700 horsepower. That’s the only number you need to know when it comes to the Audi Sport Quattro Concept, a bi-turbo V8 hybrid that the German automaker claims can return 31 miles of all-electric driving and up to 94 mpg. Those are just details though.
Speculation ahead of the official Audi reveal had hinted at some big horsepower numbers, but coupling a twin-turbo 4.0 liter V8 engine with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain certainly isn’t what I expected. The small V8 engine is good for 560 horsepower by itself, along with 516 ft-lbs of torque. That in and of itself is more than 98% of cars on the road.
Then Audi went a step further with a disc-shaped electric motor sandwiched between the engine and eight-speed tiptronic transmission. The motor adds another 140 horsepower, and peak system output reaches 700 horsepower and 590 ft-lbs of torque. The 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides enough juice for over 30 miles of pure-electric driving, and in Hybrid mode the Audi Sport Quattro Concept can supposedly deliver up to 94 mpg.
Yet Audi has fallen short in a few regards, especially when it comes to curb weight. Despite extensive use of carbon fiber-reinforced polymers and aluminum in the place of steel, the Audi Sport Quattro Concept still comes in at a hefty 4,078 pounds. The only thing heavier would be the price tag, should Audi actually build it.
And they probably won’t. Instead the Audi Sport Quattro Concept another showpiece from an automaker trying to draw in the dollars of the uber-wealthy with high-end hybrids focused on performance. Billionaires don’t have to worry about fuel economy, though the hope is this technology will eventually trickle down into more “pedestrian” models. While that doesn’t dampen my excitement for any 700 horsepower hybrid, it is a reminder of what this Audi concept car is really all about.