Audi Sport Quattro Concept is an Eco-Conscious Super Coupe
About three years ago, Audi introduced the Quattro Concept, a muscle-bound sport coupe directly inspired by (and created in celebration of the 30th anniversary of) the pioneering Ur-Quattro. Reception from the public was super positive, so much so that Audi and its in-house tuner, Quattro GmbH, looked into doing a limited production run of these A5/S5-based sport coupes. Alas, a business case could not be made, and any hopes of a modern rendition of the car that changed rallying forever rolling into dealers died…
Or did they? Turns out the crew in Ingolstadt might not be ready to give up on a good ol’ fashioned Group B game changer revival just yet. And while the new Audi Sport Quattro Concept (which commemorates the 30th anniversary of the debut of the original short-wheelbase Sport Quattro and will be on display at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show) might not adhere quite as strictly to the Ur-Quattro’s formula as the 2010 concept did, it promises to be an even more serious performer. Yet it’s also equipped to handle the efficiency challenges of the present and near-future.
Stylistically, the searing yellow Sport Quattro Concept is an unmistakable evolution from its appliance white predecessor. The “coke bottle” fender lines and Ur-Q-aping fastback roofline appear to have been carried over more-or-less verbatim, which isn’t really a bad thing. The gaping maw of a grille is also similar, though the vents below the headlights are wider, and the headlights themselves have been reshaped. The front fenders now have slit-like vents (Gee, how original…), and the taillights, rear bumper and diffuser have been simplified. It’s a very handsome design, made handsomer by a stylish set of polished 21” center-lock alloys filling the wheel wells.
Inside, the Sport Quattro Concept features a simple but highly functional dashboard. The all-digital instrument cluster shows different displays depending on which drive mode is selected, and the controls for the HVAC system are “floating” in the central vent. These design details (and the abundance of carbon fiber) make us think this is what the cabin of a street legal DTM race car might look like.
However, the drivetrain of this dream car is decidedly un-DTM-like. Audi’s 4.0L twin-turbo V8 resides under the hood and produces a claimed 553 horsepower and 516 lb.-ft of torque. Between the V8 and the 8-speed automatic transmission (which, of course, sends power to all four wheels) lies a disc-shaped electric motor that puts out 110 kilowatts and 295 lb.-ft of torque; the motor draws current from a wall-rechargeable 14.1 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, and it’s capable of propelling the car on electrons alone for just over 31 miles. Combined system output is 691hp and 590 lb.-ft. In addition to EV mode, the Sport Quattro Concept also features a hybrid mode with the electric and gas power units working in tandem for maximum efficiency, and sport mode with the two power units teaming up for maximum performance.
What is that maximum performance, you ask? Audi says the Sport Quattro Concept will dash from 0 to 62 mph in 3.7 seconds, and hit a top speed of 189.5 mph. Pretty impressive, but not as impressive as the fuel economy this thing gets when you aren’t caning it. Driven in a semi-prudent fashion with a fully charged battery pack, Audi says this beast will return just over 94 MPGe…and that’s with the smaller U.S. gallon, not that pesky Imperial gallon! That’s mighty impressive.
Of course, the question remains: Will this retro super coupe reach production? It’s too early to say for certain, but we think Quattro GmbH would be wise to add a super sports car to its range that’s more practical than the R8 (The Sport Quattro Concept has rear seats and a 10.6 cubic foot trunk.).