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How the Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept Works


The Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept's Power
The Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept car sits on stage during a keynote address by Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG, at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept car sits on stage during a keynote address by Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG, at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept's styling builds on the heritage of Audi rally cars from the 1980s. However, with rally racing, looks don't matter at all — power, agility and grip do. And the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept has all of those in spades.

While the original quattro only had a gasoline-powered engine, the Sport quattro laserlight has a plug-in hybrid powertrain. It's powered by a four-liter V-8 engine and a 110 kW electric motor. Together, the two combine for 700 horsepower and can get up to 90 miles per gallon (38 kilometers per liter). For comparison's sake, consider the Toyota Prius Plug-In, a mainstream plug-in hybrid. It has a total of 232 horsepower and gets 50 miles per gallon (21 kilometers per liter) [source: Toyota].

The electric power for the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept is stored in a 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery that Audi says can provide the car with just over 31 miles (50 kilometers) of all-electric driving. It can also hit 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in just 3.7 seconds. By comparison, the all-electric BMW i8 hits 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour ) in 4.5 seconds, but has a 373-mile (600-kilometer) electric range [source: BMW].

The Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept's performance features continue in the car's suspension. A multi-link front and rear suspension, plus stiff shock absorbers and springs, allow for better road holding. The laserlight concept also has Audi's drive select system, which allows the driver to dial in the type of suspension settings needed for the road at hand. Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system, which is the backbone of the company's rally racing history, is also part of the Sport quattro laserlight concept's performance package.

To wring every possible mile out of electric driving, and to make the most efficient use of gas when the engine does need to fire up, the Sport quattro laserlight has a lightweight body. Cast aluminum and steel frame the passenger compartment, while the roof, hood and rear hatch are reinforced carbon fiber. The use of high-tech, light-weight materials gives the Sport quattro laserlight a trim, unladen weight of 4,078.55 pounds (1,849.99 kilograms).

Of course, with the word "light" in the car's name, specifically "laserlight," there's more to the car than just how much it weighs. As revolutionary as the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept's powertrain and performance components are, its headlights are even farther ahead of the pack.


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