Brawny, compact, powerful: The appearance of the Audi quattro concept makes no secret of its potential.
Although the genes of the elegant Audi A5 and RS 5 Coupés are impossible to overlook, the appearance of the show car is far more aggressive and extroverted.
Even the obvious differences between the base model and the evolution are more dramatic than between the Ur-quattro and the Sport quattro in 1984.
The concept car’s wheelbase is 150 millimeters (5.91 in) shorter than that of the RS 5.
The primary reason for this, of course, was to enhance agility and reduce weight – form follows function.
The low roof also reduces the height of the greenhouse and thus lowers the vehicle’s visual center of gravity.
The muscular C-pillar is clearly an homage to the design of the Ur-quattro.
As with that model, the trademark four rings can be found at the transition to the side of the vehicle, but in this case they are stamped into the sheet metal.
Together with the large center-locking, 20-inch wheels in a 7-twin-spoke design, the lines make for extremely dynamic and powerful proportions when viewed from the side.
The wheel wells in the arched fenders are prominently flared – another quote from the design language of the Sport quattro.
The same applies to the distinctive air outlet on the right side of the hood, which allows the five-cylinder engine to breathe more freely.
A significant feature of the front end is the stark single-frame grille.
The elimination of the chrome frame lends it a functional and technical character. Large, upright air intakes at the corners of the bumper underscore the performance of the power plant.
The top of the grille merges into the flat strips of the headlight modules with their clear glass covers. All light units use ultra-efficient LED technology.
The LED elements change their appearance between a horizontal and a vertical arrangement and thus change the character of the front end of the vehicle depending on the lighting function activated.
The strongly molded front skirt includes integrated carbon elements. This lightweight, yet extremely strong material is also used for the rear hatch and the hood, which are unpainted on the inside in order to use the visual quality of the material as a design element. The large spoiler integrated into the rear hatch is also made of carbon and extends automatically as needed and can be adjusted for maximum downforce.
The interior of the coupé is reduced and clean. The dashboard is very slender and seems to float over the separate center console. Shortening the wheelbase meant losing the rear seat of the RS 5 on which it is based. In its place is a shelf for helmets or luggage.
Awaiting the two occupants are filigree bucket seats, during whose development the issue of lightweight design played a central role. They weigh only 18 kilograms (39.68 lb) each – a weight advantage of roughly 40 percent versus a conventional production seat. The seats are equipped with either three- or four-point belts.
Awaiting the driver is a clearly organized workplace that exudes quality from its carbon surfaces and upholstered leather inlays. The color scheme with satin black for the carbon elements and rally beige for all of the leather areas offsets the various functional units from one another and emphasizes the handcrafted character of the interior.
The classic driver orientation (“wrap-around architecture” in the designer jargon) of the cockpit is typical Audi. The control unit for the MMI touch system and the shift lever for the six-speed transmission are located on the extremely slender center console.
The instrument cluster is completely digital. The large, three-dimensional visor-like display contains all of the information required by the driver and thus also replaces the classic MMI central display. The clear graphics, the stark black-and-white contrast and the subtle red highlights are precise and modernly interpreted – an indicator instrument for a driving machine, with no superfluous touches. The driver has the choice between an everyday mode, which combines the indication of the speed and engine revs with the content of the MMI, and racing mode, whose graphics revisit and refine the digital instrument of the Ur-quattro from the 1980s.
The driver will find another reminder of the Ur-quattro’s cockpit on the sides of the cockpit cowl: On both the right and left sides are four flat buttons. The ones on the left control the stopwatch function in racing mode, and the ones on the right are for the menu of the MMI system.