When the stunning Audi quattro concept made its debut in Paris it was little more than a show car queen. It had a modest engine designed only to get it from transporter to show hall. Now, though, Audi has fiddled with the car and installed a few herbs. 402 of them to be exact, or around 300kW if you want the straight version. Powered by the wonderful 2.5 litre inline five cylinder found in the TT RS and now the RS3, as well, and tipping the scales at a whopping 235kg less than the RS3, this 21st century Quattro should be the duck’s guts. But is it?
Well, luckily for us, or perhaps more luckily for them, Matt Prior from Autocar and Henry Catchpole from Evo have been given the chance to drive the car to find out.
Matt Prior: Encouraged by Audi to press on a bit faster, I give it a bootful, at which point it feels rather less like a concept car. The Quattro really flies. Once youâ€™ve a few revs wound on â€“ anything over 2500 is fine â€“ most of the lag disappears and the distinctive five-pot warble kicks in, followed by some whistling and chattering of the wastegate when you lift and start the process in the next gear. It feels R8 V10 kind of fast, but that acceleration is easier to get at. The shift is sweet too. The brakes perhaps a tad over-servoed, but manageable enough. Engine response is fine for heel and toe downshifts.
Henry Catchpole: Despite steering that could do with being a bit quicker, you can feel how light it is and what a short wheelbase it has as it snaps into corners with the rear end feeling particularly keen. It also rides amazingly well for a concept car with big 20in wheels. Even after a limited drive I want one.
While it’s very early days yetâ€”the concept is yet to be approved for productionâ€”it sounds as though Audi’s engineers have a great platform to work on should the top brass give them the okay to build it.
We especially like this last line from Catchpole’s review, “If you put the sat-nav into â€˜Raceâ€™ mode then it will apparently read you pace notes for the road ahead like a rally co-driver!” For the full text follow the links below.
[Source: Autocar & Evo]