Every year at the Wörthersee event, Audi makes sure that its presence is felt significantly.
This year, the German automaker is presenting the “Home of quattro” and it’s got a pretty impressive concept on tap to make its debut in the form of the TT Ultra Quattro Concept.
It’s based on the Audi TT , the German brand’s resident sports car. That’s as far as similarities go because the TT Ultra Quattro Concept is more like the TT’s hotter and sexier cousin, dressed more provocatively to accentuate its sexier curves.
Sure, it’s a concept, which is a real shame, and if Audi ever decided to bring the car to production, it might have to do so at the cost of what makes this car really unique.
At the end of the day, the TT Ultra Quattro is a fantastic concept that will probably give Audi headaches should it decide to green light production. But in its current state, it’s remarkably awesome in every sense of the word.
Updated 05/08/2013: Audi unveiled new images of the TT Ultra Quattro Concept and a new video featuring Le Mans-winning driver Andre Lotterer behind the wheel. Enjoy!
Click past the jump to read more about the Audi TT Ultra Quattro Concept
In building and developing the TT Ultra Quattro Concept, Audi adhered to a simple motto: the right amount of the right material in the right place. Sounds like a pretty straightforward principle. But, of course, there’s more to it than that.
For this model, Audi engineers fine-tuned the Audi Space Frame (ASF) in the current TT to come up with the body for the Wörthersee showcar. What that entailed was dropping 100 kg (220.46 lbs) from the car’s tool body weight of 304 kg (670 lbs), something Audi succeeded in doing by using carbon-fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) on the rear end, the center tunnel, on the B-pillars and on the roof. The automaker also used magnesium components as hinge reinforcement to help in the weight reduction.
Magnesium components in the floor and as hinge reinforcement reduce weight even further. The addition of large spoilers also pays homage to the automaker’s motorsports history with the base of the carbon-fiber rear wing using components made from milled aluminum to keep things light. Speaking of carbon fiber, you’ll also find that Audi made generous use of the material, particularly on the hood, the roof, the sides and the trunk.
Finalizing the exterior modifications is the special Crystal White color the TT Ultra Quattro Concept comes with while a set of wheels whose spokes are made out of high-strength aluminum
The interior of the TT Ultra Quattro Concept was also designed with the same purpose of cutting weight. That’s why Audi used even more carbon fiber in the cabin. The door trim, the center console and the cross-bracing that replaces the rear seat bench all carry this material.
Bucket seats from the Audi R8 GT were also installed, while all the standard equipment from the Audi TT is also present, including air conditioning, electric window controls and an electromechanical parking brake.
The Audi TT Ultra Concept is powered by a 2.0-liter TFSI engine that produces 310 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Those power figures allow the sports car to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.2 seconds with a top speed of 174 mph. Showing that will go to crazy extremes to save weight, even the lead-acid starter battery was replaced with a lithium-ion one.
A clear indication of the TT Ultra Concept’s impressive performance credentials is its power-to-weight ratio of 3.6 kg per horsepower, right in line with some of the most performance-oriented sports cars on the market today.
Suspension and Handling
The Audi TT Ultra Quattro Concept also makes use of a lighter suspension system with reduced unsprung masses, which shaves off some weight off of the setup while also improving handling and comfort. Even the coil springs, which are traditionally made from steel, have been replaced with fiberglass-reinforced plastic and shave of 40 percent of their bulk while still maintaining its overall usefulness.
No word yet on pricing but we’ll update you if Audi decides to bring the TT Ultra Quattro Concept to production.
The Nissan 370Z is considered the original competitor of the Audi TT. That was back in 2006 and the two are still considered rivals to this day. A few months ago, Nissan even released the 370Z Nismo to show the Audi TT what’s up. That bad boy came with its own list of modifications, highlighted by an extended front nose design and a fully integrated chin spoiler. The interior also received some upgrades in the form of new sports seats and an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel.
In terms of power, the 370Z Nismo has the leg up over the TT Ultra Quattro Concept, thanks to a 3.7-liter V-6 engine that produces 350 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. Ultima tely, with so much weight savings on it, the TT Ultra Quattro is faster, not only from 0 to 60 mph (4.2 seconds compared to 5 seconds), but also in terms of top speed (174 mph to 155 mph).
Gallery Nissan 370Z Nismo
The overall objective of Audi with the TT Ultra Quattro Concept was to shave as much weight off of the car in order to improve its performance credentials. Having said that, the way Audi went about it and used plenty of carbon fiber, magnesium, and titanium parts clearly illustrates that this car means business and conversely, will probably cost a lot if it does make it to production.
- Very lightweight
- High-tech construction
- Awesome power-to-weight ratio
- Likely extremely expensive
- No production planned
Gallery Audi TT Ultra Quattro Concept
At the start of May every year, the Wörthersee is the place to be for every car and Audi aficionado. Audi will therefore be showcasing a special highlight in 2013: the Audi TT ultra quattro concept. The showcar combines a lean 1,111 kilograms (2,449.34 lb) total weight with a 2.0 TFSI engine, whose 228 kW (310 hp) and 400 Nm effortlessly propel the coupé. From a standstill the TT ultra quattro concept is catapulted in 4.2 seconds to 100 km/h (62.14 mph). Its power-to-weight ratio of 3.6 kg/hp is on a par with thoroughbred super sports cars. And it is also worthwhile looking at the detail, not least because the concept car pays homage to automotive lightweight construction.
Even the current series-production car with a body weight of just 206 kilograms (454.15 lb) plus 98 kilograms (216.05 lb) for the detachable body parts is testimony to the outstanding lightweight construction expertise of Audi. The engineers from Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm concertedly fine-tuned the Audi Space Frame (ASF) in the current TT generation to come up with the body for the Wörthersee showcar, shedding another 43 kilograms (94.80 lb) from the body structure. Together with the optimized detachable body parts, the result is a weight saving of 100 kilograms (220.46 lb).
Audi has adopted an intelligent mix of materials according to the motto: the right amount of the right material in the right place. The Audi TT ultra quattro concept uses carbon-fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) in the rear end, the center tunnel, in the B-pillars and in the roof. Magnesium components in the floor and as hinge reinforcement reduce weight even further.
The combination of lightness and sportiness is also reflected in the looks. Compared with the series-production model, the Audi designers have substantially honed the showcar’s contours even further. With its large spoilers, the TT ultra quattro concept proudly displays its motorsport genes. The base of the rear wing is manufactured as a supporting component from milled aluminum, while the wing, as a functional element, is made of visible carbon.
The concept car is painted in the special color crystal white. The CFRP used on the exterior adds a striking touch on the hood, the roof, the sides and the trunk. In the interior the same material also adorns the door trim, the center console and the cross-bracing that replaces the rear seat bench. The developers have also fitted the bucket seats from the R8 GT to the concept study; their chassis alone, made out of fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP), reduce weight by 22 kilograms (48.50 lb). The driver does not have to make any compromises when it comes to equipment and appointments: air conditioning, electric window controls and an electromechanical parking brake come as standard on the TT ultra quattro concept. A veritable highlight: the exterior mirrors are replaced by compact cameras which transfer the images directly into the digital cockpit.
To reverse the weight spiral, the Audi ultra lightweight construction concept is applied to all elements in the automobile. The developers have further optimized each component. The front brakes feature ceramic discs with an aluminum fixed caliper, the exhaust system made out of titanium ends in a single central tailpipe. The wheels also reduce weight by 20 kilograms (44.09 lb). Spokes made out of high-strength aluminum are bolted directly to the CFRP wheel.
Every gram counts, particularly on the suspension. Here the unsprung masses have been reduced, thus improving comfort and handling. On the TT ultra quattro concept the coil springs are not made out of steel but from fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP). The core of the all-new springs consists of long glass fibers twisted together and impregnated with epoxy resin. A machine wraps additional fibers around this core, which is only a few millimeters in diameter, at alternating angles of plus and minus 45 degrees to the longitudinal axis. These layers support each other and act in either compression or tension. The use of FRP at this point cuts weight by 40 percent while maintaining good characteristics – 6 kilograms (13.23 lb) in relation to the car as a whole.
To further hone the handling of the TT, the developers have taken away weight from the ends of the car and moved it into the middle. The lithium-ion starter battery, for instance, is located in the interior under the driver’s seat. It is much smaller than a lead battery and weighs as little as just under four kilograms (8.82 lb).
Overall, all these lightweight construction measures make the concept car 300 kilograms (661.39 lb) lighter than the comparable sporty series-production model. All of which helps minimize the inertial mass that the 228 kW (310 hp) 2.0-liter TFSI engine contends with during acceleration. The modified high-end four-cylinder unit develops its maximum torque of 400 Nm between 1,900 and 5,000 rpm, putting it on a par with the power of the V8. Modifications to the crankcase, the crankshaft, the balancer shafts, the flywheel, the oil sump, the bolts and certain ancillary units that make the engine 25 kilograms (55.12 lb) lighter have all helped get the engine into tip-top shape.
Thus the Audi TT ultra quattro concept offers the kind of driving experience that automotive fans on the Wörthersee expect from a genuine high-performance model. Like the “Ur-quattro” from 1980 and more than five million series-production vehicles since, this year’s showcar is also fitted with the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Grip is therefore always ensured despite the impressive performance. With its six speed transmission, the TT ultra quattro concept is 1.3 seconds faster than the series-production model when accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph). The top speed is 280 km/h (173.98 mph).
The Audi showcar demonstrates the technical possibilities of an intelligent mix of materials. In this way considerable weight savings can even be achieved on an existing series-production model. Usage of these technologies is conceivable for future small-batch series.