Quattro is Audi and Audi is quattro – the brand and the technology are indelibly linked. In celebration of the 30th birthday of the Sport quattro, Audi will present its legitimate successor at the 2013 IAA in Frankfurt am Main. The Audi Sport quattro concept show car continues the grand quattro tradition, with a stunning coupe design and plug-in hybrid drive with a system output of 515 kW (700 hp).
quattro is more than just a technology – quattro is a philosophy. The term stands for driving safety and sportiness, technical competence and a dynamic approach to life. Since the debut of the "Ur-quattro" in 1980, Audi has sold more than five million cars with permanent all-wheel drive, far more than any other premium manufacturer worldwide. The strengths of the quattro concept and its successes in racing have been impressively displayed for over three decades now.
One legendary Audi classic is the Sport quattro, which made its debut at the 1983 IAA and was designed as a homologation model for the World Rally Championship. With 225 kW (306 hp) and many technical innovations, it was the supercar of its day. The short wheelbase, which honed the handling, gave the Sport quattro an unmistakable look. The competition car wrote racing history. Walter Röhrl drove it to a convincing victory in the 1987 Pike's Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado, U.S.A.
Powerful performance: the plug-in hybrid drive
The plug-in hybrid drive makes the Audi Sport quattro concept a breathtakingly dynamic coupe. System output is 515 kW (700 hp); system torque is 800 Nm (590.05 lb-ft). Power flows through a modified eight-speed tiptronic to the quattro powertrain, which features a sport differential on the rear axle. According to the applicable standard, the show car consumes on average 2.5 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (94.09 US mpg), a CO2 equivalent of 59 grams per kilometer (94.95 g/mile).
The combustion engine is a four-liter, twin-turbo V8. It produces 412 kW (560 hp) and 700 Nm (516.29 lb-ft) of torque. The cylinder on demand (COD) system, which deactivates four cylinders under part load, and a start-stop system make the sonorous eight-cylinder unit very efficient.
Located between the 4.0 TFSI and the transmission is a disc-shaped electric motor producing 110 kW and 400 Nm (295.02 lb-ft). 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 Audi Sport quattro concept can cover up to 50 kilometers (31.07 miles) on electric power alone. An intelligent management system controls the interplay between the two drives as needed, and the driver can choose between various operating modes.
The customer can choose between various characteristics for the Audi Sport quattro concept depending on the operating and driving strategy. A choice of three modes is available. EV mode is for purely electric driving; Hybrid mode for maximum efficiency and Sport mode for maximum performance.
In EV mode, only the electric motor is active. With a peak electric output of 110 kW and 400 Nm (295.02 lb-ft) of torque, electric driving both inside and outside the city is possible. An active accelerator indicates the transition to hybrid operation to the driver so that he/she can consciously control the switch between electric and hybrid vehicle.
In Hybrid mode, environmental and route data are used to compute the optimal use of the electric motor and combustion engine for fuel efficiency and implement this via the operating strategy. If navigation is active, the route is optimized for efficiency. This mode also includes the ability to customize the operating strategy. If the driver wants to retain a certain amount of electric range or to drive certain route segments on electric power, they can use the Hold or Charge function to precisely adjust the charge of the battery even without charging from the power grid.
In Sport mode, the operating strategy sets the drive system for maximum power and performance. The electric boost function supports the combustion engine in all driving situations. The energy management system ensures that the battery always has sufficient charge.
When the V8 and the electric motor work together, the Audi Sport quattro concept accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 3.7 seconds – much like the powerful Audi rally cars once did. Its top speed is 305 km/h (189.52 mph).
The lightweight construction concept also plays a large part in this dynamic performance. The occupant cell combines ultra-high-strength steel panels and cast aluminum structural elements. The doors and fenders are made of aluminum, and the roof, the engine hood and the rear hatch are made of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer. The result is a curb weight including the battery pack of just 1,850 kilograms (4,078.55 lb).
The show car's chassis is easily able to handle the drive system's power. Handling is as dynamic as it is stable. The front suspension features five control arms per wheel; the rear suspension follows the Audi track-controlled trapezoidal link principle. Tautly tuned springs and dampers connect the Audi Sport quattro concept firmly to the road. The dynamic steering varies its ratio as a function of driving speed. The brake calipers grip large, carbon fiber-ceramic brake discs, and the tire format is 285/30 R 21.