There is a change in outlook at Audi, and I think it's going to be one for the better. The people who recently brought you the 571bhp, 2025kg RS6 are deadly serious about cutting weight from their cars.
That much they've made evident by keeping the headline weight of the Quattro Concept car, which I'll be driving today (and you can read about here later) down to 1300kg, the same as the original 1983 Sport Quattro.
On a concept car that's easy enough of course; replace enough metal with carbon fibre and you could have a one-tonne supercar if you wanted (as Lamborghini did with the Sesto Elemente, using quicker and cheaper processes than usual that, crucially, are near production-ready).
But Audi is making the right noises about doing it throughout its range; and not all through the use of exotic materials.
Stephan Reil, head of technology development at quattro GmbH, points out that the next-generation Audi A6, albeit the same size as the current model, will be 80kg lighter. But, he says, that's just the start.
Intelligent use of composites, magnesium and an increase in its use of aluminium will be key, but the result ought to be cars like the A5, even with quattro drivetrains, weighing under 1400kg.
Time will tell whether Audi manages that one or not, but I can't help thinking we'll look back on the late 00s, with two-tonne saloon cars, as some kind of consumptive apogee.
With the change in weight will need to come, Reil says, a change of attitude. We'll have to feel compelled not to say "my car has 100bhp more than that car," but "my car is 100kg lighter than that car."
Power-to-weight needs to become more prominent than absolute power, but moreover absolute weight, one of the definitive contributors towards vehicle dynamics, has to come to the fore.
About time too, says I. And for the Quattro Concept? Well, if that makes production, and it still is an 'if', not a 'when', Reil thinks it'll only be as a limited volume special (built by quattro GmbH, Audi's sporting subsidiary based in Neckarsulm, not Ingolstadt). So you can expect it to have a price that starts with a one and for it to retain its headline-grabbing weight figure.
The Quattro still has to make a business case for itself, but, emotionally, at least, there's nobody at Audi who doesn't want to do it. The potential driving dynamics of a car that's a good 300kg lighter than an R8 V10 has seen to that.