Everything about Audi’s Detroit Auto Show concept is a mystery, even its name

Audi has crossover fever. Just after confirming years of rumors with the announcement of the Q1, the German carmaker said it would unveil a crossover concept at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show in January.

Little is known about this concept, which goes by the wonderfully vague moniker of “new Audi show car”. It’s a two-door with a low roofline and typically oversized 19-inch concept-car wheels. All that is meant to imply an air of sportiness to what, in the real world, is usually a dull class of vehicle.

Other than that, the design is typical Audi, with a prominent shield-shaped grille, LED headlights, and crisp lines throughout. The flared wheel arches, armored with plastic cladding, indicate that this concept has some off-road ability. Granted, the Audi Allroad has plenty of cladding, but very little off-road ability.

The concept is 165.3 inches long, about 17 inches shorter than the Q5, the smallest Audi crossover currently sold in the United States.

The concept also wears “e-tron” badging, and shares some styling details with that range of electrified vehicles. That means the crossover concept probably has a fully-electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain under the hood. Naturally, it will have Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system.

What’s the point of all this? The unnamed concept could be a preview of the Q1, which won’t arrive until 2016. It could also be a sportier Q1 variant, analogous to SUV-based “coupes” like the BMW X6 and X4, or the upcoming Mercedes-Benz MLC.

We’ll have more on this new Audi concept as its date with the 2014 Detroit Auto Show draws near.