Since the debut of the “Ur-quattro” in 1980, Audi has sold more than five million cars with permanent all-wheel drive. The advantages in terms of grip, control and composure delivered by the quattro system have now been reaped by drivers, initially in rallying and then on the road, for over three decades.
With the Audi Sport quattro concept show car, Audi is taking this grand tradition and projecting it into the future with the help of ideas that were first seen in the Audi quattro concept study of 2010.
Like the Audi Sport quattro, the Audi Sport quattro concept was designed in the spirit of motorsport. None of its design solutions are an end unto themselves. Each is driven by a technical function, and several pay homage to the quattro models of the early 1980s. These include the angular, flat C-pillars and the rectangular double headlights featuring Audi's groundbreaking Matrix LED technology, which will be available by the end of this year in the new generation Audi A8.
The front of the show car is characterised by the hexagonal single-frame grille with a new, sculpted grille insert, a typical element borrowed from motorsport. The grille is part of Audi's new design philosophy and provides a first glimpse at the future design of the high performance production models.
The grille’s lower section is virtually vertical; the upper section follows the line of the bonnet. The low grille emphasises the width of the car. Two large, vertical blades divide each of the large air inlets, and their form is taken up by the creases in the bonnet. The Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) splitter is shifted far to the front, in the style of a racing car.
Archetypal Audi attention to detail is evident in the lightweight CFRP construction for the flared sills and the power door handles which extend automatically to meet an approaching hand. To complete the look, the four rings adorn the front, the rear, the air outlets behind the front wheels and the C-pillars.
The plug-in hybrid drive endows the Sport quattro concept with truly breathtaking performance from a mighty system output of 512kW and system torque of 800Nm. Power flows through a modified eight-speed tiptronic transmission to the quattro powertrain, which features a sport differential on the rear axle. According to the applicable standard, the show car is also capable of up to 2.1 litres/100km, equating to CO2 output of 59g/km.
The customer can choose between various characteristics for the Audi Sport quattro concept depending on the operating and driving strategy. A choice of three modes is available. EV mode is for purely electric driving; Hybrid mode for maximum efficiency and Sport mode for maximum performance.
When the V8 and the electric motor work together, the Audi Sport quattro concept accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 3.7 seconds. Its top speed is 305km/h.