Audi has released official design sketches of its reborn Quattro supercar concept, which will be shown at the Frankfurt motor show next month.
The modern-day Quattro aims to revive the spirit of the rally-bred Sport Quattro launched in 1984 - and has been conceived as a limited-production model that is set to be priced well above that of any existing Audi - which means more than £125,000. It will be assembled on a dedicated line at the Quattro division in Neckarsulm, Germany. Sales of the car are expected to begin next year.
First hinted at in 2010 with the unveiling of the Audi Quattro concept, the new car is expected to form the centrepiece of Audi’s renewed focus on four-wheel drive following moves by Jaguar, BMW and Mercedes-Benz to increase the number of four-wheel-drive models in their line-up.
Ingolstadt officials have already revealed to Autocar that the focus of the company’s activities at the Frankfurt show will be on four-wheel drive. “We have a great history with quattro four-wheel drive and this will be reflected by what we have in store for the Frankfurt motor show,” said a source.
Details remain scarce, but in a move aimed at reining in development costs and providing crucial economies of scale, Audi is thought to have held firm to its original plans to base the road-going production version of the well received Quattro concept on a modified version of the MLB platform that underpins the A5.
However, while the concept rode on a 2600mm wheelbase, the production car is likely to use a wheelbase similar to that of the existing A5, at 2810mm. The change will alter the Quattro’s proportions slightly but at the same time provide it with added interior space.
The use of the longer wheelbase means the new car is also set to grow beyond the 4280mm of the concept to somewhere around 4500mm in length, or just over 200mm less than the A5. Width and height are, however, likely to mirror the concept at 1860mm and 1330mm respectively.
In place of the 408bhp turbocharged 2.5-litre, five-cylinder engine used in the earlier concept, Audi looks set to provide the production version of the Quattro with a heavily tuned version of its twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, complete with cylinder deactivation. Again, nothing is official, but Audi sources suggest power will be pumped up to more than 600bhp — 40bhp more than the recently introduced RS6 Avant, which uses the same powerplant.
The V8’s heady power reserves will be channelled through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox with paddle shifters and, in keeping with tradition, a Torsen torque-sensing four-wheel drive system with a sport differential offering torque vectoring to all four wheels.
Extensive use of lightweight materials will be made in non-load-bearing areas as part of Audi’s Ultra weight-saving initiative, but whether Audi can achieve the 1300kg kerb weight it claimed for the concept remains to be seen. As a point of reference, the four-wheel-drive, 328bhp supercharged 3.0-litre V6-powered S5 weighs 1745kg.
Sources suggest a 0-62mph time of less than 4.0sec and a top speed approaching 186mph, which is the sort of straight-line performance matched in the Audi line-up only by the R8 V10.
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