Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept -- 591 hp and electric turbo boost
Each May, Lake Wörthersee in Reifnitz, Austria, hosts the ultimate gathering for fans of the Volkswagen Group who arrive by the thousands to check out what always turns out to be an amazing selection of modified production cars and forward-looking one-offs. First of the big reveals to take place this year is the Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept. This race-ready design exercise gets its motivation from an experimental 2.5-liter/5-cylinder TFSI gasoline engine that cranks out a heady 591 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque, prodigious output figures made possible by the automaker's groundbreaking electrically-assisted turbocharging system.
Technology that's heading to the street
"The electric biturbo signifies a new dimension in driving enjoyment; it boosts sprinting ability and torque and enables high peak power," explains Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi Board Member for Technical Development. "In our TDI engines, we are close to production readiness with this technology. We are now presenting it in a TFSI - here too, we are the first automaker in the world to do this."
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The Clubsport Turbo Concept's variation of what Audi calls its electric bitubo setup was first seen last year on the Audi RS5 TDI Concept. In this application, it matches a single, large conventional exhaust-driven turbocharger with an electrically powered supercharger unit. Energized by its own rear-mounted 48-volt lithium-ion battery pack that gets replenished on the fly via regenerative braking or during coast-downs, this supplemental "e-turbo" spins to speed in an instant, virtually banishing lag and helping the engine develop its peak torque from 3,000 to 7,000 rpm. Sending that motive force to a 6-speed manual transmission and out to each wheel via Audi's Quattro system, the 3,078-pound TT Clubsport Turbo Concept sprints from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds and tops out at 193 mph.
Building on a high-speed heritage
Inspired by the awesome Audi 90 IMSA GTO car that successfully competed in the 1980's, the TT Clubsport Turbo Concept features unique wide-body exterior panels with aero-optimized contours and detailing from its bold Singleframe grille flanked by Matrix LED headlamps to its large manually adjustable rear wing and highly efficient lower diffuser. The car's fully adjustable coilover suspension with electric lifting function is complemented by a bespoke electronic stability control system with torque vectoring while stopping power comes from lightweight carbon-ceramic brakes. Keeping it hooked up to the track are sticky 275/30 Pirelli P Zero tires wrapped around 20-inch bi-color alloy wheels.
The competition-spec character continues inside of the TT Clubsport Turbo Concept, starting with a pair of racing shell buckets covered in Coral Orange Alcantara and fitted with 4-point belts. Audi's Virtual Cockpit instrument display is teamed with a multifunction sport steering wheel that has four ancillary buttons to allow the driver quick, easy control of all key operating functions and a titanium rear roll cage adds stiffness to the platform while bolstering safety.
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