If your jaw dropped at the site of the Audi Quattro concept unveiled in Paris, you weren't alone. The aluminum and carbon fiber throwback was one of the best looking – and all-around most enticing – show cars on display at Versailles. And if you ask the people in charge, it could be destined for showrooms in short order.
The thing about Audi is that when it does a concept car, it does just do a rolling model. It engineers the thing. It does its homework. And in the case of the Audi Quattro, three years of development work have reportedly already gone into it. According to Motor Trend, both Audi's and the Volkswagen Group's chief execs are eager to put it into production, although their visions for how it'll get there are a little different.
Group CEO Martin Winterkorn reportedly wants to put it into serial production at around 35,000 units annually in order to keep pricing to a reasonable level, offering a full range of engine options in the process. Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, meanwhile, sees the Quattro as a niche product, sticking with the solitary turbo five and all-wheel drive set-up that featured in both the show car and the '80s icon that was its inspiration.
The biggest clue, however, could come down to the car's designer. Audi's design director Wolfgang Egger came to Ingolstadt after having designed the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, a limited-production halo vehicle that's driving the styling direction for a new generation of Alfas. If that's the role that's destined for the production version of the Quattro concept, Audi could do a lot worse.