It is increasingly difficult to keep the lid on new and exciting car products and concepts, but Audi has managed to surprise the automotive world with an unexpected and very exciting concept. The Audi Nanuk Quattro Concept packs a mid-mounted V10 diesel making gobs of power, a Lamborghini-like body, and off-road capabilities that would make many crossovers jealous.
The heart of this orange off-road beast is a mid-mounted twin-turbocharged 5.0 liter V10 diesel motor churning out 544 horsepower and an unnecessary (but awesome) 738 ft-lbs of torque. Despite sending power to all four wheels and being capable of driving on-road, through the snow, and over sand, Audi claims this performance monster will return up to 30 mpg. Audi claims 0 to 60 mph takes just 3.8 seconds, with a 190 mph top speed. Seeing as how no one will ever probably put this car through the paces though, Audi can claim pretty much whatever they want.
The Audi Nanuk Concept also introduces an innovative four-wheel steering system that allows the rear wheels to turn up to 9 degrees opposite the front wheels at low-to-medium speeds. This helps the 4,200 pound Nanuk achieve a much tighter turning radius, and an air-suspension gives drivers 2.76 inches of adjustment up or down, for all the off-roading this supercar is sure to do.
If the body styling looks similar to you, that’s because the Audi Nanuk Concept design was penned by coachbuilder Italdesign Giugiaro, and shares similar lines to their past concepts. If you ask me, the Audi Nanuk looks like the result of non-consensual sex between a Chevy pickup and an Audi R8. The Nanuk looks pissed off at everything.
This is a crazy, out-there concept car that has no chance of going into production. With a lot of buzz around the also-unlikely Audi Sport Quattro Concept, the four-ring brand has managed to usurp much of the motoring press’s attention with two non-production models, much to the chagrin of other automakers.
Now imagine if Audi actually put one of these concepts into production. That seems unlikely though, especially given the rumor that the next Audi supercar is a diesel-electric two-seater based on the Le Mans-winning R18 e-tron. For now, we’ll just have to gawk at the Nanuk concept and wonder “What if?”