The Audi Prologue was unveiled at a private event in Los Angeles, just hours before the L.A. Auto Show opened its doors. The Car Guide was there for the world debut of this concept car, which is ushering in a new era of design for the Ingolstadt-based brand. In fact, several of the components will be included in the next A6, A7 and A8 models.
During the presentation, Marc Lichte, Audi’s head designer, spoke at length about his inspiration for the Prologue. “Audi stands for sportiness, lightweight design and the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. In the Audi prologue, we are expressing this know-how in a new form – we have put the sportiest car in the luxury segment on wheels. Our team took new approaches in both exterior and interior design.”
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A little TT
With a wheelbase of 2.94 metres, the Prologue is 5.1 metres long, 1.95 metres wide and 1.39 metres tall. Essentially, this means that it is slightly shorter, both vertically and horizontally, than the current A8. The front treatment is dominated by a Singleframe grille that has been stretched wider and positioned lower than on current models. Seen from the side, the Prologue shows off pronounced fender blisters to emphasize the quattro AWD. The roofline drops toward the back, just like on the TT, one of the vehicles on which the Prologue was inspired.
The passenger compartment also marks the beginning of a new design era at Audi. The information display and controls are integrated in a whole new way into the dashboard and centre console. Meanwhile, the infotainment system keeps the driver and passengers in touch. First seen on the latest TT, the virtual dashboard was taken a step further on the Prologue with the addition of 3D graphics.
The display stretches across the entire length of the dashboard and incorporates three touch screens. The one to the left of the steering wheel faces the driver and is used to control lighting and driver-assistance systems. The touch screen to the right of the steering wheel is also directed toward the driver and is used for all the media commands. Finally, the front passenger has access to a large screen that covers the whole dashboard and controls the infotainment components. This new screen on the passenger side is the first of its kind, as it allows for digital interactions between the driver and passenger. The front passenger can swipe the surface to display predetermined itineraries on the driver’s screen and to copy them onto the virtual cockpit.
According to Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, one of the technology and design leads at Audi, the Prologue is a clear indication of the manufacturer’s new direction and demonstrates the importance “of having the courage to come out with something entirely new and to fight to make it possible.” The effect is both striking and well proportioned. The Audi Prologue is paving the way for a promising future for the four-ringed brand.