that’s rumored to soon be built by Audi. The carmaker is supposedly considering a plan to release a production version of its Cross Cabriolet Concept. This is a drop-top prototype that had been unveiled at the 2007 Los Angeles Motor Show, and which previewed the Q5 SUV. Earlier this year, Nissan has already broken the mold with its Murano CrossCabriolet, which came out in North America.

If Audi does go through with this model, it’s likely to be regarded as its most unusual ever. The production model will use the two-door layout on the concept. It will be able to accommodate four people and it will have a fabric roof that folds electrically.

The chassis will be stiffened by additional bracing, which means that the fixed-roof Q5 kerbweight will be increased to 1,720kg. This would result to knock-on effects on its handling and fuel efficiency.

The soft-top will be built in limited numbers. Sources say that only 5,000 will be built. Instead of assembling it on the same production line as the Q5, production of this car will be outsourced to an independent coachbuilder like Magna Steyr in Austria. The cabriolet will also have a more luxurious interior, with extravagant leather and suede upholstery in different color combinations. It’s likely that the roof will be offered in a wide range of shades as well.

Convertible fans and enthusiasts should find the Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro a welcome development in the world of open-top driving. This is because the SUV’s fabric hood could be completely folded hidden behind the rear seats in just 17 seconds. Moreover, the Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro lacks a B-pillar and a roll-over bar – elements that could block exterior view.

Since the Cross Cabriolet quattro is in an SUV guise, it offers plenty of headroom, legroom and shoulder width as well as the height and sitting position of an off-roader. At the heart of this open-air SUV is a longitudinally mounted six-cylinder 3.0 TDI engine that provides up to 240 hp of output and up to 500 Nm of torque.

Despite this amount of power at its disposal, the TDI engine only consumes an average of around 7.3 liters of diesel per 100 kilometer. It is powered by a 3.0-liter TDI engine that comes with an ultra-low emission system –the most elaborate emissions reduction system in the world. This ensures that the new Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro is compliant with all exhaust emissions standards around the world.

Moreover, the engine is already compliant with rules in the EU 6 standard that will take effect in 2014. Of course, also helping the vehicle become more fuel efficient are its quattro permanent four-wheel drive and tiptronic transmission. In terms of exterior looks, the new Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro is wrapped in "Copper Sunset" color. Of course, Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro gets a number of classic design elements typical of an Audi convertible, including its elegant fabric hood and aluminum A-pillar surface.

Complementing the neat and stylish of the new Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro are the dynamism typical of a sports car and the strong presence of an SUV. When the hood is closed, the Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro has a SUV-like height (1.63 meters), making it stand out against its Cross Cabriolet quattro cousins. It also features the dimensions of a B-segment vehicle, thanks to its length of 4.62 meters and width of 1.91 meters.

Its basic chassis and drivetrain platforms as well as its longitudinally mounted engine were derived from the current Audi A4 and Audi A5 model lines. In terms of passive safety and body stiffness, those of the Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro are comparable with the usual standards of an Audi convertible. Audi was able to achieve this feat by reinforcing certain elements like the A-pillar, the sill area and the rear seat cross member.

In addition, the Cross Cabriolet quattro comes with a double underbody that makes the usual open profile of a convertible body into a closed structure – resulting to a significant rise in stiffness. Aside from being efficient, this design element is also economical, since it gets rid of the usual modifications that involve several body components and the resulting extra weight.

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