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Frankfurt show: Audi heritage to fore in Sport Quattro

Gripping figures: Audi's Quattro concept combines 512kW with 4WD traction and still returns fuel economy of 2.5 l/100km.

Audi Sport Quattro reborn as 305km/h petrol-electric supercar concept


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4 Sep 2013

AUDI has channeled its gut-tearing quattro rally cars of yesteryear in a new plug-in hybrid supercar concept to be unveiled next week at the Frankfurt motor show.

If it goes into production, it will become the most powerful Audi ever, packing 512kW of power from a combination of a 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 engine and an electric motor embedded in the eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Sport Quattro is claimed to be capable of racing from zero to 100km/h in just 3.7 seconds – faster than all but the V10 Audi R8 in the German company’s range. Top speed is 305km/h.

The two-door four-seater is said to deliver a stunning 2.5 litres per 100km fuel economy, with carbon dioxide emissions of just 59 grams per kilometre.

Audi says the concept – which it teased with sketches last month – has been built to mark the 30th anniversary of the original Sport Quattro that made its first appearance at the 1983 Frankfurt show as a homologation model for the World Rally Championship.

The new iteration borrows some of the key design features of the original, including the trademark all-wheel drive, but is more than twice as powerful.

The new car also incorporates features first seen on a two-seat, five-cylinder turbo Audi Quattro “study” revealed at the Paris show three years ago, but is further developed, giving rise to speculation that this vehicle might appear within a year or two as a limited-edition flagship.

Audi Australia corporate communications executive Shaun Cleary told GoAuto the Sport Quattro was being shown as a concept, and that head office in Ingolstadt was making no comment on prospects for production.

“It might depend on reaction to it from all around the world,” he said.

The low and wide body features a mix of steel and cast aluminium in the platform that sits on multi-link suspension, front and rear, and 21-inch alloy wheels.

Carbon fibre-reinforced plastic has been employed on panels such as the bonnet, roof, rear hatch and front splitter to cut weight, while doors and fenders are of aluminium. The Sport Quattro tips the scales at 1850kg.

The Sport Quattro rides on a 2784mm wheelbase – marginally longer than that of the Audi RS5 coupe – and is 4602mm long – 47mm shorter than the RS5.

The 4.0 TFSI V8 of the Sport Quattro packs 412kW and a whopping 700Nm – the same as the recently launched Audi RS6 Avant that arrives in Australian showrooms in OctoberThe disc-shaped electric motor peaks at 110kW and 400Nm, for a combined power and torque tally of 515kW and 800Nm driving all four wheels via a trademark tiptronic automatic transmission and quattro drive system with a sports differential on the rear axle.

Electricity is stored in a 14.1kWh lithium-ion battery under the rear cargo floor, helping the deliver three driving modes – pure electric, hybrid or sport. The battery can be charged from the electricity grid, and it said to be able to power the Sport Quattro for up to 50km on electricity alone.

The addition of electric propulsion and light-weight construction gives the Sport Quattro a 0.2 second advantage over the RS6 Avant in the 0-100km/h sprint, at 3.7 seconds, but comes up short of the current flagship 5.2-litre V10 R8 Plus Quattro’s 3.5 seconds.

Audi designers harked back to the original 1980s Quattro to include some heritage in the new styling, adding familiar “blister” mudguards, flat C pillars and rectangular headlights (this time including up-to-the-minute matrix LED lights due soon on the new A8).

Inside, the Sport Quattro features four bucket seats – two more than the Quattro study shown three years ago – and an all-digital dash that allows the driver to select from a range of 3D displays including a race mode that includes track information and a stopwatch.

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