CONCEPT. Audi Steppenwolf Concept (2000)

The Steppenwolf concept was designed to appeal to those outdoorsy types who need the versatility of an all-wheel-drive vehicle but don’t want to eschew the refinement of an Audi. Of course Audi’s quattro system has always been AWD but you wouldn’t want to go rock climbing in your TT, would you? With this concept, Audi combines their AWD know-how with a height-adjustable air suspension to create a small-scale all-terrain vehicle.

CONCEPT. Audi Steppenwolf Concept (2000)

Based on the same platform as the TT and the Europe-only A3, the Steppenwolf rides on a wider track to emphasize its rough-and-tumble-ability, but doesn’t lose any of the on-road manners buyers have come to expect of their Audi. The front suspension is composed of MacPherson struts spanned by an antiroll bar. The rear utilizes a longitudinal double-wishbone arrangement. But what really sets this vehicle apart is the four-level air suspension, the first time it has been used in a vehicle this size; it lets you choose the height of your vehicle in a range from 16.3 centimeters to 22.3 centimeters.

CONCEPT. Audi Steppenwolf Concept (2000)

The powerplant is a 3.2-liter V6 making 225 horses, which should be plenty of power for pushing the three-door four-seater through those ruts and bumps, and the 19-inch tires are mean-looking enough to scare any critters in its path.

Designed for those who live an outdoorsy lifestyle, its integrated navigation system ensures that you don’t pull a «Blair Witch Project,» and in a cue borrowed from the Pontiac Aztek (scary enough), the center console houses a cooler box. The Steppenwolf can be fitted with either a carbon-fiber hardtop or a detachable, snap-on soft top, and the bottom of the rear hatch opens to reveal a full-size spare snug in its niche.

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