Audi Sport Quattro Debuts Ahead of 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show | Edmunds

Audi Sport Quattro Debuts Ahead of 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show

2013 Frankfurt Auto Show

2013 Frankfurt Auto Show

Just the Facts:
  • The 690-horsepower Audi Sport Quattro plug-in hybrid concept is unveiled ahead of the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show.
  • The all-wheel-drive concept has a top speed of 189 mph, and runs from zero to 62 mph in 3.7 seconds.
  • Power comes from a 552-horsepower 4.0-liter V8, and a 148-hp electric motor.

FRANKFURT, Germany — Audi is detailing its plans for plug-in hybrid sports cars while cementing its all-wheel-drive reputation with the unveiling of the 189-mph Audi Sport Quattro concept car.

The Sport Quattro concept, which clearly draws its visual inspiration from the original 1980 UR Quattro, will boast both a twin-turbo V8 engine and a 147-horsepower electric motor when it debuts at next week's 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show.

The car, built off a shortened version of the production RS 7, will be in limited-volume production by the end of 2016. It uses its combined power sources to surge to 62 mph in just 3.7 seconds.

A competitor to the BMW i8 hybrid, the Sport Quattro is a plug-in hybrid capable of driving 31 miles on electric power alone, yet it's still able to combine its two power sources to deliver 690 hp and a thumping 590 pound-feet of torque.

The four-seat concept car also debuts Audi's new brand face, a hexagonal-style, single-piece grille with two large flanking air intakes to feed its carbon-ceramic brakes, its radiator and intercoolers.

It draws its stupendous power from the 552-hp, 4.0-liter V8 from the RS 6 and RS 7, which already come with 516 lb-ft of torque as standard. Then Quattro GmbH fits a disc-shaped electric motor, boasting another 148 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, between the V8 and the eight-speed automatic transmission.

It also has a 14 kW/hour lithium-ion battery pack in the rear of the car, which can be fast-charged off a wall charger or juiced up through regeneration and the harvesting of energy wasted during normal driving.

The Sport Quattro can be driven in pure electric, hybrid and full-attack modes.

All modes utilize the Sport Quattro's mechanical Torsen all-wheel-drive system, which includes Audi's sport differential across the rear axle. The resulting system is far less complex than the BMW i8's, which uses its electric motor to drive the front wheels and the combination of a gas motor and another electric motor to drive the rear wheels. It's faster, too, with the i8 clocking 4.5 seconds for the run to 62 mph.

The Sport Quattro sits on a lightened, shortened version of the RS 7 architecture, with a 109.6-inch wheelbase (5.1 inches shorter than the RS 7). Its overall length, though, is a significant 16.1 inches shorter, at 181.18 inches, than the existing V8 sports hatch.

It's also 2.1 inches wider (77.3 inches), but is more than an inch lower.

While Audi has tried to cut weight out at every turn, including making the interior of the four-seat coupe attach to a carbon-fiber shell structure, the Sport Quattro is significantly heavier than the i8. The Sport Quattro weighs 4,078 pounds, which is still 154 pounds lighter than the RS 7, even though it carries an extra motor and a heavy set of batteries.

It has the same front suspension system as the RS 7, along with its five-link rear suspension as well, and it all sits on a set of center-locking wheels wrapped in 285/30R21 tires.

Edmunds says: Yet another example of how hybrid technology is being used for extreme performance instead of incredible mileage. Hopefully, it will become more than just a concept.

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