Audi has showed the Audi nanuk quattro concept show car at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Developed in collaboration with the designers from Italdesign Giugiaro, the crossover concept aims to combine the dynamics of a mid-engine sports car with Audi’s quattro technology on the road, on the race track and also off-road.
The two-seater is powered by a newly developed V10 TDI installed longitudinally in front of the rear axle. The 5.0-litre diesel engine produces over 544hp (400 kW) and delivers 1,000 Nm (737.56 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft from 1,500 rpm. Its twin-turbo register charging unit is controlled via the Audi valvelift system (AVS). The common rail system operates at an injection pressure of 2,500 bar. A beefed-up seven-speed S tronic located behind the engine transfers the torque to a specially designed quattro drivetrain.
The concept car has a curb weight of around 1,900 kilograms (4,188.78 lb). It completes 0 to 62mph in 3.8 seconds, and the top speed is 189.52mph (305 km/h). The thermal management with its separate cooling loops and the steplessly regulated oil pump contribute to a fuel consumption figure of 36 mpg (UK) on average.
Double wishbones guide the 22-inch wheels, which are shod with 235/50-series tires up front and 295/45 at the rear. Braking comes via carbon fibre-ceramic discs.
The adaptive air suspension with electronically controlled dampers features the next generation of Audi technology. The driver can manually adjust the ground clearance in three stages: normal, 30 millimetres (1.18 in) lower or 40 millimetres (1.57 in) higher. The system also controls the level of the body itself based on driving speed and the predictive route data supplied by the navigation system. On the highway, for example, the body remains lowered even when the concept is moving slowly. It is automatically raised when turning onto a gravel road.
Another feature of the show car is the integral steering, which Audi claims resolves the classic conflict between dynamic handling and stability. The system combines dynamic steering at the front axle, which among other things can intervene at the cornering limit for enhanced stability, with supplemental steering for the rear wheels. Separate actuators activate the two active track rods.
When the driver steers at low to moderate speeds, the rear wheels turn up to nine degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels. This shortens the wheelbase virtually by around 100 centimetres (39.37 in), reducing the turning circle to roughly 10 metres (32.81 ft).
At higher speeds the system turns the rear wheels by as much as 2.5 degrees in the same direction as the front wheels. This extends the wheelbase virtually by around 140 centimetres (55.12 in) for better stability.
The Audi nanuk quattro concept has a wheelbase of 2,710 millimetres (106.69 in). It is 4,541 millimetres (178.78 in) long, 1,990 millimetres (78.35 in) wide and 1,337 millimetres (52.64 in) tall. The load-bearing body structure is an aluminum Audi Space Frame (ASF). Components made of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) comprise the outer skin and are finished in “Extreme Red”.
These are deliberately exaggerated, uncompromising and angular say the car’s designers. The concept marks the beginning of a new chapter in the Audi design language.
At the front of the show car is a very flat version of a hexagonal single-frame grille. A narrow aluminum frame encircles its insert.
Daytime running lights accentuate the Audi signature when the car is started and also serve as turn signals.
The large air inlets up front have been shifted toward the back. Three upright bars structure their interior. The blade, which forms the lower edge of the bumper, includes airflow slits. The four rings are mounted in the single-frame grille.
The contours of the fenders dominate when the nanuk quattro concept is viewed from the side. The front contour forms a sharp blister edge, a typical Audi design feature. The rear contour extends over the wheel. The greenhouse is low, and the C-pillars follow a moderate angle to the rear of the car. In the bottom section of the flanks, very wide aprons cap the side sills.
The doors open upward at an angle. Wing-shaped cameras replace the exterior mirrors. Behind the door opening is a large, vertical sideblade like that on the Audi R8. It feeds intake air to the V10 TDI engine. A second, smaller blade behind the side window is moveable and facilitates the flow of air through the engine compartment.
The interplay between protruding and recessed surfaces continues at the rear of the car. A concave section extending across the entire width integrates the Audi rings, the tail lights and the third brake light, which runs as a flat strip between the lights. The license plate is mounted on another recessed surface in the lower section of the back end. The diffuser houses the two large, round tailpipes of the exhaust system.
A large rear window exposes the TDI engine. The entire rear bodywork can be flipped upward in one piece like with a race car for maintenance work. The occupants’ luggage is stowed at the front of the car, where there is room for two trolleys or a golf bag.
The interior of the Audi nanuk quattro concept has been reduced to the essentials. The architecture revolves around the instrument cluster. A driver-focused carbon island accentuates the cockpit. The ‘floating’instrument panel emphasises the horizontal lines and the width of the car. It is supported by aluminum stirrups at the centre console, which have soft pads as leg rests. Besides numerous storage compartments, there is also a holder made of a soft material in the scissor doors.
All control elements, including the controls for the electronically controlled air suspension, the touchwheel for navigation and multimedia functions and the turn signals, are concentrated on the centre tunnel console and the steering wheel. The seats, with folding backs, pronounced side bolsters and integrated head restraints, are power-adjustable.
Rather than physical dials and needles, the show car has a freely programmable instrument cluster. The driver can call up a variety of displays and information as desired. Two small monitors in the area of the A-pillars serve as digital exterior mirrors and display the images from the cameras on the doors. The same function is provided by the centreer display mounted on the headlining, which replaces the rearview mirror.
Dark aluminum is used at the front of the instrument panel, whose surface as well as the seats, arm rests and door panels is covered in grey leather. The third characteristic material in the interior is CFRP.