Have you ever imagined what it would be like to combine an Audi R8 with a dune buggy? Audi and some designers from Italdesign Giugiaro imagined something similar, and the outcome is the Audi nanuk quattro concept.
The new supercar was built to go from 0-62 mph in just 3.8 seconds on-or-off-road and is well equipped for both. The body of this two-seater is made from the lightweight aluminum Audi Space Frame (ASF) with carbon fiber reinforced polymer components and rides on the factory standard size of 22 inch wheels for when you decide to hit the dirt.
The powerhouse at the heart of this German dirt-demon is a newly designed 5.0 twin-turbo V10 TDI engine, which delivers 544 hp and 737.56 ft-lbs of torque through a 7-speed S-Tronic transmission. Devilish numbers for an off-road buggy, but what’s more impressive about it is that the entire 737.56 ft-lbs of torque is produced at a mere 1,500 rpm, something thought to be near impossible. Cross that power with Audi’s quattro capabilities, adaptive air suspension and integral steering, and the result is a sublime drive with sharper handling and high-end performance.
Advancements are carried further with the integral steering, allowing for the rear wheels to turn with or against the front wheels depending on the speed you’re traveling at. While at low speeds, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction of the front, up to nine degrees, to reduce the turn radius. While at high speeds they turn 2.5 degrees in the same direction as the front wheels to hold a turn more steadily.
Yet another advancement found in the concept is the adaptive air ride system, which either allows the driver to adjust the height of the ride manually or automatically adjusts itself according to geo-positioning on the GPS. On highways it will automatically lower the ride 30 millimeters for better aerodynamics and efficiency at high speeds, while off-road the ride is raised 40 millimeters from the original height for better clearance.
Despite all the technology, a V10 and an All-Wheel-Drive system, the nanuk quattro concept actually comes off the line somewhat light for its components at around just 1,900 kg (4,188.78 lbs). But even more impressive is the overall efficiency. Despite the powerful specifications it boasts, the nanuk quattro concept still manages to get more than 30 mpg. Seem impossible? We thought so too.
And while it’s unlikely that this will be the exact demon to hit production, it’s a peek through the window of what Audi will really be setting out for with an on-road/ off-road performance vehicle, and a milestone to their bright future.