thecarnut.typepad.com > 2007 TOKYO MOTOR SHOW PRESS DAYS #2

Audi metroproject quattro/Front view

Audi metroproject quattro/Front view

Makuhari Messe, Japan

Audi's new "city car" looks better in person than in photos, with its imposing grille and sleek yet muscular lines. LED headlights, aluminum roof arches and those stunning rear lights make a good combination, and we might see them all on three different cars ... but on one, it's a bit of overkill. Audi has developed a hybrid drivetrain for the metroproject. A TSI (turbocharger + supercharger) engine drives the front wheels, while the electric motor sends all of its juice to the rear. An electronic device embedded in its dash is Audi's version of an iPhone. The combination of a turbocharger and supercharger on one engine is an idea which has been around for a long, long time, but not in consumer cars. It's common in the big rig diesel-powered trucks which cross the US and need all the high-end power, low-end torque, engine and systems reliability, lowest-possible emissions and the best possible fuel mileage.

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