There are few things in the automotive world that are as exciting as concept cars. Even though it is pretty rare for a production vehicle to hit the streets bearing a strong resemblance to its initial concept car, the concepts allow people to see the direction that an automaker is headed in. Everything from the design to the technology tells us something about the manufacturer’s future, while also being fascinating in and of itself. And few car companies do concepts better than Audi, which simultaneously pushes the envelope and follows through more than many of its competitors. Audi has had a long line of awesome concept cars in the past; here are three of the most interesting recent iterations:
Sport Quattro Laserlight
In January 2014, at the Consumer Electronics show, Audi introduced this fascinating and groundbreaking concept, which it promised was a sign of things to come for the company. The Laserlight is a high-performance hybrid, combining a powerful V-8 with an efficient 110kw electric engine. The result? A mind-blowing 700 horsepower, creating a car that drives like supercar, but can handle the gas pumps better than 99% of cars on the market. In fact, thanks to the engine and extensive use of lightweight carbon fiber parts, Audi claims that the Laserlight can get as many as 90 miles to the gallon. The computer system on the Laserlight is equally advanced, offering innovations galore. Visually, the car is pretty, but not as wild as many concept cars are, which leads many to believe that it has a noteworthy chance of actually being produced.
The D7 continues Audi’s trend of innovating towards engine efficiency. But, most notably, the D7 is a vibrant and exotic car from an aesthetic standpoint. The car immediately stands out because of its neon lights, which are not only present in the front and back of the car, but as strips leading from the headlights to the taillights. While the D7 features great technology – namely in its powerful electric engine – it’s all about the visual with this car. If Audi draws any aesthetic inspiration from the D7 Electric – which was designed for Iran’s “From Dream to Reality” exhibition – they’ll be making a huge leap as a company.
Audi stunned the automotive world at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto show with this unexpected concept that is supposed to be a blend of super car and rally car. The Nanuk looks like it would be a wildly fun car for auto enthusiasts. It boasts a twin turbodiesel V-10 that cranks out 550 horsepower and a whopping 738 lb-ft of torque, all hooked up to a technologically advanced seven-speed dual clutch gearbox, and, of course, all-wheel drive. Visually, the car looks both stunning, and like something that Audi could actually produce in the not too distant future. The Nanuk is certainly a success as a concept car.
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