Audi Sport Quattro concept hits ahead of Frankfurt motor showTue, 03 Sep 2013 00:00:00 -0700
Audi is set to take next week's Frankfurt auto show by storm. It is unveiling the new 700-hp Sport Quattro concept -- a car promising to be a new technological flagship for Audi, and one that company insiders strongly hint will go into limited production.
The concept is being created to celebrate the classic Sport Quattro's 30th anniversary. It made its debut at the 1983 Frankfurt motor show as a homologation model for the World Rally Championship. The Sport Quattro concept is Audi's second attempt to resurrect a revered model following the smaller but similarly styled Quattro concept wheeled out at the 2010 Paris auto show.
Running a state-of-the-art gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid driveline and permanent four-wheel drive, the latest coupe is claimed to accelerate faster than any Audi production model. It has a 3.7-second 0-62 mph time --faster than Audi's R8 5.2 V10.
If Audi chairman Rupert Stadler gives the car the go ahead (as several Audi insiders say will happen before its Frankfurt world premiere), the Sport Quattro is expected to go on sale in limited numbers priced in the $150,000 range. Expect it in fall 2015.
The Sport Quattro concept was styled in house under Audi design boss Wolfgang Egger's watchful eye. As these initial pictures reveal, the car retains the earlier Quattro concept's broad-shouldered appearance but is more refined, with greater detailing around the front and rear ends and slightly altered proportions owing to increased dimensions. Among the more prominent styling elements is a dominant single-frame grille with a hexagonal plastic insert, deep front bumper with splitter and large air ducts, and LED headlamps. There are shapely hunches over large wheelhouses accommodating 21-inch center-lock alloy wheels, vertical air vents in the front fenders and a shallow glass house and wide C-pillar treatment (the latter carried over from the 1983 Sport Quattro). Though it looks like a coupe, the car is in fact a hatchback, with a rear tailgate opening to reveal a luggage compartment boasting 10.6 cu ft.
At 181.2 inches long, 77.4 inches wide and 54.6 inches high, the Sport Quattro is 12.7 inches longer, 4.1 inches wider and 2.2 inches higher than the earlier Quattro concept. It also rides on a 109.6-inch wheelbase, 7.3 inches longer than the initial concept car.
In a hint it's close to production ready, Audi confirms the car's floorplan is a combination of high-strength steel and cast aluminum. The doors and fenders are aluminum while the hood, roof and tailgate are carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. Audi sources say the new car weighs 4,079 pounds, some 209 less than the recently unveiled RS7. If rumors are true, the production version will use a modified version of Audi's MLB (Modularen Langsbau or modular longitudinal architecture) platform.
The Sport Quattro concept's power comes from a newly developed gas-electric plug-in hybrid driveline developing a combined 700 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque -- all channeled through an eight-speed automatic gearbox and Torsen torque-sensing four-wheel drive system. At the heart is Audi's twin-turbocharged aluminum 4.0-liter V8 -- fitted to several Audi production models including the RS7. The engine is mounted longitudinally and has features such as cylinder deactivation on light throttle load and a stop/start system. The electric motor is housed in the gearbox casing. Energy for the motor is provided by a 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery mounted in the trunk floor.
Audi's new hybrid driveline operates in three modes: EV (relies purely on the electric motor for propulsion over a claimed 31-mile range); Hybrid (a combination of the electric motor and the V8); and Sport (maximum performance).
Audi says top speed is 189.5 mph.
By Greg Kable