Audi has taken supercar performance to a new level - literally - with its Nanuk Quattro Concept.
The two-door, two-seat off-road sportscar features a newly developed mid-mounted 5.0-litre V10 twin turbo diesel engine producing 405kW of power and 1000Nm of torque - enough to propel it from 0-100km/h in just 3.8 seconds, with a top speed of 305km/h. Fuel use is claimed at 7.8L/100km.
Audi claims the idea behind the car is that it can perform on the racetrack and also over rugged sections of terrain.
As such, it features automated air suspension which can judge what height the car needs to be at by taking cues from the sat-nav system, four-wheel steering to make for more nimble handling, and 22-inch wheels with higher-than-usual profile tyres for coping with the rough stuff.
It’s expected that the polarising nose design - with its prominent grille, slim headlights and vertical slatted air intakes - give some indication of how next year's second-generation R8 will look. As the company states: “The Audi nanuk quattro concept is a dynamic sculpture on large wheels that opens a new chapter in the Audi design language." The concept is slightly larger than the current-generation R8 supercar in all directions, at 4.54 metres long, 1.99m wide and 1.34m tall.
It’s built on a lightweight aluminium spaceframe, and features exterior panels made of carbon fibre reinforced polymer. The car features batwing-style doors, and in place of conventional rear-view mirrors there are two rear-facing cameras.
The German luxury brand hasn’t yet announced any plans to build a production version of the Nanuk, but it does have a history of only showing off concept cars that it plans to build.
Audi had planned to offer a diesel version of its R8 Supercar in the past, but those plans were cancelled late in the process.
The brand has a history with performance diesels, and has stated in the past it would build a performance car based on its Le Mans-winning diesel hybrid racer.