Audi Nanuk Quattro Concept is One Wild Ride

Another surprise from Frankfurt.

by on Sep.10, 2013

Audi teamed with Italdesign on the Nanuk Concept.

Audi, it seems, is full of surprises as it helps get the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show underway.  We’ve already gotten a look at the Sport Quattro Concept and the new 2014 A3 Cabriolet, but this year the maker is kicking in with a third new design, the wild and striking Audi Nanuk Quattro Concept.

Bearing hints of a tricked-out A7 – with just a hint, dare we say it, of a Chevy Camaro – it’s an all-wheel-drive, turbo-diesel supercar designed by the legendary Italdesign Giugiaro. Oh, and if the Nanuk creates a sense of déjà vu, no surprise. The Italdesign team just happened to craft the not-so-coincidentally similar Giugiaro Parcour Concept for Audi earlier this year.

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Like the Sport Quattro Concept, the Nanuk highlights the Audi all-wheel-drive system, and it is also meant to prove that high performance is not necessarily synonymous with low fuel economy.

The Nanuck’s twin-turbocharged 5.0-liter V-10 turbodiesel pours out a solid 544 horsepower – but what’s really impressive is its 738 pound-feet of torque delivered through a modified 7-speed Steptronic gearbox.  That’s enough to launch the nearly 4,200-pound concept vehicle from 0 to 100 kmh – 0 to 62.5 mph – in a mere 3.8 seconds, with Nanuck top speed rated at 190 mph.

The Audi Nanuk Concept with its gull-wings open shown here at the Frankfurt Motor Show debut.

Oh, and it still delivers around 30 miles per gallon, Audi and Giugiaro claim.

(Click Here to check out the Audi Sport Quattro Concept.

Along with an updated Quattro drive package, the Nanuk features an electronically controlled suspension that allows a driver to adjust ground clearance in three steps, lowering it by 1.2 inches on the highway, or raising it 1.6 inches on rough pavement or in inclement weather.  But the system also will adjust body height automatically based on driving speed and route data supply by the navigation system.

(For a first look at the new 2014 Audi A3 Cabriolet, Click Here.)

One of the most promising new technologies, meanwhile, is the Audi Nanuk’s integral steering, the latest attempt to develop a functional – and, for the driver, enjoyable – all-wheel-steering system. The rear wheels can turn up to nine degrees. At low speeds, they point in the opposite direction from the front wheels, which has the same effect as shortening the wheelbase of the car by about 40 inches. In other words, it can swing into a parking spot or make a U-turn as effectively as a subcompact.

The Nanuk shows that diesels can deliver solid performance as well as great mileage.

At higher speeds, the rear wheels turn up to 2.5 degrees in the same direction as the front wheels – functionally extending the wheelbase by 55 inches to improve stability. Audi claims that’s particularly beneficial in fast corners and emergency avoidance maneuvers.

With its distinctive LED lamps, sporty profile and muscular rear the Nanuk is generating a strong buzz and lots of questions about what – if any – influence it might have in the near to mid-term on Audi’s design direction.

(Click Here for’s complete round-up from the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show!)

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One Response to “Audi Nanuk Quattro Concept is One Wild Ride”

  1. Jorge M. says:

    Don’t care for the car but the Volkswagen derived V-10 Turbo Diesel is a proven design and a wonderful engine.

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