Hard to believe, but Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system has been with us for thirty years. I remember lusting after the first generation of Audi Coupe quattro, and thinking that I’d someday park one in my garage. When I finally did have enough money to buy one (before the U.S. economy went into meltdown), Audi’s styling just didn’t do it for me. Gone were the sleek and edgy (for the time, at least) lines of the original Coupe quattro, replaced by a boring but competent sedan. If only, I thought, Audi would go back and build a modern interpretation of the original Ur-quattro.
Ask and ye shall receive, as Audi has done just that to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the quattro all wheel drive system. Shown at this week’s Paris Auto Show, the Q30 concept sports a turbocharged five cylinder motor, good for a claimed 408 horsepower. The body uses aluminum panels to reduce weight, so the entire car tips the scales at just under 2,900 pounds. Audi claims a 0 to 100 kph time of just 3.9 seconds, and the Q30 uses carbon ceramic discs with six piston calipers to provide tear-your-glasses-off-your-face stopping power.
Like my bank account these days, the Q30 remains just an intangible concept, a tribute to better days that may yet come around again. I certainly hope so, since this is one Audi that I wouldn’t mind parking in the garage. Build it, I say, and the quattro loyalists will come.