Loosely based on the RS5, the new Quattro sits on a wheelbase that has been cut by 5.9 inches. The rear overhang was shortened by 7.9 inches, and the roofline was lowered by 1.6 inches. Together, these reductions add up to a much tighter package and more muscular proportions. To bring the weight down to 2900 pounds (roughly the same level as the 1984 Sport Quattro), Audi replaced the steel body of the production RS5 with a custom aluminum spaceframe architecture clad with carbon fiber panels. A further cut in calories was achieved by substituting the V-8 and the dual-clutch transmission with a turbocharged five-cylinder and a manual six-speed gearbox.
Dubbed PQ3010 (Project Quattro, 30th anniversary, out in 2010), the distant RS5 relative is 168.5 inches long, 73.2 inches wide, and 52.4 inches tall. The wheelbase measures 102.4 inches. Unlike the Sport Quattro, which was a token 2+2-seater, the revival can accommodate only two adults. Between the seats and the rear crossbrace-cum-firewall to which the safety belt assembly is attached, there is space for helmets, a roll cage, or a couple of fire extinguishers. The actual cargo deck extends further backwards where Audi opted for a classic trunk lid in place of a hatch. The undersides of the carbon body panels are left unpainted, to display the maker's weight-consciousness.
With the exception of wheels and tailpipes, the exterior is strictly a black and white affair. As a world first, the LED headlights boast dynamic components that vary from horizontal to vertical and from slit-eyed to wide open. Instead of conventional turn signals, the new light units incorporate amber streaks (front) and moving yellow brackets (rear).
Although this new Quattro stays true to the turbo five-cylinder heritage, its output is considerably greater than the original. The new engine (the same base unit as in the Jetta) features four valves per cylinder and displaces 2.5 liters rather than 2.1; the peak power output is 408 hp (from 5400 to 6500 rpm) rather than 306 hp; and the torque peak (which stretches from 1600 to 5300 rpm) is 354 pound feet instead of 258. To keep vibrations at bay, the engineers fitted a large damper to the front end of the crankshaft. The firing order and the ignition interval were also tweaked for improved smoothness.