1991 Audi Avus Quattro Concept Car

1991 Audi Avus Quattro Concept Car

If you think this vehicle looks like a lot of modern supercars, you are correct. The 1991 Audi Avus Quattro concept car inspired car design for decades to come, and still has an impact today. What is commonplace today was groundbreaking in 1991.

The 1991 Audi Avus Quattro Concept car was a sleek, lightweight, fast car that was supposed to be the car of the future. In many ways, that was true, as the car inspired countless designers to re-think what a supercar should be…and could be. The beauty of this car still captivates automotive fans today, and makes many of us wish we owned this car.

Innovative And Beautiful

The Audi Avus made its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1991, and the crowds went wild!  This sleek, low slung car rocked the show with its combination of smooth body panels and beautiful design. Aside from its beauty, this car also had an aluminum space frame and aluminum body, which meant this car had a curb weight of only 2,425 pounds. The space frame made for a particularly safe car, while the aluminum construction made it light weight. The rear view mirrors mounted near the roof line were also an innovative idea. These were features that were not yet common in production cars, so there was a lot of buzz about it.

These innovations paved the way for many other cars that used the ideas to further their own research, which made for many advancements in the 1990s. This was around the time when cars started to really get advanced, and the cars that followed were much more innovative than ever before.

Looks And Performance

The Audi Avus Quattro was certainly stunning, but it also had the muscle to make it into a supercar. The mid-engined, 2,425 lb supercar was powered by a 6.0 Liter, 60 valve, W-12 cylinder engine producing 509 horsepower.  A W-12 is essentially 3 banks of 4 cylinders in a W configuration, as opposed to a V8 which is 4 cylinders on the left and 4 on the right. The W-12 engine was mass-produced in the 1994 Audi A8, which is pictured below for reference.

 

 

There were no published numbers regarding top speed or 0 – 60, but projections were that a car this light with this much power would be fast and fun! To further the idea of this being a ‘supercar’ the doors were scissor style, which added to the idea that this car was not your average door slammer grocery getter.

Fate Had Its Way

Dealers stood in line to get in their orders for this car, as the excitement generated by this supercar was unparalleled. There were orders being placed left and right, However, Audi had a problem. They had been given an internal directive to produce this car, but only if it could be made and sold  for under 1oo,ooo Deutsche marks. Deutsche marks are no longer a currency, however 100,000 Deutsche marks would be about $115,000 USD today adjusted for 2018 inflation. Audi could not meet the target, and the executives decided not to pursue the project. The show car that had caused such a stir at the auto shows was scrapped, and the one prototype, which was not fully functional, is still on display today in a museum.

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