T he Audi Quattro Concept is seething up the mountain from which Canyon echoes the deep bass. And the reverberation adds the slightly out-of-round five-cylinder bubbling to the raw rumbling, interrupted by the happy wastegate neighing when switching. The Audi Quattro Concept provides a sound panorama that even beats the fantastic view. And that means something in the Californian hinterland of Malibu. The landscape is similar to the south of France. The head cinema is already on: Walter Röhrl drifts in the Audi Quattro on the Col de Turini between rocks and abyss. Then the imaginary camera fades into the footwell and shows the world champion in pedal ballet. And the scene is accompanied by the typical staccato gas of the rally professional.
Audi Quattro Concept lets the Highway Patrol grin
Mind cinema, reality on - back to the entrance scene. Although this reads almost as fictitiously as a Hollywood script. With the Audi Quattro Concept, we ride up a mountain road from Malibu to Ventura, take the ideal line, pull out wide when braking at the hairpin, enjoy the compressed movement, let the limited-slip differential on the rear axle pull us around and the boost of the 2.5-liter - Catapult the five-cylinder. Knowing that no one can come towards you, because the Highway Patrol blocks traffic. The same guys who normally prefer to see speedheads behind bars grin as the radically beveled two-door car romps around the corner.
The new one has about as much kW (300) as the Audi Sport Quattro PS (306 ). And much else has happened since 1984: The Audi Quattro Concept would beat its spiritual patron saint like Walter Röhrl once did to the competition. With skilful dosage of clutch and gas, the manually shifted Concept should jump from a standing start to 100 km /h in 3.9 seconds, of course with a similar level of slip as the oldie.
Series production of the Audi Quattro Concept is possible
Audi still calls this GT with racing potential Quattro Concept. But the coupé could soon go into production as a small series. Wolfgang Egger, head of the Audi Advanced Design Studio, simply introduces himself as Quattro - as a homage to the rally legend and the drive that stands for Audi today. Like the Sport Quattro from 1984, the Audi Quattro Concept is based on a production model: then the original quattro, today the RS5. The wheelbase has been shortened by 150 millimeters, the rear overhang by 200,the roof lowered by 40 millimeters. The aluminum body of the Audi Quattro Concept carries some parts made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, such as the front apron, bonnet and trunk lid including the retractable spoiler. Results in a weight of 1,300 kilograms. This makes the Audi Quattro Concept about as long and flat as an A3 and as wide as an A6, but 200 kilograms lighter than a TTRS, the engine of which it carries under the bonnet.
Despite the strict With its reduced-fat concept, the new Quattro is not ascetic. After all, Audi is consistent and dispenses with a stubby rear seat in the Audi Quattro Concept - it was already superfluous ballast in the Sport Quattro. But even the new one still carries something that can be dispensed with, such as an electric seat backrest adjustment, indulging in carbon and leather on the inside. Audi does not want to forego optical luxury, nor does it want to do without tangible pleasures. The switches arranged around the digital instrument display have a pressure point that is remarkable even for a haptic-loving Audi. The combination of a smooth run and, at the same time, ultra-specific feedback is interesting.
Geistdörfer reads the prayer book in the Audi Quattro Concept
The navigation system has one gag: the prayer book function. The digitized voice of Walter Röhrl's former co-driver Christian Geistdörfer reads out the route commands for the Col de Turini rally special stage - what an acoustic treat over the soundtrack of the five-cylinder. In the Audi Quattro Concept, a larger turbocharger with a sharper camshaft inflates the 2.5-liter to 408 instead of 340 hp, and the engine is installed lengthways instead of transversely, which is what makes the crisp, short front overhang possible. Unlike the spiritual patron saint, the Sport Quattro, the Audi Quattro Concept is well-proportioned and stands so full on its wheels, as if it never wanted to give up its grip on the ground. It is the chassis of the RS5, including the sport differential on the rear axle, that creates the connection to the road.
The Audi Quattro Concept lives the wisdom of lateral dynamics, according to which a shorter wheelbase and lower moment of inertia around the vertical axis increase the willingness to turn. But the rear no longer has to be forced to cooperate by left-hand braking, which is difficult to learn. The current all-wheel drive with crown gear differential can push up to 85 percent of the torque backwards, which manifests itself in a light-footed dance. And - drift fans watch out - Stephan Reil, the technical director of Quattro GmbH, imagines a much more acute steering behavior for a series version than with the RS5.
The camouflaged Erlkönig of the Audi Quattro Concept is already doing his laps
After the short test drive in the Audi Quattro Concept, it is difficult to speak of a concept. Given its maturity, a small-series forerunner would be more appropriate. So that in the event of apositive board decision can go quickly, a Quattro disguised as an RS5 is already doing driving tests. In the search for its own sportiness, Audi not only has to find its way between the high-class luxury of Bentley and the brutal image of Lamborghini, but must not come too close to everyday performance after the integration of Porsche.
The Quattro-laden rally genetics of the Audi Quattro Concept are exactly the right thing: they work out the brand's all-wheel-drive tradition and, with their compact lightweight construction, extend into the modern age. We agree with the highway cops' suggestion: Build the Quattro immediately.
Spiritual patron saint of the concept - the Audi Quattro Sport
The allegations against the original Quattro were too heavy, too big and, above all, too unwieldy, although it was initially considered invincible. But the competition quickly upgraded. Audi followed suit with the Quattro Sport in 1984. The wheelbase was shortened by 32 centimeters, but the overhangs were retained.
The body of the Sport Quattro was largely made of Kevlar, but the street version still weighed 1,300 kilograms. Audi's technology carrier was only built 206 times. Audi brought one to the presentation of the Quattro Concept - and demonstrated what has been done technically. The oldie has a turbo lag that almost feels like a charger defect. Up to 4,000 rpm, hardly any propulsion can be felt, after which the power kicks in suddenly. The body wobbles a lot in bends and the handling is indifferent.