Audi's performance-based Sport Quattro concept could be built to sit between the TT and R8 in the firm's model range
Mark Tisshaw
15 January 2014

The Audi Sport Quattro concept has production potential as a performance GT to sit between the Audi TT and Audi R8 in the firm’s line-up, technical chief Ulrich Hackenberg has revealed at the Detroit motor show.

The Sport Qauttro was seen as a high-performance 690bhp hybrid at the Frankfurt motor show last September, prompting speculation that it would usurp the R8 as Audi’s performance flagship.

But Hackenberg said such a model, if it were to make production, would require a big investment and would need to be built in greater numbers as a result, therefore making it the firm’s mid-range sporting GT makes more sense

The Sport Quattro was as much about showing the versatility of the upcoming new MLB platform, which will underpin all Audi saloons and SUVs bigger from the A4 and Q5 up.

“There are many driveline possibilities for the car,” said Hackenberg. “It has a lot of potential due to the platform, one of them very powerful. If we have a car on the modular system, we can take other drivelines. It has a potential for bigger volume. To make this car requires a big investment, and it makes sense for us to widen its potential.”

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15 January 2014
I can see why you wouldn't sit this above the R8 - it's just not special enough to compete with a Ferrari for that sort of money.

The problem arises in putting it between the TT & R8 in that there's already the A5/S5/RS5 in that segment, and unless it's going to be lightweight low numbers special (which is unlikely if it's sharing a floorpan) then it's basically another body style with the usual range of engines spun off it, making it effectively just an A5 with a chunk cut off the back.

I suppose Audi have enough production expertise at minimising the cost of adding another body style but at that point you lose the halo effect it was designed to give, and all of its specialness.

15 January 2014
Not necessarily VAG has shown or alluded to a number of lightweight cars based on existing architecture. ( An aluminium A5 prototype, the original RS5 based Quattro from 2011 and lightweight versions of the Golf and TT. )

15 January 2014
Does Audi actually have a clue about how and when it's going to produce the Sport Quattro and where it'll sit in their range? Or is it going to be one of those concept cars which changes every time it's wheeled out at a motor show with the goal posts continually changing before it eventually reaches the showrooms? This car could so easily have made production within a couple of years of the first version of the concept car appearing.

15 January 2014
Ideally, the TT needs to stay sub £30k and not expand in size significantly. There would be room for an out-and-out 'Audi Quattro' range to replace the A5 and A7, with a 2+2 shorter wheel base 'Quattro E2' flagship for £60k. This would make the range a bit less confusing.

16 January 2014
The conundrum for Audi is how to place this commercially at cost at least. Despite VAG halo loss leaders like the Veyron or Porsche hypercars – the original ghost of the Quattro still haunts them. The Paris salon test, including the rally version, were muted as coach built specials that would place it at a price point on the R8’s level to break even.

Clearly - that was discarded as they are too different a proposition to justify that and it would be in contradiction to the proposed A9 range topper so we are doomed it appears, to get a lesser interpretation of it.

And that’s fine – a Quattro reborn should eschew the economic pitfalls of it’s ancestor and be, as it was always intended to be, an accessible route into thrills.

Times have moved on and there are many more players in the field but Audi could pull this off – easily. It will be a Frankenstein thing – but it could also be brilliance. If nothing else – just to shut up the troll harpies and their green ranting on the lack of innovation.

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