This is our first look at Audi’s new Quattro concept, the latest evolution of Ingolstadt’s plot to build a flagship super-coupe inspired by its Eighties all-wheel drive icon. However, it doesn’t just look a whole lot more aggressive than the original 2010 Quattro concept – it’s also massively punchier under the skin.
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What’s new exterior-wise for the 2013 Audi Quattro concept?
It’s bigger, for a kick-off. The 2010 Quattro concept twinned a cut-down Audi RS5 platform with the turbocharged five-cylinder engine from the TT RS, but this new 2013 version will be a far more imposing sight. It’ll sit on the Audi A6/A7 platform, meaning a longer wheelbase and wider tracks – but still employ a sleek two door coupe silhouette.
What about the detailing?
Sporting an enormous front grille, bonnet vents and frontal air-intakes to shame an R8 supercar, the new Quattro concept looks downright deadly front-on. Classic Quattro styling cues like box-topped wheelarches and a thick, raked C-pillar fight for attention against massive front-wing vents and carbonfibre side skirts. And are those glowing brake discs in the sketches a hint we’ll see carbon-ceramic brakes fitted to the concept?
The stumpy tail is finished off with massive twin tailpipes, a fixed lip spoiler in place of the A7’s adaptive pop-up wing, and in-yer-face ‘quattro’ insignia.
And what’s new inside?
The sketches show a strict 2+2 seating arrangement, with four individual bucket seats. Behind the rear seats lies a massive rear strut brace for extra stiffness, again embossed with the ‘quattro’ logo. Moving forwards, there’s a one-piece carbonfibre centre tunnel, the familiar rotary controller for the Audi ‘Multi-media Interface’, and a bespoke gear-selector for an automatic transmission, commanded by paddleshifters mounted behind the dished steering wheel.
Peeking through the hooded binnacle is an all-new instrument display, dominated by a central rev-counter redlined at 6500rpm. Alongside digital gear selection and speedometer readouts, there’s a lap-timer and circuit map too – looks suspiciously Ferrari 458 and F12-esque to our eyes.
So, five-cylinder power under the bonnet then?
Don’t be so sure. Audi wants the new Quattro to be its undisputed performance king, a spot currently shared by the RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback sisters. Those cars are powered by a twin-turbo, 4.0-litre V8, good for 552bhp.
Using similar A6/A7 underpinnings, it’s expected the new Quattro concept will use an updated version of the twin-turbo V8, tuned to develop more than 560bhp. With Audi plotting a 600bhp RS6 Plus, the Quattro concept could sport as much as 650bhp.
Naturally, it’ll be four-wheel drive, and the Quattro GmbH skunkworks has a number of transmissions to choose from. The RS6’s eight-speed automatic or perhaps a toughened version of the twin-clutch S-tronic seven-speeder, currently found in the R8 V10 Plus supercar, are the frontrunners.
Won’t that hardware make the new Audi Quattro ridiculously heavy?
The upsized body and heavy-duty powertrain won’t do the kerbweight any favours, so Audi’s fighting back with a raft of weight-saving measures, like we saw on the TT RS Ultra Quattro concept.
Expect a full suite of carbonfibre body addenda and interior fittings, carbon-backed bucket seats, plus forged alloys, housing the aforementioned ceramic stoppers.
>> Stay tuned to CAR Online for more on the new super-Audi when the Frankfurt motor show goes live in September 2013.