Audi actually has a pretty good history of turning concept cars into production cars. Many of its concepts eventually became real, road-going production cars and many of its new concepts cars are on their way to becoming real. One of Audi’s best concept cars — the Audi Avus Quattro — didn’t exactly become a real production car but you can clearly see that it was the inspiration for the original Audi R8. That, along with its killer styling and fascinating engine make it one of Top Gear’s best concept cars of the 1990s.
The Avus Quattro concept debuted in 1991 and was designed to resemble old Auto Union race cars of the 1930s. The entire car was made from aluminum, something that was almost unheard of back in the early ’90s. Its chassis was an all-aluminum space frame, just like the Audi R8 eventually ended up using. The Audi Avus Quattro also had aluminum body panels that were actually hand-beaten and unpainted. Though, they were highly polished, to create an almost mirror finish.
However, the funny part about the Audi Avus Quattro concept was that it actually didn’t have an engine. The Volkswagen Group had designed a W12 engine that Audi would have eventually put in the Avus Quattro, had the engine actually been ready. Except it wasn’t. So Audi stuck a wood and plastic mock-up of the engine in its mid-mounted engine bay and painted it to look like the real thing. So you could look at what the W12 was going to look like but it was a fake.
Based on some internal estimation, the Audi Avus Quattro was said to make around 509 horsepower and get from 0-60 mph in just three seconds. Considering they knew most of the car’s variables; engine power, curb weight and gearing; it’s safe to assume that Audi likely would have been close to accurate. Audi also claimed that the Avus Quattro could his 211 mph, which would have been mind-melting back in 1991.
All things considered, it’s not hard to see why TG chose the Audi Avus Quattro as one of its favorite concept cars of the era. Not only is it an awesome looking concept but it paved the way for Audi supercars of the future. There’s no Audi R8 without the Avus Quattro and that makes it hugely important for the brand.
[Source: Top Gear]