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Design Review: Audi Nuvolari quattro concept

Tue, 04 Mar 2003 00:00:00 -0800Hot on the heels of the Pikes Peak study at Detroit in January, Audi today unveiled the Nuvolari quattro four-wheel drive concept vehicle at the Geneva Motor Show. In contrast to the Pikes Peak crossover SUV concept, with the Nuvolari, Audi's designers have created a classic, high-powered 2+2 GT coupe.


It's certainly powerful: a 5.0-litre V10 biturbo with FSI direct fuel injection with 600ps and a 0-100km/h time of 4.1 seconds means it's the most powerful roadgoing Audi engine ever developed.

The design features some typical Audi TT cues such as the arched side window DLO and low, rounded header to the roof but develops some more recent themes of Audi design. The front mask builds on the Pikes Peak design, but takes it in a more sophisticated direction, especially the headlamp and grille treatment. The big, divided grille design is imposing without appearing to dominate the front of the car as on the Detroit concept. The grille changes from a flush condition to slightly recessed as it moves down the nose, with a simple black mesh divided by a dark grey number plate plinth and framed with chrome.

Particularly neat is the way the prominent shoulder follows the TT theme of rolling around the front wheelarch in a single uninterrupted surface, cut only by the headlamps and lower side grille graphics. The headlamps feature new LED technology, being made up of 18 miniature lights in three banks of six and with adaptive capability for width and direction of the beam.

The gently curved roof is supported on slim A and C-pillars with an unusual reverse taper which give a light, elegant look to the greenhouse. Lower down, the subtle sculpting of the door and sill area add interest to the simple body section.

Inside, the Nuvolari combines organic forms and technical materials set off by a high-contrast black and ivory colour scheme. The main instrument panel is a wide horizontal band curling down to meet the substantial centre console. The main instruments are contained in two egg-shaped rings of aluminium with ice blue illumination. The console contains the MMI terminal with central control knob as introduced on the Audi A8 and adds a tiptronic shift lever with one shift gate.

Dimensions for the Audi Nuvolari: length 4800mm, width 1920mm, height 1410mm, wheelbase 2890mm.

By Nick Hull