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Audi Sport Quattro Concept Honors Homologation "Supercar"

By: Jeff Youngs, 9/6/2013
A successor to the Audi Quattro Concept shown several years ago, the new Audi Sport Quattro Concept debuts at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the 1984 Audi Sport Quattro. A homologation model for the World Rally Championship, the Audi Sport Quattro had a shortened wheelbase, delivered 306 horsepower, and was what Audi calls a "supercar" in its day. Fast-forward three decades, and the Audi Sport Quattro Concept contains design and engineering elements likely to influence future Audi models.

Like the model that inspired it, the Audi Sport Quattro Concept is a 3-door hatchback model featuring blistered fenders. Short overhangs and wide, low proportions are exaggerated by a set of 21-inch twin-spoke center-locking wheels wrapped in 285/30 performance tires. The concept car is equipped with Matrix LED lighting elements separated by a new single-frame grille design that Audi says is a part of its new design philosophy and provides a preview of the look of future Audi models. Carbon-fiber reinforced plastic is used for several exterior details, and the Audi Sport Quattro Concept features recessed door handles and large, oval-shaped dual exhaust outlets.

Audi characterizes the Sport Quattro Concept's cabin as "spacious," and says it holds 4 people. Racing-style bucket seats are installed up front, with a full seat in the back. Highlights include digital instruments with 3-D display screens, a head-up display, Audi's Multi-Media Interface (MMI) system, and climate controls that are integrated directly into the car's air vents. Visible carbon shell detailing emphasizes lightweight construction, and the Sport Quattro Concept's multi-function sport steering wheel is claimed to provide a preview of future production Audis.

The Sport Quattro Concept's powertrain demonstrates the potential for a performance-oriented plug-in hybrid model from Audi. It has a twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V-8 engine equipped with automatic start/stop technology and a Cylinder on Demand system that operates the engine on half of its cylinders under certain driving conditions in order to conserve fuel. This gasoline-fired engine works together with a 110-kW electric motor and a 14.1-kWh Lithium-ion battery to produce a combined 700 horsepower and 590 lb.-ft. of torque.

An 8-speed automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive transfer that power to the pavement, assisted by a rear sport differential that can vary the power split between the two rear wheels as driving conditions warrant. Three driver-selected modes are offered: EV, Hybrid, and Sport. Carbon ceramic brakes are included for the Sport Quattro Concept, as well as dynamic steering that varies the steering ratio depending on the vehicle's speed.

According to Audi, the Sport Quattro Concept can travel 31 miles on electricity when placed in EV mode, and can accelerate to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds when placed in Sport mode. Top speed is 189 mph, according to Audi.

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