Two years ago, Audi began to work on something very special indeed. It was called the Anniversario, a coupe concept that was suppose to show off the company’s excellence and it would debut at the Pebble Beach Concours Weekend. Yet, it was around this time that the world’s market collapsed and this sort of show car fell to the bottom of the priority list.
Now, with the economy back on track, Audi is on the verge of having another record sales year. For years and years, Audi has been in the third German automaker in the minds of many, with BMW and Mercedes-Benz leading the way, but those times have changes. They have grown through the years with technological innovations and it just so happens that one of those innovations, Quattro four-wheel drive, is celebrating a birthday. To us, and to Audi in fact, this historical moment seems like the perfect inspiration for the new Quattro.
UPDATE 03/12/2012: During an interview at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, Quattro GmbH Product Boss, Stefan Reil, confirmed that Audi has finally made a decision about the production version of the quattro concept. Unfortunately it’s not a desirable one as they have decided there won’t be a production version of the car. The reason behind this decision is that production will require the intense use of lightweight materials such as carbon fiber body panels and many components from aluminum and magnesium, and these elements would jack up the price. (Fourtitude)
Hit the jump to read on.
In a way, this new Quattro is based on the RS5, although the wheelbase has been cut down by about 5.9 inches. The rear overhang was dramatically shortened by 7.9 inches and the roofline was scrunched down by 1.6-inches. All in all, it’s as if the RS5 was placed in the dryer for a few minutes, giving rise to a tighter and much more compact coupe.
During the shrinking process, the weight was also reduced to around 2900 pounds. To accomplish this weight reduction, Audi replaced the steel body with an aluminum spaceframe with carbon fiber panels. Weight was further reduced by overhauling the vehicle’s powertrain, but more on this later.
The exterior of the vehicle is classic Audi, with that big gaping front grille, with air inlets on either side and up top of the hood. The Quattro features LED headlights that can change shape from horizontal or vertical. Instead of casual turn signals, these new lights use amber streaks in the front and moving yellow brackets in the rear of the car.
The overall look of the Quattro is quite good. The rear fascia has a bit of Dodge Challenger to it, with those square taillights and that boxy design. From the side, one would never know that this vehicle isn’t a hatchback, as the rear pillars are very think that appear to run all the way to the rear of the car. It’s a very modern design with some old school Audi touches.
The interior of the Quattro won’t have enough room to haul your kids around, as this vehicle only has two seats. Although that might seem like an issue, most of the rear seats on these sport coupes are so small anyway that you can’t fit a child in if you tried. Between these two seats you have room for helmets, cup holders, odds and ends and even a fire extinguisher, but let’s just hope you won’t need one of those.
The seats are trimmed in brown leather and have a carbon fiber frame, side airbags and racing harnesses. It will feature Audi’s MMI system that will allow the driver to control all the car’s gizmos from larger screen.
Gone are the eight-cylinder motor and the dual-clutch transmission, replaced by a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder attached to a classic six-speed gearbox. Those with their minds on the auto industry will have realized that this is just about the same base motor, albeit with a new changes, that is found in the Volkswagen Jetta. This motor puts out 402 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque.
Of course, this vehicle is going to have the latest Quattro all-wheel drive design that has a rear-bias and a sport differential. The suspension is roughly the same unit on the RS5 and to bring the car to a stop, you have carbon-ceramic brakes.
Audi believes that the Quattro can hit 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, but like most German vehicles, the top speed is limited to 155 mph. With all this speed and power, it’s amazing when we hear that it can give back 30 mpg.
There is a lack of competition for such a vehicle, as we aren’t sure that the Quattro will even be made. One vehicle that might rival it comes from Audi, the RS5. This sport coupe might be the death of the Quattro concept because there isn’t much of a point in creating a sports coupe when you already have one.
The RS5 features a 4.2-liter FSI V8 with a seven-speed S-tronic transmission. The power plant will be upgraded to produce 450 HP and will be more than enough to send the RS5 sprinting from 0 to 60 MPH in around 4.5 seconds. That’s slower than the Quattro, but money talks and if the RS5 is good enough for customers, it’s good enough for Audi.
Well, chances are the vehicle that you see here won’t even see the light of day. If Audi were to make it in a limited production run, due to the one-off interior and all that technology, it would cost more than the R8. The only way this car is ever going to see the light day if it comes a bit closer to the current Audi models and that would mean a few changes would need to be made.