Audi is a recognized leader in cutting-edge automotive technology and has, once again, raised the bar for its competitors with the recent introduction of the Audi Sport Quattro laserlight concept. Audi has wrapped the brand's latest technologies in plug-in hybrid drives, user control display interfaces, and lighting technology in an attractive design that is reminiscent of the classic Sport Quattro of 1983.
Breakthrough Lighting Technology
Dual headlights were a typical Quattro feature and with their latest show car, Audi has given us a peek into the future of lighting technology by combining matrix LED and laser-light technologies. Two low-profile elements are visible within the headlights—the outer generating the low-beam light using matrix LEDs and an aperture mask, while the inner element produces laser light for the high beams.
The powerful laser diodes are significantly smaller than LEDs, but they illuminate the road for a distance of nearly 1,640 feet. 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.
New Solutions for Displays and Controls
The interior of the Audi Sport Quattro laserlight concept focuses on the driver. All key information is shown on the large Audi TFT display in high-resolution, three-dimensional graphics processed by a cutting-edge Tegra 30 processor from Audi partner Nvidia. The driver can switch between different modes and the most pertinent information will be displayed. For example, in the MMI mode the dominant display elements include a navigation map and media lists, while in the Classic view the speedometer appears in the foreground.
The new user interface has a menu structure whose intuitive layout is similar to that of a smart phone and all frequently used functions can be accessed lightning fast. The driver can quickly scroll through lists or zoom the map image using multi-touch gestures on the touchpad.
Plug-in Hybrid Powertrain
The plug-in hybrid drive gives the Audi Sport Quattro laserlight concept incredible dynamic performance. The system output is 700 hp with 590 lb-ft of torque and all this power flows via a modified eight-speed Tiptronic transmission to the quattro drivetrain that features a sport differential at the rear axle. The show car's combined fuel consumption, based on the applicable fuel economy standard, is a wopping 94.09 mpg, which equates to CO2 emissions of 94.95 g/mile.
The heart of the powertrain is a four liter, twin turbo V8 with a cylinder on demand (COD) system and a start-stop system to increase efficiency. This is coupled with a disc-shaped electric motor that can draw energy from a lithium-ion battery. An intelligent management system controls the interplay of the engine and motor, enabling the driver to switch between three different modes—EV, Hybrid, and Sport—on demand.
The Audi Sport Quattro laserlight the latest example of the company’s successful brand strategy of pushing technology to the limits, while remembering Audi’s storied heritage.
Like this article? Click on the Subscribe button above to receive an e-mail notification when the next article by the National Sports Car Examiner is published. It’s absolutely free!
For all of the articles by the National Sports Car Examiner, please go here.
©January 2014 by Bruce Troxell