The dialogue on the possibility of the Audi Sport Quattro concept going on sale continues, with sources now suggesting that the show car will go into production.
In an interview with German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler says that “nothing is decided yet,” but that the brand had displayed the Sport Quattro at the Frankfurt auto show last fall because it is seriously considering its viability as a saleable model. “We wanted customer feedback,” Stadler says, “and that feedback has been thoroughly positive.” Another indicator that Audi has serious aspirations for a production Sport Quattro: a variation of the same car, the Sport Quattro Laser Light concept, was just revealed ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The Frankfurt and Vegas concepts are built atop Audi’s modular-longitudinal MLB architecture, which will be shared with the A4, A5, A6, A7 and A8—most closely related to the A6 and A7. Despite the car inching nearer to public consumption, there’s one aspect of the concept we don’t expect to survive the transition to production specification: the 700-hp hybrid powertrain. This decision will have been made in the name of weight savings. The show car weighed in at more than 4000 pounds, and by cutting out the hybrid componentry, as well as increasing the amount of aluminum and carbon fiber used, weight is expected to be less than 3000 pounds.
In place of the hybrid is likely to be a choice of two force-inducted engines: the single-turbo 2.5-liter five-cylinder that powers the TT RS, and the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 that’s found its way into a great many high-performance models in the Volkswagen Group’s arsenal.
Of course, Audi debuted a Quattro concept much like the Sport Quattro more than three years ago, which rode on a modified version of the MLB platform and used the turbo five. It nearly came to production, but ultimately was shelved because of its potential to threaten Audi’s halo offering, the R8. But the rebirth of the Quattro is a pet project of VW Group chief designer Walter de’Silva, and it appears as though it’s a project that finally will see the light of day. The Sport Quattro should be launched in early 2016, bridging the gap between the introductions of the next generations of TT and R8.