The 1980 Geneva Motor Show saw the debut of an automobile, whose name went on to become more than just a symbol for a long line of success by the manufacturer. The quattro from Audi is also the gold standard for the combination of winning motor sport qualities with the utmost in everyday practicality.
In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the debut of the quattro, Audi is presenting a show car at the 2010 Paris Motor Show that moves a futuristic interpretation of this concept into the fast lane: the Audi quattro concept, a thoroughbred driving machine with 300 kW (408 hp), five-cylinder turbocharged engine, a lightweight body and – of course – the latest generation of quattro permanent all-wheel drive.
The very first glimpse of the new Col de Turini White show car awakens memories of another legendary ancestor: the 1984 Sport quattro, a 306 hp evolutionary stage of the Audi quattro Coupé with a shortened wheelbase. In fact, the Audi quattro concept also represents the systematic further development of a production coupé using high-performance technology. The foundation is provided by the powerful Audi RS 5, one of the brand’s sportiest production vehicles ever.
The Audi development engineers shortened the wheelbase by 150 millimeters (5.91 in) and lowered the roofline by around 40 millimeters (1.57 in) compared to the four-seat coupé on which it is based. Like its predecessor from 1984, the 2010 show car is now also a two-seater. The heavily modified body is made primarily of aluminum, with the hood, the rear hatch and other components made of carbon.
The low weight of the superstructure leads to significant secondary effects in other components of the vehicle, such as the transmission, the chassis and the brake system. As a result, the Audi quattro concept weighs just 1,300 kilograms (2,866.01 lb), almost exactly the same as the Sport quattro from 1984. This once again moves Audi, the pioneer of lightweight construction, to the head of the pack.
The know-how and technologies of the quattro concept body will characterize Audi’s entire production model portfolio in the future.
In another move that benefits the vehicle’s weight, the eight-cylinder engine from the production model has been replaced under the hood by a turbocharged, inline five-cylinder engine that can trace its roots back to another Audi sports car – the TT RS. In the Audi quattro concept, the longitudinal FSI turbo produces 300 kW (408 hp) and accelerates the car from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in only 3.9 seconds. Torque is distributed as needed via a six-speed manual transmission.
The Audi quattro concept uses the latest evolutionary stage of the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system to deliver its power to the road. The key innovation, the crown-gear center differential, is compact, lightweight, and can vary the distribution of power between the front and rear axles over a broad range, enabling the quattro drive system to react within milliseconds to coax the maximum of fun and safety out of every last bit of torque.