2013 Audi Sport Quattro Concept
2013 Audi Sport Quattro Concept
2013 Audi Sport Quattro Concept. Click image to enlarge

Article and photos by Jacob Black

In the build-up to the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show much of the buzz centred on Audi; specifically, the German marque’s plans to unveil a successor to its iconic cult hero, the Sport Quattro of the 1980s.

Would it be as good looking? Would it have the performance chops? Would it satisfy the masses’ lust for a raw, Group B–style rally-inspired car?

In a word, yes.

The Audi Sport Quattro is intriguing in concept form. It purports to produce 700 hp and 590 lb-ft via a plug-in hybrid drive mated to a 4.0L twin-turbo V8. With Cylinder on Demand and Automatic Start-Stop, Audi claims a fuel rating of just 2.5 L/100 km.

So how does it all work?

“Located between the 4.0 TFSI and the transmission is a disc-shaped electric motor producing 110 kW and 295 lb-ft,” Audi’s press kit explains.

“It draws its traction energy from a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery in the rear with a capacity of 14.1 kWh. The show car is charged via an Audi wall box, which uses intelligent charge management to ensure the optimal feed of energy to the lithium-ion battery.”

The drivetrain is finished off by an eight-speed tiptronic and a sport differential with power to all four wheels (obviously).

Drivers can operate in pure EV mode with the 150 hp, 295 lb-ft electric motor, Hybrid mode with both motors operating for maximum energy conservation or Sport mode, which maximizes energy output and drains the battery and fuel tank with appropriate vigour. In Hybrid mode the car will automatically choose when to turn the electric motor on and off, but the driver can manually set the system to only use one or the other. For example, if you know the end of your drive involves an hour on the 401, you can turn off electric support and turn it back on when you hit the gridlock.

2013 Audi Sport Quattro Concept2013 Audi Sport Quattro Concept2013 Audi Sport Quattro Concept2013 Audi Sport Quattro Concept
2013 Audi Sport Quattro Concept. Click image to enlarge

In Sport mode the Sport Quattro will accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds and reach a maximum of 305 km/h. Carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer helps keep the body weight down as do the “cast aluminum structural elements” attached to high-strength steel for the space frame. In total the Quattro tips in at 1,850 kg. Sure, it’s no Miata, but a Miata doesn’t pack all-wheel-drive, lithium ion batteries or 700 angry zebras.

Five-control arms keep the front suspension in check while the rear is a trapezoidal link setup – those Germans sure do love squashed squares. Carbon-fibre and ceramic brake discs lurk behind 285/30R tyres mounted on 21-inch wheels.

Inside the steering wheel gets the traditional fat, leather, flat-bottomed treatment with large buttons for engine start, drive select and engine modes all combining for a racer-like feel. Soft leather pads protect your knees from the aluminum and carbon fibre dashboard and console while deeply scalloped and heavily bolstered seats keep you firmly in place. There are four of those, so you can justify the purchase to your more-practical, better half.

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