With a wheelbase of 2,784 millimetres, it is 4,602 mm long, 1,964 mm wide and stands just 1,386 mm tall, meaning it bears dimensions not too dissimilar to those of the Bugatti Veyron. We like the aggressive styling, including that huge hexagonal single-frame grille, the Audi Matrix LED headlights with wrap-around daytime running lights, the colossal vertical vents cutting into the front fascia and purposeful CFRP splitter lip. The blistered wheel arches and subtle hood louvres are a nice nod to the original Sport quattro, which debuted in Frankfurt 30 years ago, while the CFRP sill flairs, diffuser, large oval tailpipes and LED tail-lights bring its namesake roaring into the present day. Other nice touches include automatically extending power door handles, the functional air outlets behind the front wheels and the 21-inch five twin-spoke centre-locking wheels, which hide a set of carbon fiber-ceramic brake discs.
Moving inside, the cabin is awash with carbon fibre trim and features racing bucket seats with folding backs, a digital instrument cluster and head-up display. The multifunction sport steering wheel is used to switch between a range of virtual 3D displays including a Race mode with central speedometer, detailed track information and a stopwatch, while the air conditioning controls and temperature displays are integrated within the air vents.
As mentioned, the Sport quattro concept utilizes a plug-in hybrid drive that makes use of the twin-turbo V8 from the RS 6 Avant, which develops 412 kW (560 hp) and 700 Nm of torque, along with a disc-shaped electric motor. Located between the 4.0 TFSI and the transmission, it produces a peak output of 110 kW and 400 Nm and is fed by a 14.1 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery in the rear, allowing a range of 50 km (31 miles) on electric power alone.
In Hybrid mode, route data is used to compute the optimal combination of the combustion engine and electric motor for fuel efficiency. However, this mode can also be customized by the driver should they want to retain a certain amount of electric range or to drive certain route segments on electric power, while the Hold or Charge function adjusts 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. With 515 kW (700 hp) and 800 Nm pumping through a modified eight-speed tiptronic gearbox to the quattro powertrain with sport differential on the rear axle, the Sport quattro concept rockets to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds before reaching a top speed of 305 km/h (190 mph).
Thanks to the use of aluminium for the doors and roof panel, along with CFRP for the hood and trunk lid, weight is kept down to 1,850 kg – including the battery pack, the cylinder on demand (COD) system and start-stop system also contributes to the car’s average consumption figure of 2.5 litres of fuel every 100 km (94 US mpg), with CO2 emissions of 59 grams per km.
Audi needs to put this into production, then build a Pikes Peak version.