Audi Crosslane concept is a lightweight, hybrid social media SUV

The Crosslane concept hides new technology within and under its skin, and points the way forward for the styling of Audi’s next raft of Q SUVs.

Audi pioneered the use of lightweight aluminium in mass production vehicles with the Aluminium Space Frame (ASF) for its first A8 limosuine. The Crosslane takes that concept one step further with the new Multimaterial Space Frame (MSF). The MSF uses a mixture of aluminium, carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) and glass fibre-reinforced polymer (GFRP). All up the Crosslane weighs 1,390kg, which doesn’t sound terribly revolutionary until you consider that the car houses a not inconsiderable set of lithium-ion batteries.

Powering the Crosslane is a plug-in hybrid drivetrain featuring a purpose built 95kW/200Nm 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine and two electric motors. All up the system has 130kW at its disposal and can reach a maximum speed of 182km/h. In electric only mode the Crosslane has a range of 86km, reaches a top speed of 130km/h and, pedal to the metal, can do the 0 to 100km/h sprint in 9.8 seconds — with the help of the petrol motor the Crosslane can manage the same feat in 8.6 seconds. According to Audi it will drink at an average rate of just 1.1L/100km.

The interior of the car has liberal dashes of carbon fibre just to remind you about the MSF. Ahead of the driver is a LCD instrument display and the MMI system uses a hypothetical version of Audi Connect that includes internet connectivity for both Twitter and Facebook, as well as Escape Manager, a web platform for drivers to share reviews and comments about routes they are driving.

Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]