The all-new Audi A3 Sportback and Audi S3 hot-hatch may have been the production stars on the 2012 Paris Motor Show stand for the German manufacturer, but it was the Audi Crosslane Coupe concept that really showed the brand's future.
Beyond its lightweight 'Multi-material Spaceframe' construction and its ultra-frugal plug-in hybrid drivetrain (consisting of a 1.5-litre TFSI three-cylinder turbo petrol engine and two lithium-ion electric motors), the Crosslane Coupe was all about visuals. It defines a new design line for Audi.
Perhaps in response to criticism that many of its models look too similar, the next-generation of Audis will feature “special characteristics for each model line [Q, A, R], and also in aspects of the interior, like the steering wheel [in the Crosslane]”, according to Audi’s general manager of chassis development, Dr Horst Glaser.
As previewed by the Crosslane, the next generation of Q-line cars (such as the new Q7 and the rumoured Q1/Q2 baby SUV) will be more angular in design and more powerful in their visual presence. This is in contrast to today’s fluid curves and less imposing design.
Neither Glaser or Audi’s head of technology and product communications, Cristian Bangemann, would elaborate on what the first new-generation Q-line Audi is likely to be.