Automakers typically spend months working on a concept car, then unveil it at a car show and move on to the next. But Audi has demonstrated a propensity at refining the same concepts and bringing them back for more. Just look at how many time Audi iterated its E-Tron concept, and how many diesel R8s it toyed with. It brought the Italdesign Parcour out of retirement and rechristened it the Audi Nanuk, and it's been doing the same with the Quattro concept for the past several years. The German automaker rolled out the first Quattro concept back in 2010, and followed up with the reborn Sport Quattro concept less than a year ago. And now it's preparing to unveil yet another.

Called the Sport Quattro Laserlight concept, this time it's not as radical a departure from the Sport Quattro concept as that was from the first Quattro concept. In fact, there's really only one vital difference. That'd be the laser headlights "that leave all previous systems in the dark," according to the press release below. The system uses matrix LEDs around the outside of the element as low beams, and lasers on the inside for high beams. Measured in mere microns, the laser diodes are significantly smaller than LEDs, while lighting up the road ahead for nearly half a kilometers (1,640 feet), providing twice the lighting range and three times the brightness of LED high beams.

Otherwise the concept car you see here and which Audi will display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week is essentially the same as the one it showed in Frankfurt this past September. It's got the same measurements, wearing the same CFRP bodywork, with the same interior and the same 700-horsepower hybrid powertrain, only the yellow exterior has been repainted Plasma Red and the black interior redone in a more low-key Slate Grey, as you can see from the high-res image gallery above.
Show full PR text
World premiere at 2014 CES in Las Vegas: The Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept car

- Dynamic coupe has powerful plug-in hybrid drive
- Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of AUDI AG, Technical Development: "This show car embodies our engineering competence and shows cutting-edge electronic features such as high-performance laser-light headlights."

Dynamic design, immense power and new electronic features: Audi is presenting a fascinating technology concept car at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) from January 6 to 10, 2014 in Las Vegas, USA. The Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept is reminiscent of the classic Sport quattro of 1983 while pointing towards the future – with the latest of the brand's technologies in plug-in hybrid drives, user control and display interfaces and lighting technology.

"The new show car demonstrates technical 'Vorsprung' on many levels," says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg. "On-board this car we have e-tron technology with 515 kW of power and 2.5 l/100 km (94.09 US mpg) fuel economy; laser headlights that leave all previous systems in the dark with its higher performance as well as new display and operating systems with cutting-edge electronic performance. We are showing the future of Audi here."

The coupe, a new evolutionary stage of the Sport quattro concept, painted in the color Plasma Red, combines the power of the historic Sport quattro with emotional elegance. Its body is tautly set over its large wheels. The overhangs are short, and the car's proportions show a sporty balance. With a wheelbase of 2,784 mm (109.61 in), it is 4,602 mm (181.18 in) long. At a width of 1,964 mm (77.32 in), the two-door model is very wide, and it is just 1,386 mm (54.57 in) tall, which is exceptionally low.

In the dual headlights, a typical quattro feature, Audi is demonstrating the future of lighting technology by combining matrix LED and laser light technologies. Two low-profile trapezoidal elements are visible within the headlights – the outer one generates the low beam light using matrix LEDs and an aperture mask, while the inner element produces laser light for high-beam functionality.

The powerful laser diodes are significantly smaller than LED diodes; they are only a few microns in diameter. Illuminating the road for a distance of nearly 500 meters (1,640 ft), the laser high-beam light has approximately twice the lighting range and three times the luminosity of LED high beam lights. In this future technology, Audi is once again demonstrating its leadership role in automotive lighting technology with a system that will also be used on the race track in the 2014 R18 e-tron quattro.

The angular, swept-back C pillars of the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept car and the blisters above the fenders are other design elements reminiscent of the classic Sport quattro. The broad shoulders of the body were reinterpreted and intensively sculpted to convey even greater dynamism. Throughout the car, sharp contours frame muscular surfaces – the interplay between convex and concave curvatures defines the athletic character of the coupe.

The hexagonal single-frame grille also offers an outlook on future design of the sporty production models. The lower section is nearly vertical, while the upper follows the contour of the hood; the screen insert is a typical solution from car racing. The low grille emphasizes the show car's width. Two large, vertical blades divide each of the large air inlets; their form is repeated in the creases of the hood. The splitter, which is made of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP), is shifted far to the front, as on a race car.

The combination of a swept-back glass cabin and broad shoulders defines the proportions at the rear. Another defining element at the rear of the show car is the CFRP diffuser, which extends upward significantly. Its upper section is honeycombed, while its lower section houses two large, oval tailpipes. The tail lights, which are backed by a black CFRP panel, are rectangular in form – another quattro reference. The luggage space, which is reinforced by a large cross bar stiffener, offers 300 liters (10.59 cu ft) of cargo capacity.

Precise design details round out the dynamic look of the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept. The sill extensions are made of CFRP, the door handles electrically extend from the door when they detect the approach of a hand. The center locking wheels have a five twin-spoke design.

Lightweight design made visible: the interior
In its generously cut interior, the elegant sporty styling of the show car is continued with dark gray colors and clean lines. The interior design and material selections demonstrate the Audi philosophy of lightweight design. The slender instrument panel is reminiscent of the wing of a sailplane. The supporting structure of the interior is a carbon shell that also serves as a storage compartment in the doors.

A line of trim beneath the windshield wraps around the driver and front passenger and integrates functions such as the inside door handles. The folding race car shell seats with their high lateral supports and integrated head restraints, together with the two rear seats, provide space for four persons. The climate controls are integrated in the air nozzles; a single element is used to control the intensity, temperature and volume of the air stream. In addition to showing climate control settings, the slim display at the centers of the air nozzles also shows media data.

New solutions: displays and controls
The interior of the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept focuses very much on the driver. Even the multifunction sport steering wheel points the way towards future sporty production solutions. It has two buttons which the driver can use to control the hybrid drive, a red start-stop button, a button for the Audi drive select vehicle handling system and a "View" button to control the Audi virtual cockpit.

All key information is shown on the large Audi TFT display in high-resolution, three-dimensional graphics; a cutting-edge Tegra 30 processor from Audi partner Nvidia processes the graphics. The driver can switch between different modes. For example, in the MMI mode the dominant display elements include the navigation map and media lists, while in the Classic view the speedometer appears in the foreground.

Nearly all functions of the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept can be controlled from the further developed MMI terminal that is mounted on the center console over the tunnel. Its large rotary pushbutton, which also serves as a touchpad, can be pushed in four directions, and it is surrounded on three sides by four buttons – for the main menu, submenus, options and a back function.

The new user interface has a menu structure whose intuitive layout is similar to that of a smart phone. All frequently used functions can be accessed lightning fast. For most inputs, just a few steps are needed thanks to a new free text search feature; generally just four characters suffice for a navigation address. The driver can quickly scroll through lists or zoom the map image using multitouch gestures on the touchpad. Voice control functionality has also been intensively further developed.

Powerful and highly efficient: the drive system
The plug-in hybrid drive gives the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept fascinating dynamic performance. Its system output is 515 kW (700 hp), and its system torque is 800 Nm (590.05 lb-ft). Power flows via a modified eight-speed tiptronic to the quattro drivetrain, which features a sport differential at the rear axle. The show car's combined fuel consumption, based on the applicable fuel economy standard, is just 2.5 liters of fuel per 100 km (94.09 US mpg) – which equates to CO2 emissions of 59 g/km (94.95 g/mile).

The combustion engine is a four-liter V8 with biturbo charging; it produces 412 kW (560 hp) of power and 700 Nm (516.29 lb-ft) of torque. The cylinder on demand (COD) system, which deactivates four cylinders under part load and a start-stop system make the sonorous eight-cylinder engine very efficient. Located between the 4.0 TFSI and the transmission is a disc-shaped electric motor that produces 110 kW and 400 Nm (295.02 lb-ft). It draws its drive energy from a lithium-ion battery at the rear, which stores 14.1 kWh of energy – enough for up to 50 km (31.07 miles) of all-electric driving. An Audi wallbox that is used for charging provides for optimal energy transfer.

An intelligent management system controls the interplay of engine and motor on demand. The driver can switch between three different modes. In EV mode, just the electric motor operates; its high torque propels the show car with plenty of power – even outside of the city. The active accelerator pedal indicates the transition to Hybrid mode to the driver – by a change in pedal resistance; this is done so that the driver can intentionally influence the mode selection.

The Hybrid mode aims at optimal fuel-savings in the interplay between the TFSI and the electric motor, and environmental and route data are utilized here. The driver can choose the Hold and Charge modes in the MMI to influence the operating strategy, e.g. if the driver wants to ensure that sufficient electrical energy is available for the final kilometers to the destination. The Audi drive select dynamic vehicle handling system offers even more control options – individual driving profiles are set up for different levels of regenerative braking.

In Sport mode, the operating strategy configures the drive system for maximum power. When the V8 and electric motor are boosting, the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 3.7 seconds and can reach a top speed of 305 km/h (189.52 mph).

Body and chassis
A lightweight design strategy also plays a major role in the car's dynamic performance. A combination of ultra high-strength steel sheet and structural elements of cast aluminum is used in the occupant cell. The doors and fenders are made of aluminum, and the roof, engine hood and rear hatch are made of CFRP. This results in an unladen weight of just 1,850 kilograms (4,078.55 lb), including the large battery pack.

The front suspension is comprised of five links per wheel, while the rear suspension is based on the self-tracking trapezoidal link principle of Audi, which guarantees dynamic performance and stability. Stiff tuning of the springs and shock absorbers make the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept hold tightly to the road, while Audi drive select makes the driving experience even more multifaceted. The dynamic steering system varies the steering ratio as a function of driving speed. The brake calipers grip large, carbon fiber-ceramic brake discs, and the tire size is 285/30 R 21.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      EJ
      • 11 Months Ago
      This car has been "coming out" for years now.
        Blue Pariah
        • 11 Months Ago
        @EJ
        Remember though, that this isn't going to an autoshow. Its for CES, which is all about electronics. So its less of a concept car and more of a really elaborate booth to showcase the new lighting tech (which sounds pretty sweet). They had the concept sitting around, so they might as well get some mileage out of it.
        Muttons
        • 11 Months Ago
        @EJ
        Agreed. I guess that infusion of cash into the R&D department hasn't really kicked in yet. All I know is, Audi has been recycling a LOT of concepts these past few years. Remember all the E-tron varieties? Geez, nothing was more boring to me at an auto show than an existing audi vehicle or concept with turbine wheels and an E-tron sticker. And the new ones are getting worse. This is still a nice car but their more recent angular studies look bad to me.
      Termin8
      • 11 Months Ago
      Interesting article about how laser headlamps work: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/laser-powered-headlight1.htm
      NeO
      • 11 Months Ago
      Good. Anything to get rid of those dumb looking Xmas tree light LEDS
      Max Bullo
      • 11 Months Ago
      Wow, blandest concept ever...rear end is an ugly copy of the one of the Honda NSX concept, the rest of the body is an Alfa Brera but not handsome as the Alfa Romeo and aniway already outdated, maybe audi seriously need to get real designer, De Silva is just a clown...
      John Blaze
      • 11 Months Ago
      If it didn't have 700 hp then this car would be more believable. Just put a normal power train in the car so it can be ready for production. Just put the 3.0 liter 310 hp supercharged V6 in there and be done with it already. Pair it with the 7 speed transmission and make it a quattro and it will be done. Then make an RS version with 444 hp from the same RS5 engine.
        waetherman
        • 11 Months Ago
        @John Blaze
        So that would be an AWD A5? I suppose that's what this is lining up to be anyway, but phrasing it that way just doesn't exactly inspire excitement.
        John Blaze
        • 11 Months Ago
        @John Blaze
        The A5 is already AWD. This is a hatchback and smaller than the A5.
        NeO
        • 11 Months Ago
        @John Blaze
        Nah, why would they do that when they can make bank selling it to rich Saudi's?! LOL America is broke
      Brian
      • 11 Months Ago
      Pretty neat technology. I just hope there aren't any (if, very minimal) side affects to having lasers beamed at your eyes... these are the high beams after all. If they've come this far with the lighting technology, maybe design a preventative detection system so oncomers don't get blinded? I'm already blinded the conventional halogen lighting system (high beams) by owners who don't know or just don't give one...
      SteveG
      • 11 Months Ago
      What a great way to blind other drivers even better! Headlamps are already too bright and impair the ability of drivers coming the other way.
        EngineerJack
        • 11 Months Ago
        @SteveG
        Why does everyone try and crap all over new things? Read my other response.
      Joel Bilodeau
      • 11 Months Ago
      fantastic! an Audi with BMW headlights!
      Scooter
      • 11 Months Ago
      Kind of sad that Audi was copied so hard that now its struggling to find a new identity through headlamp design. Sad though, because Audi was infamous for those LED DRLS. Those LEDs really brought their minimalist body design to life. The "magic' is sort of gone from Audi now, they are blending more and more into the industry. Although, their 20 inch wheels always catch my eye.
      diffrunt
      • 11 Months Ago
      Re; laserlight --- glare factor for oncoming ?
        EngineerJack
        • 11 Months Ago
        @diffrunt
        Laser light has a very low divergence (it tends to go where you tell it) compared to traditional lens focused light, so feasibly, you could aim it wherever you wanted. Audi is already working on active lighting tech that senses where the oncoming cars are and blocks part of the lighting. With that tech and the lasers, they could easily make a system that's safe.
      tony
      • 11 Months Ago
      To me it looks like a VW Corrado remade
      Rob
      • 11 Months Ago
      R4 2.0T (298HP) R4 2.5T (375hp) R4 PLUS (420HP 4.0T) Replace the TT with this and offer cabrio and large panoramic sunroof models
    • Load More Comments