Audi Quattro Concept Car

Blue and red flashing lights filling the mirror after a spirited canyon run are never welcomed. Yet this time, I've fully embraced them. Why?

I'm driving down California's Pacific Coast Highway in Audi's one-of-a-kind Quattro Concept with a full police escort. In front, law enforcement is clearing the road ahead as if sweeping for mines, pushing civilian traffic off to the side. I've got another unit behind me, shooing the restless natives off my flanks.

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The parade is impressive, but I'm wary of the pageantry. Are the cops there to solely maintain a generous cushion around the multi-million dollar concept, or has Audi paid them to keep me from rocketing off into the sunset off with their turbocharged 190-mph sports coupe?

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, the rear overhang reduced by 7.9 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 Steel door panels have been replaced by aluminum, and most everything else inside and out is constructed of lightweight carbon fiber (right down to the trick Audi badges and rearview mirror).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).


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