DETROIT – Audi will hit the road to help gauge reaction to a plug-in hybrid compact CUV it unveils at the North American International Auto Show here.

“We’ll do a road show and clinics, but auto shows like this are good places to get reactions,” Scott Keogh, head of Audi’s American unit, tells WardsAuto.

“People sometimes underestimate an auto show environment, but you have consumers, dealers and journalists. It’s great for us. You know in your stomach if a car is hot.”

The German luxury automaker bills the 2-door Allroad concept as high on style, functionality and technology.

“The show car combines sex appeal and highly efficient e-tron-quattro technology,” says Ulrich Hackenberg, who oversees technical development for Audi, Volkswagen’s luxury unit. “We are offering very concrete glimpses of the near future in this show car.”

The vehicle produces 300 kW (402 hp) of power and offers fuel economy of up to 124 MPGe (1.9L/100 km) because of its electric-vehicle applications. Total driving range can reach 509 miles (820 km).

A 2L turbocharged engine helps generate 292 hp and 280 lb.-ft. (380 Nm) of torque, taking plug-in hybrid technology to a performance level.

The car combines visual elements of future sports-oriented Audi models with its so-called European shooting-brake exterior styling, Keogh says.

“It has a lot of things you will see in the third-generation TT, from how we handle lighting to the 3-dimensional single-frame grill,” he says. “There are themes we can go to market with.”

sfinlay@wardsauto.com