– Audi surprised media attending the Tokyo Auto Show by showing its plug-in hybrid Metroproject concept, according to Business Week
. The concept hybrid is a four-seater with three doors. It features a prototype hybrid system that drives the front wheels with a 1.4L, direct-injection, turbocharged in-line four enginemaking 140 hp. The rear wheels are powered by an electric drive system making 41 hp and 148 lb.-ft. of torque, creating a unique, all-wheel-drive Quattro. The result is a drivetrain that delivers 48 mpg.
The car can be driven just on the rear wheels after the battery is recharged, either by plugging it in to an electric outlet or by the gas engine. The gas engine takes over when the battery is drained.
Audi execs say they believe there is demand for the car in Europe, Japan, and the U.S.