Audi is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its iconic Quattro with this Paris show star: the Quattro Concept.
Based on a shortened RS5 platform, the concept is actually closer in spirit to 1984’s Sport Quattro, a more compact version of the original coupé that was designed to improve the car’s agility on the world’s rallying stages.
Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn has told Autocar he wants the firm "to do" the Quattro, with the possibility of it entering production within three years. He said the cost of putting a new body on an existing platform was between 400-500 million euro and this money would be recouped by either high volume or high prices. If it makes production, Winterkorn expects a combination of both strategies in making and selling the car: around 30-35,000 Quattro units would be made per year with a "solid price" tag.
The concept’s wheelbase is 150mm shorter than the RS5’s, its roofline is around 40mm lower and the 4.28m overall length is around the same as a Volkswagen Scirocco’s. That's 200mm shorter than an Audi A5. Unlike the RS5, though, the concept is a strict two-seater.
Most of the bodywork is aluminium, but the bonnet and rear hatchback are carbonfibre. Audi says the car weighs approximately 1300kg, around the same as the Sport Quattro.
Power comes from a 408bhp version of the TT RS’s twin-turbocharged five-pot, mounted north-south insetad of its transverse installation in the TT-RS. This is comfortably more than the 300bhp of the original roadgoing special. It is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and the Quattro is good for 0-62mph in just 3.9sec.
Like the RS5, the Quattro "has full four-wheel-drive, not the TT's [part-time] Haldex system," the Quattro Concept's designer, Steve Lewis, told Autocar.
The front styling is dominated by a huge rectangular grille, while the side profile’s key feature is an extra-thick C-pillar that also has Audi’s four-ring logo stamped into its metal. No images of the cabin have been released, but Audi says it features a slender, ‘floating’ dashboard and bucket seats that are 40 per cent lighter than regular items.
The concept was built at Volkswagen Group's latest acquisition, Italdesign, which has form in producing limited-run sports cars, such as the BMW M1. However, even if it does get the green light, don't expect a public announcement on that for another year.