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The Audi allroad quattro. Photograph Audi. Click here for higher resolution picture.
The Audi allroad quattro. Photograph Audi. Click here for higher resolution picture.

Story by Audi: 23rd February 2000


Audi allroad quattro draws the crowds at Geneva
With its spectacular scenery and challenging alpine driving conditions, Switzerland is the ideal backdrop for the world début of the most surefooted Audi ever, a landmark event which has been scheduled for Press Day at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

The pioneering Audi allroad quattro will be shown for the very first time in production-ready guise on Tuesday February 29 at the famous Swiss show, paving the way for its UK launch in the summer of 2000. It will offer the best compromise achieved so far between the comfort and refinement of a family estate car and the versatility and all-terrain prowess of a fully fledged off-roader.

From concept to reality
Like the mould breaking Audi TT Coupé quattro, TT Roadster quattro and A2, the new Audi allroad quattro will be almost indistinguishable visually from its conceptual ancestor, first exhibited at the Detroit Motor Show in 1998. It will retain the reinforced front and rear bumpers, unique radiator grille design, pronounced wheel arches and contrasting ribbed roof and stainless steel underbody protection used to such dramatic effect in the original design study.

A wide track and a moderate increase in body height will also add to its visual impact, as will an exhaust system with separate large-bore tailpipes to the left and right of the rear bumper and sturdy 17-inch twin-spoke alloy wheels.

The differences between concept and reality will be equally scarce beneath the surface, the production allroad quattro adopting the state of the art four-stage, height adjustable air suspension and optional low ratio transfer gearbox which gave the original car genuine off-road capability to fully justify its more muscular stance.

The Audi allroad quattro is unique in its class in offering these features, which have traditionally been reserved for the more conventional ‘off-roaders’.

Four-stage suspension
The height adjustable suspension features specially designed axles with air spring struts controlled by separate height sensors. These vary the ride height at every wheel to ensure ample ground clearance on uneven ‘off road’ surfaces, and optimum aerodynamics when driving at high speeds.

As road speed increases, this intelligent system lowers the body in four stages, varying the allroad quattro’s ground clearance from a maximum 208 millimetres to a minimum 142 millimetres. The driver can also manually override the system, selecting the various ride heights at the touch of a button – a useful feature if the surface under the wheels varies frequently.

The driver-engaged Low Range transmission, which is available as an optional extra for cars with a manual gearbox, increases the Audi allroad quattro’s agility further still, allowing it to maintain optimum mobility when negotiating hostile terrain and scaling steep inclines.

Power will be provided by either the 2.5 TDI V6 engine in its recently announced 180bhp guise, or a new 250bhp version of the 2.7-litre V6 biturbo engine used in the A6 2.7 T quattro. Both engines will transmit their power through the renowned quattro permanent four-wheel-drive system.

Elegant yet rugged
Inside, the new allroad quattro offers the high standard of accommodation which has become synonymous with all Audi models. Two "worlds of colour" which are unique to this model are available - Steppe Green or Grey - and the stylists have taken care to incorporate the car’s rugged character into the design without affecting the elegance of the A6’s famed interior. Versatility is also a plus point as usual, the allroad quattro offering comfortable seating for up to five people or a vast load area with a maximum volume of 1,590 litres.

Production of the Audi allroad quattro will take place in the brand’s Neckarsulm plant, which also produces the A6 Saloon and Avant, the A8 and the forthcoming A2. Specification and pricing for UK models has yet to be finalised, and will be announced nearer to launch.