► Second view of Prologue concept
► This time it’s a shooting brake
► Extra doors, elongated roofline
Back at the LA motor show late in 2014, the covers came off the Audi Prologue concept car, a vast two-door luxury coupe which previewed the future direction for Audi’s larger models, like the A8. There were also persistent murmurings that it foreshadows an upcoming two-door A9 production model.
Now, the Prologue’s set to make a return at the 2015 Geneva show in March – but this time with an extra helping of doors. This is the Audi Prologue Avant, a new five-door, shooting brake-style variant on the original concept’s theme.
Since the Prologue’s chief designer Marc Lichte insisted that ‘almost every element’ of the concept will appear on future large Audi’s such as the A6, A7 and A8, this could well be our first look at how the likes of the next-gen Audi A6 Avant will shape up, in terms of details if not necessarily proportions.
Click here to read CAR’s interview with Marc Lichte at the LA show.
What’s changed from the original Audi Prologue concept?
Starting with the obvious, there’s the extra set of doors and elongated roofline. Although the new concept is longer than the two-door LA show car (nearly 17 feet in fact), it’s still a four-seater. Despite its overall estate-like proportions, the rear window still has an aggressively slanted, coupé-like angle, topped and tailed by subtle flick-up spoilers above and below. This concept is more shooting brake than boxy wagon.
Repackaged upper body aside, there are a few other subtle differences this time around. That widescreen grille shape remains, but sports a more intricate blade design, and the wheels are enormous 22-inch five-spoke designs rather than the fussier ten-spokers on the original concept.
Audi’s experimented with contrasting finishes on the lower bodywork, with what looks like brushed aluminium treatment for the blades under the lower front air intakes and along the sills. It’s broken out the fairy lights as well, with new blue-tinged daytime running lights bordering the intakes.
Despite the elongated roofline, the pronounced front and rear wheelarch shapes from the two-door concept are still present – devices that Lichte said are important to emphasise Audi’s grippy Quattro drivetrains, an important part of the brand’s marketing.
And inside the cabin?
Only minor trim differences here – it’s very similar to the original Prologue’s cabin, with an ultra-minimal, button-phobic, touchpad-centred environment. There are three touchscreens up front and detachable tablet controls for rear passengers.
Does the Audi Prologue Avant actually drive, or is it just a model?
It works. It’s powered by the same plug-in hybrid powertrain as the upcoming Audi Q7 e-tron production car, with a 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine and electric motor combining to produce 449bhp and 553lb ft in total – a little more than the Q7’s production system will muster. Audi reckons that’s enough might to get the Prologue Avant from 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds. It can travel up to 34 miles or thereabouts under electric power alone. Like the Prologue coupe, the Avant’s four-wheel drive and rides on air suspension, with a rear-wheel steering system able to swivel the back wheels by as much as five degrees.
Stay tuned for more details on Audi’s new luxury concept, as they’re issued ahead of the Geneva motor show on 3 March.
Click here to read our story on the original Audi Prologue concept at the 2014 LA motor show.