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How the Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept Works

The Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept's Heritage
The Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept's styling builds on the heritage of Audi rally cars from the 1980s.
The Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept's styling builds on the heritage of Audi rally cars from the 1980s.
© David Reed/Corbis

The styling of the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept is based on the classic 1984 Audi Sport quattro S1. The original Sport quattro was a rally racing legend, a squared-off coupe with all-wheel drive that let it grip the dirt roads of the rally circuit, winning races and turning bystanders into lifelong Audi fans.

Rally racing is a type of car race that takes the stock car aspect of NASCAR, the complicated courses of F1 and the pressure of endurance racing and combines them with all types of road and weather conditions. Rally car races don't get called off because of rain. They get more exciting.

In a rally, production cars, similar to ones you could waltz into any dealership and buy, are driven as fast as possible over real roads. In each car is a driver who drives the car (duh) and a co-driver who tells the driver what's coming. A co-driver is necessary because, in rally racing, drivers aren't allowed to practice the course ahead of the race. Instead, the driver pushes the car as fast as he or she can, with just a second or two to react after the co-driver calls out the direction and degree of turn coming up ahead. Rally races take place over several days and all types of roads — paved, dirt, gravel and even snow and ice.

Because rally cars have to be street legal, they're accessible for most fans to purchase. That makes rally racing a great place for car companies to build their reputations and gain new customers. Audi has an extensive rally racing history based off of its quattro all-wheel drive system and models of the same name. In 1981, Audi debuted its first quattro car in the Monte Carlo rally. That car was driven by Michèle Mouton, who, that year, became the first woman to win a World Championship rally. According to Audi, "A few nostalgic machos deemed it 'only possible because of quattro,' as if to say that 'even a woman' could win with this technical concept; many others were naturally more impressed by this new, 'modern' situation" [source: Audi Rallying].

Because rally racing takes place in all types of light and weather conditions, as well as different road conditions, visibility, power and road grip are key. The Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept builds on the company's heritage with sleek engineering and technology designed to take Audi's rally racing legacy to the next level.