(from Audi Press Release) The
‘Autostadt’ in Wolfsburg – Audi’s pavilion is in darkness. Then the
spotlights come on and a car appears that is surely not of this world –
at least, that’s the first impression it creates. Crouched low, as if
waiting to spring. A concentrated package of abounding energy and
precise geometry. Flowing, aerodynamic lines with the clarity that goes
hand in hand with pure functional efficiency.
A second glance, and familiar features begin to appear: the massive
radiator grille at once recalls the historic Auto Union ”Silver Arrow”
racing cars, and so does the long engine cover falling away to the rear,
with its vertical air inlet slots. Just like the historic ”Silver Arrow”
cars too, the gleaming matt finish body with its brushed aluminium
surface catches the light and conjures up an almost magical aura.
One thing is immediately clear: like the famous ”Silver Arrows”, this
low-built coupé could also be powered by a 16-cylinder mid-engine. There
is plenty of space between the giant wheels in their high upward-curving
wheel arches. A long wheelbase which creates space for two occupants and
for a large-capacity engine in front of the rear axle.
Short overhangs seemingly hewn from the solid emphasise these
proportions and give the side view its special power and presence. A
large-capacity engine with sixteen cylinders – and suddenly the onlooker
recalls: this was just the number that the Auto Union racing and
record-breaking cars of the nineteen-thirties also had. Racing cars
which legendary drivers such as Bernd Rosemeyer and Tazio Nuvolari
steered from victory to victory.
Tradition and heritage are of course not the only telling factors when
one first encounters this incredible car below the roof of the Audi
pavilion. Its clearly defined outlines, with domed roof, precisely
semi-circular wheel arch cutouts and high waistline – they all echo
Audi’s current design philosophy, the relationship with the TT,
recipient of so many design awards.
This latest creation from the Audi Design team is the ultimate highlight
in the brand presentation at the ‘Autostadt’. It spans the gap between
past and present, between tradition and vision, and continues the line
from the past to the present of the brand, its philosophy and its design
culture, and on into the future. Its design is not content with
quotation and variation, but instead extracts new qualities from
Audi’s design study at the ‘Autostadt’ in Wolfsburg is not a prototype
ready to be driven, nor has it been created in anticipation of a
production vehicle. But this vehicle visualises the technological
potential of the Audi brand. Lightweight design, the ultimate dynamism
and functional precision characterise the line of every detail, of every
At the very first glance we can see the large-diameter drilled brake
discs behind the giant wheels. They are the logical counterpart to the
performance of the undoubtedly powerful mid-engine.
Audi’s quattro permanent four-wheel drive would unquestionably provide
it with the perfect basis for converting the power of a large engine
into propulsion, to make an ultimate sports car study such as this
eligible for the title of ‘perfect driving machine’.
Boldly shaped air inlets are a formal element at all points on the
aluminium body of this Audi design study, and nowhere more so than at
the front. The headlight units in the aerodynamically shaped nose seem
to focus resolutely on the road: compact, powerful xenon headlights
shine behind clear glass covers. The flat lights are protected behind
flush-fitting metal panels that slide upwards when the headlights are
Large outside mirrors are difficult to accept for the aerodynamics
engineer bent on perfection. For a perfect view of events behind the
Audi design study, it therefore foresees several cameras that project
rear and side views on to monitor screens in the cockpit.
Inside a super sports model: clarity as a blend of elegance and
functional efficiency has been sought and found here too. The interior
is trimmed with fire-resistant quilted Nomex like a racing car or
helicopter cockpit. Two leather-covered bucket seats accommodate the
driver and passenger behind a panoramic windscreen that is wrapped well
round. This is the logical continuation of the purist interior
architecture found in the TT cockpit.
The prominent centre tunnel with its polished aluminium tubes and the
high window line integrate the position of the driver into the car in an
ergonomically perfect manner, making him the nerve-centre of this super
sports car. A workplace at the centre of a driving machine.
A window at the rear of the cockpit provides a clear view of this car’s
powerful heart, the mid-engine. An enormous analog tachometer gives its
pulse reading. Like the other instruments, its design picks up the
aesthetic theme of the light units.
Adjustable racing pedals, an open lever gate for the six-speed gearbox
and a steering wheel with four spokes at 90-degree intervals are the
ideal instruments for the driver to keep the performance potential of
this car under perfect control.
Brushed aluminium, carbon fibre and leather of the highest quality
define the character of the interior that retains its clear purity with
no concession to the ambience of a luxury saloon car. Precision
craftsmanship can be found throughout: it has left its unmistakable mark
of perfection on every material and every detail.
To produce an Audi such as has never been seen before.