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Audi Quattro is ready to go

The awesome Audi Quattro concept is getting closer to becoming a reality. The car powered by a 700 horsepower V8 hybrid system is nearing approval to go into production after it received overwhelming support at last year’s Frankfurt motor show.

Audi spokesman Christian Bangemann said the complex V8 and hybrid system is not a flight of fancy and has been designed to be built off the same underpinnings as the next generation A6 luxury sedan. “The reactions (to the show car) are quite good, so it’s not so far away,”  Mr Bangemann told Australian media at the annual Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas. In the car world, that means “two to three years”.

“All the technology inside, our engineers have invented. It is based on the modular … next generation platform, and we bring this first in the A6 and (then) this (Quattro concept) could be on the road. It would be not very complicated.” Mr Bangemann said the business case for the Quattro was yet to be formally approved by Audi but the early signs were good.

The Quattro concept made its second appearance globally in Las Vegas, in a slightly revised form, to gauge more public reaction. Europe and North America will likely be the biggest markets for the car, given the cult status of the original Quattro. The Quattro concept car was unveiled in the 30th anniversary year of the 1983 model, and Audi hinted at the time it may build the new one as a “limited edition”.

The all-wheel-drive coupe has a claimed 0 to 100km/h time of 3.7 seconds. This would make the Quattro even faster than Audi’s current flagship, the Audi R8 V10 supercar, powered by the same engine as a Lamborghini. Driving Audi’s red rocket is 515kW of power and 800Nm from the twin turbo 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine and electric motor channeled through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The electric motor alone contributes 110kW and 400Nm to the equation, although the power overlaps with the V8 so the two figures cannot be added. An on-board battery pack means the car can be charged by electricity overnight and provide 50km of petrol-free driving -- on the way to a claimed top speed of 305km/h. The only catch will be the price. Early estimates put the cost of the Quattro at close to $250,000 if and when it eventually goes on sale.

This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling