Audi's 724bhp Prologue Allroad concept uncovered in Shanghai

Audi's Shanghai show concept is rugged Prologue with 724bhp petrol-electric hybrid, demonstrating future design language.

Audi has given us another glimpse of its future in the form of the new Prologue Allroad concept at the 16th Shanghai Motor Show. The rugged design study sports a 724bhp petrol-electric hybrid powertrain, and is essentially a jacked-up iteration of the previous Prologue Avant concept seen at the Geneva Motor Show.

The primary function of the high-riding estate concept is to provide a snapshot of what we can expect from production large Audi models in the next decade. This includes an adaptation of the trademark trapezoidal grille design, swept back headlamps and sleeker, curvier profiling. 

In keeping with Audi's current family of Allroad cars, it gets a 77mm increase in ground clearance and the traditional SUV body cladding around the arches and bumpers, skid plates and roof rails.

It's the latest effort from Audi's new design boss Marc Lichte, who is intent on making his mark on the firm's design language for coming Audi models. The Prologue Allroad is 185mm longer than the current A6 Allroad, hinting at either a large next-generation or a Mercedes CLS-style A7 'Shooting Brake' in more rugged form.

Under the bonnet of this third Prologue concept is the newest performance powertrain from the RS6, a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine. It developed 598bhp in the Prologue coupe concept we drove after the 2014 LA Motor Show, but it's now been mated to an electric motor mounted within an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox to produce an astonishing 724bhp and 900Nm of torque.

A 14.1 kWh lithium ion battery pack provides an all-electric range of 33.6 miles, but the impressive figures are a theoretical 0-62mph time of 3.5-seconds, a combined MPG figure of 117.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 56g/km.

We'll be getting our first proper look at the Prologue Allroad concept at this year's Shanghai Motor Show next week. You can catch up with all the latest news from China's most important motor show on our website in the next few days.

Get the latest on the Shanghai Motor Show 2015 here...

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