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Observer: Hot Hybrid Concept Car

Friday, August 1, 2008 - 00:00

Audi's A1 concept car has the distinctive look of another popular little vehicle owned by BMW.

The Audi A1 Metroproject Quattro is expected to be a hybrid, with a 1.4-liter engine that generates around 150 hp for the front wheels, while a 41 hp electric motor is mounted on the rear axle.

The A1 can launch from 0 to 62 mph in just under 8 seconds, while hitting a top speed of just over 124 mph.

The concept is also slated to include the automaker's magnetic ride shock absorber technology, currently employed in the new Audi TT and R8.

Best of all, the A1 is powered by a plug-in electric motor, and the vehicle runs off lithium-ion batteries, offering drivers zero-emissions operation for more than 60 miles on a single charge. Standard hybrid amenities like engine start/stop and brake regeneration are expected to make an appearance. Gasoline and diesel options range from 1.2 to 2 liters.

A production version is said to be rolling out next year, while those who can't wait that long can make a trip to the Tokyo Motor Show in October to see the A1 for themselves.

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