Audi steps on gas into the future

Sowetan Reporter

Sowetan Reporter

Audi has just made the saying "in every bad there is good" every bit true in this bad global economic situation.

Though car manufactures have been heavily hit by this crisis, they have not stopped designing and coming up with new concepts.

This week, Audi revealed its A3 Sportback concept car at the 2009 North American International Automobile Show that started on January 11 and ends on January 25.

With systematic refinements to Audi's characteristic elements, the five-door model offers a glimpse of the marque's future design vocabulary - the pronounced coupe-like silhouette and large rear hatch.

According to the German manufacturer, the number of Sportback models are going to be dramatically increased on the market.

The show car also offers a new interpretation of the single-frame grille. The decision not to use vertical struts and the low overall height emphasise the sporty basic proportions of the vehicle front.

Also particularly striking is the modified outer contour of the single-frame grille that is also featured on the A1 Sportback show car. The flattened top edges lower the visual centre of gravity and provide a striking look for the front end.

The interior design is tidy and downright purist yet elegant at the same time.

The design of the Audi Sportback concept is characterised by an almost monolithic clarity and a vast reduction of the number of lines. The roof, shoulder and sill lines appear to have been drawn with a single stroke. The window strip of the coupé, with its four frameless doors, was kept pronouncedly flat.

The show car marks the first time that Audi has used electromechanical steering in a car with a longitudinal engine. Its primary advantage is that it only consumes energy when actually steering.