Marc Lichte, the man responsible for crafting the look of this latest concept, describes the Prologue as “the sportiest car in the luxury segment”. End big statement.
Lichte says the Prologue, believed to be a preview of a new ‘A9’ flagship coupe, is the ultimate expression of Audi’s focus on “sportiness and lightweight design”.
And, as the company’s new design boss, replacing Wolfgang Egger (whose last piece is the newly revealed TT range), Lichte is in a position to define the ultimate expression of Audi’s... everything.
It’s clear, of course, that the Prologue is an evolution of Audi’s current styling language, defined not only by Egger but Stefan Sielaff, and others, before him.
It’s a strong evolution, though, with a wide and low-slung body, an intimidating countenance dominated by the widest iteration yet of that gaping Audi grille, and a new take on the sharp no-nonsense headlights the brand’s look is built on.
The Prologue’s profile reveals a glasshouse that evokes the trapezoidal pillar arrangement of the A5 Coupe, while the sheetmetal of the doors and quarter panels are given over to a softer - and somehow more powerful - shape.
There’s more ‘new’ going on at the rear than anywhere else, but take a look at the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe and it’s clear where Audi is aiming this big new tourer.
We might also see those long and connected tail-lights appear on other more accessible Audi models down the line, starting perhaps with the next A5 coupe and continuing through to become a new trademark for the brand.
The concept’s interior is far more ‘sci-fi concept’ than the exterior, however, with a two-tier dash design quite literally covered in displays that stretch from the instrument cluster to the centre ‘stack’ and right across to the passenger door.
Expect at least two of those screens to disappear before the bean-counters sign off on production (although passengers will be happy for them to stay).
In all, the Prologue measures 5.1 metres long - around 31mm shorter than the regular-wheelbase A8 sedan - while riding on a 2.94m wheelbase, again shorter than the 2.99m wheelbase of the A8. Kerb weight is listed at a hefty 1980kg.
On to the important stuff please...
Power in the Prologue is provided by Audi’s 4.0 litre biturbo TFSI V8, which in this tune is punching out a goodly 445kW and 700Nm of torque - increased to 750Nm in overboost mode.
With that setup, which sends power to all four wheels, Audi promises a very super 0-100km/h time of just 3.7 seconds.
The Prologue also boasts an all-wheel-steering system, offering five degrees of turn at the rear wheels for “extremely responsive and stable” handling.
Audi has yet to confirm production plans for the Prologue, but rumours of a new ‘A9’ model persist.
We’ll have to wait and see if the Prologue is taken any further, but we can likely expect elements of its styling to reach the wider Audi range.
And we can hope that powered-up turbo V8 does the same…