The Frankfurt Motor Show will see the unveiling of what promises to be one of the manufacturer’s most exciting cars of recent times. The modern-day Quattro aims to revive the spirit of the rally-bred Sport Quattro launched in 1984, and has been conceived as a limited-production model that is set to be priced well above that of any existing Audi. The car will be assembled on a dedicated line at the Quattro division in Neckarsulm, Germany.
First hinted at in 2010 with the unveiling of the Audi Quattro concept, the new car is expected to form the centrepiece of Audi’s renewed focus on four-wheel drive following moves by Jaguar, BMW and Mercedes-Benz to increase the number of four-wheel-drive models in their line-ups.
Audi has yet to confirm that it is readying a revised version of the two-year-old Quattro concept for limited production, but Ingolstadt officials have already revealed to Autocar that the focus of the company’s activities at the Frankfurt show will be on four-wheel drive. "We have a great history with quattro four-wheel drive and this will be reflected by what we have in store for the Frankfurt motor show," said a source.
Details remain scarce, but in a move aimed at reining in development costs and providing crucial economies of scale, Audi is thought to have held firm to its original plans to base the road-going production version of the well received Quattro concept on a modified version of the MLB platform that underpins the A5 However, while the concept rode on a 2600mm wheelbase, the production car is likely to use a wheelbase similar to that of the existing A5, at 2810mm. The change will alter the Quattro’s proportions slightly but at the same time provide it with added interior space.
The use of the longer wheelbase means the new car is also set to grow beyond the 4280mm of the concept to somewhere around 4500mm in length, or just over 200mm less than the A5. Width and height are, however, likely to mirror the concept at 1860mm and 1330mm respectively.
In place of the 408bhp turbocharged 2.5-litre, five-cylinder engine used in the earlier concept, Audi looks set to provide the production version of the Quattro with a heavily tuned version of its twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, complete with cylinder deactivation. Again, nothing is official, but Audi sources suggest power will be pumped up to more than 600bhp.
The V8’s heady power reserves will be channeled through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox with paddle shifters and, in keeping with tradition, a Torsen torque-sensing four-wheel drive system with a sport differential offering torque vectoring to all four wheels. Extensive use of lightweight materials will be made in non-load-bearing areas as part of Audi’s Ultra weight-saving initiative, but whether Audi can achieve the 1300kg kerb weight it claimed for the concept remains to be seen.
Sources suggest a 0-100kph time of less than 4.0sec and a top speed approaching 300kph, which is the sort of straight-line performance matched in the Audi line-up only by the R8 V10.