REPORTS OUT OF EUROPE suggest that Audi is moving closer to shifting speculation of an Audi Ur-Quattro rebirth into reality, with news firming of an ultra-lightweight all-wheel-drive model based on the A5 coupe planned for a late 2010 launch.
Though likely to lack the original bespoke bodywork, the Ur-Quattro coupe is expected to feature a lightweight body and a target weight of under 1400kg - some 240kg lighter than the standard A5.
Weight-saving technologies, including motorsport-inspired polycarbonate windows in place of glass, and extensive use of aluminium in the body are likely to feature on the new car. The stripped-out approach may even see air-conditioning deleted, or the smallest possible unit fitted, in the hunt to reduce weight.
Power is likely to be provided by Audi's 4.2 litre V8, or - like the turbo-charged original Ur-Quattro - a twin-turbo V6 developing 315kW or the twin-turbo 2.5 litre 223kW five-cylinder of the Audi TT-RS could also feature.
Audi enthusiasts have had a long wait for a successor to the original giant-killing Quattro. The new version - if the reports are correct - would likely slot into the carmaker's line-up between the S5 and the R8, in both price and performance.
While it is known that Audi working on an RS5 model, due in 2010, it is unclear how the Ur-Quattro and the RS5 will fit into the Audi line-up, or if the two are in fact the same car.