2013 Frankfurt Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- Thirty years after the original, Audi is returning the Quattro badge to its lineup with its new Quattro Sport.
- The Quattro Sport debuts next month at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show.
- It will be the most expensive Audi, positioned above even the R8.
INGOLSTADT, Germany — Thirty years after the original, Audi is returning the Quattro badge to its lineup.
These sketches confirm that Audi will debut its new Quattro Sport at next month's 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, with a limited production run heading into showrooms in late 2016.
Based on the current RS 7 architecture, the Quattro Sport will be priced well above every other production Audi — even the R8 — and will be assembled on a dedicated production line in Neckarsulm, Germany.
Championed largely by Audi's design team, the Quattro Sport will be based loosely on Audi's 2010 Quattro Concept but it is larger, has a longer wheelbase and utilizes more of the design language from the original 1980 UR quattro. Besides delivering pleasant nostalgia and giving its design team a chance to take its pencils for a walk, the Quattro is designed to be a high-profile counter to attacks on Audi's all-wheel-drive positioning by everybody from BMW and Mercedes-Benz to Subaru and Jaguar.
While purists would love for the Quattro Sport to use a five-cylinder engine, with its uniquely deep sound tuning, that won't be fast enough or expensive enough for the positioning Audi has in mind.
To justify the dollars and to put Audi's eco-credential flag firmly into the ground, it will be heavily pumped up, with sources suggesting its version of Quattro GmbH's twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V8 will have around 40 horsepower more than even the mighty RS 7 can boast. That will take it out to around the 590-hp mark and around 443 pound-feet of torque, but that's only from the V8.
Like BMW's i8, the Quattro Sport sends a strong signal that Audi's fast-car future lies in plug-in hybrids. Sources say the V8 will be mated to a 110kW electric motor to deliver 0-62-mph sprints in the low 3-second bracket and it will have a top speed of more than 186 mph.
Sources have suggested the hybrid powertrain, with the disc-shaped electric motor wedged between the V8 and the eight-speed automatic transmission, will have a total system power of more than 700 hp and could boast as much as 881 lb-ft of torque.
It will be the fastest of all Audis, yet will be able to eke out around 31 miles of pure electric range, which is about 50 percent more than BMW's i8 plug-in hybrid is capable of.
Even though it's expensive, it will still sit on a shorter version of the A6/A7 MLB platform. Its wheelbase will be somewhere between the Quattro Concept and the A6, so expect something around 106 inches, which significantly alters the visual proportions from the original concept car's shorter 102.3-inch wheelbase.
Where the original concept was 168.5 inches long, the production car will be closer to 173 inches, which will still be shorter than the A5 thanks to tiny overhangs.
It will use a proper Torsen mechanical all-wheel-drive system combined with Audi's brilliant sport differential and torque vectoring to all four wheels.
It will be significantly lighter, too, with suggestions that a heavy emphasis on carbon fiber could pull its curb weight down to just over 3,086 pounds, which will be slightly higher than the mass of the concept car. That will still be more than 1,102 pounds lighter than the RS 7 with the same chassis.
Edmunds says: Yes, this is another hybrid supercar with a price tag to match. Who would have thought that this category would ever get so saturated?