2013 Frankfurt Auto Show: Audi Sport Quattro Concept
2013 Frankfurt Auto Show
What Is It?
Audi Sport Quattro Concept
What's Special About It?
It's possible Audi's thorough rehashing of its glory days is wearing thin. This is the second Quattro Coupe Concept since 2010. And the redundancy would annoy us if it weren't for the great hope this idea promises.
This Audi Sport Quattro Concept, however, differs significantly from the last.
That car — a 2,866-pound lightweight — existed to re-create the original in both spirit and execution. This car utterly ignores the original's short, light ethos. With a wheelbase more than 7 inches longer than the 2010 Concept (109.6 inches vs. 102.4) and packing a hybrid powertrain, it virtually forgets the original altogether.
A curb weight of almost 4,100 pounds ensures no aspect of the original Sport Quattro's character will remain. Still, its appearance produced an amazing turn of events when Audi rolled out the big coupe in Frankfurt.
With a combined output of roughly 700 horsepower, this Audi Sport Quattro will not be slow. The electric motor provides 148 hp, and Audi's 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 pumps out the remaining 552 hp. Combined torque, assuming both power sources can achieve their peaks simultaneously, is an insane 800 pound-feet: enough to twist the original short-wheelbase coupe in half.
But this is just a concept and nothing on this car appears to be ready for prime time.
Even so, Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, member of Audi AG's board of management, after sprouting fairy wings and fluttering around the Audi stand, couldn't contain his excitement:
"The Sport Quattro can achieve 50 kilometers on pure electric power and is capable of fuel economy as high as 2.5 liters/100 kilometers [94 mpg]," squealed Hackenberg, before landing on the coupe's roof, covering it in pink dust.
Then the unlikely happened. Stig Blomqvist, winner of the 1984 World Rally Championship behind the wheel of the original Sport Quattro, jumped from the balcony, knocking Hackenberg cold with a flying elbow drop. After celebrating his knockout with a raised fist, the 67-year-old Swede rallied the crazed mob of journalists into a chant of "too much weight, too much weight!" before disappearing into the mass of humanity.
Fortunately, the Coupe's roof, hood and hatch are made of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer so the priceless concept was unfazed. Its structural bits are made from high-strength steel and cast aluminum, but other exterior trim pieces — the splitter, diffuser and sills — share the panels' CFRP construction.
A five-link front and multilink rear suspension configuration are supported by conventional springs and dampers. Carbon-ceramic brake rotors, a variable-ratio steering rack and 285/30R21 rubber round out the package.
Actually, none of these events took place. But this car is too heavy.
Complete details are available in our Audi Sport Quattro Concept news story.
What Edmunds Says: Though Blomqvist might not approve, the overweight Sport Quattro has undeniable appeal. What self-respecting hoon can honestly say he wouldn’t appreciate 800-pound feet of torque?
Engine: 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, 148-hp electric motor
Gearbox: Modified eight-speed tiptronic, all-wheel drive, sport differential on rear axle
Power: 700 horsepower combined (552 gasoline, 148 hp electric)
Fuel Mileage: 2.5 liters/100km (94 mpg)
Wheelbase: 109.6 inches
Length: 181.2 inches
Width: 77.3 inches
Height: 54.6 inches