Our tame racing driver helps kicks off Evans's CarFest motor show...
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Meet Audi’s 700bhp Quattro concept
It’s no coincidence that this combative, pugnacious looking tyke has been badged the Audi Sport Quattro Concept. It’s a deliberate homage to the classic Sport Quattro from 1983 - the short-wheelbase one, that is - and thus carries with it the weight of a million enthusiastic bobble hats.
It’s being presented by Audi at next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show, and comes packing a serious amount of firepower. The familiar 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged TFSI V8 petrol engine from the RS6 has been carried over, producing the same 552bhp and 516lb ft of torque, complete with cylinder shut-down (half the engine is turned off when cruising) and stop-start.
But where it differs from the RS6 is in the electric motor snuggled in between the V8 and the transmission; a motor producing just under 150bhp and a further 295lb ft of torque (the same torque figure as a V8 BMW M3). Power for this comes from a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery (charged for the Frankfurt show using a wall box), capable of up to 31 miles on electric power alone.
Of course, you can toggle between various modes of V8 fury and electric elegance, though the one you’ll want - purely because of what it represents - is ‘Sport’ mode. Here, both the V8 and electric motor are hooked up together to produce the full 700bhp, with an eight-speed auto ‘box and that four-wheel-drive system to make it go from 0-62mph in just 3.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 190mph. That’s… not quite as fast as we’d hoped, considering the gigantic power output and four-wheel-drive. As some of you will no doubt point out, a Nissan GT-R will hit 62mph in three seconds dead. Still, all this and a claimed 59g/km of CO2 and 113mpg for the show car.
Though it isn’t light. Audi tells us there are aluminium structural elements, and carbon fibre reinforced polymer is used for the roof, bonnet and rear bootlid, but the Quattro Concept still weighs in at 1,850kg. The standard RS5 Coupe is 1715kg by comparison. Speaking of which, this concept is roughly the same size, though a bit wider than that car and a touch shorter.
The racing influences are smattered all over this angry concept; those broad shoulders, single frame grille, bonnet creases, front splitter and rear diffuser, massive 21-inch wheels and flared arches. Inside, there are sports bucket seats, a digital instrument cluster, head-up display, and multi-function sports steering wheel that “provides a glimpse into future sporty production models”.
Like it? Want the Audi Sport Quattro name to return on the flanks of this V8 in production form? Tell us below. We’ll pass on the most enlightened comments to Audi. Wonder what Rörhl would make of this concept…