To know Audi’s Quattro Concept, you have to recall the original Audi Quattro (a.k.a.”Ur-Quattro”) from 1980. Launched 30 years ago, the two-door coupe was the first sports car to feature the automaker’s new Quattro all-wheel-drive system. With a turbocharged 2.1-liter inline five-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission, the original 200-horsepower street variant was good for a 0-60 sprint of around seven seconds and a top speed of 137 mph. Rally-prepared, and with hundreds of additional horses under the hood, the Audi Quattro was unstoppable, dominating the Group B class in rally competitions around the world for years.

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Commemorating the success of the legendary Audi Quattro, the engineers and designers at Audi set out to develop a modern interpretation – an homage – to the classic. Their efforts were unveiled at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. The all-new Audi Quattro Concept is built on an aluminum spaceframe based on the automaker’s existing RS5 platform. To meet the designer’s penned proportions, the wheelbase has been chopped 5.9 inches and the overall height dropped 1.6 inches. Steel door panels have been replaced by aluminum, and most everything else inside and out is constructed of lightweight carbon fiber (right down to the trick Audi badges and rearview mirror). With featherweight power-operated carbon-fiber Recaro seats up front and no accommodations for rear passengers, Audi has been able to keep the weight to just 2,900 pounds (roughly the same as its spiritual ancestor).

Dropped under the composite hood is Audi’s familiar iron block/aluminum head 2.5-liter inline-five. With a single turbocharger fitted to its exhaust, the direct-injected powerplant has been tuned to deliver 408 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque (a six-speed manual is the transmission on the concept, but expect a direct-shift automatic gearbox to be added to the options list if the coupe goes into production).

In the last 4 pictures above you can see the original Audi Quattro next to the concept Quattro.

Video of the Audi Quattro Concept:

Must watch video on the original Audi Quattro: