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Concept Car of the Week: Audi Quattro Spyder

Fri, 23 Nov 2012

The Audi Quattro Spyder. It might not be as avantgarde as some concepts we've explored so far in this weekly series becasue this was a sports car designed with production in mind. It would have marked an entry into a market Audi was yet to explore during a time it was deperate to break free of its dowdy, mainstream image. Hard to believe given the brand today.

The Audi Quattro Spyder concept was first unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1991 as an aluminum bodied mid-engine sports car. It featured lift-out targa panels while its doors were conventionally hinged.

Despite being arguably overshadowed at the show by the wilder Avus concept, it drew high praise and interest for its beautifullt resolved design and its production possibility.

"The Quattro Spyder and its tranquil design language was a statement of our design philosophy at that time," explained Stefan Sielaff.

"It certainly was not a trendy design; it was virtually timeless, which made it a typical Audi. Its interior featured a lot of aluminum parts, foreshadowing the character of the first TT."

Dealerships were flooded by prospective buyers placing orders although Audi never stated the Quattro Spyder concept would be produced.

Sadly it wasn't, which can be blamed on the world economic downturn. Audi deemed it too risky a venture to pursue at that time.

The Quattro Spyder, of which only two were ever made, was 20 years ahead of its time and many wonder what would the consequences have been if it had made it to production as desired. You only have to look at the R8 to see how influential it was on Audi's future.

First seen Frankfurt 1991
Designer Erwin Leo Himmel
Wheelbase 2,540mm
Front track 1,545mm
Rear track 1,578mm
Length 4,215mm
Width 1,768mm
Height 1,173mm
Weight 1,100kg

By Rufus Thompson