Offering a first and extremely enticing glimpse of a vehicle the automaker hopes to one day market as a limited-production halo car, Audi has released these official sketches of its new generation Quattro Concept. Destined to be one of the stars of the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show, it reportedly will step well beyond the earlier Audi Quattro Concept that was unveiled at the 2010 Paris Auto Show, both in design and performance potential.

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Resurrecting the spirit of the original Audi Quattro and rally-inspired short-wheelbase Sport Quattro -- a limited-production homologation model that hit showrooms in 1984 -- this latest Quattro Concept is a 2+2 coupe that matches bold bodywork with what's rumored to be an e-tron-enhanced plug-in hybrid powertrain. Key elements in that motivational combo are thought to be the automaker's 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 and an electric motor that develop between 600-700 combined horsepower and give this exhilarating Audi a top speed approaching 200 mph. While the previous Quattro Concept was based on a modified Audi RS5 platform, this iteration is believed to be slightly larger in scale and ride on a bespoke version of the modular architecture that currently underpins the A6/A7/A8.

Visually, the latest Audi Quattro Concept embodies several signature elements common to all of its predecessors, highlighted by an aggressive stance and prominent C-pillar treatment, which is joined here by a large extractor vent behind the front wheel well. Both carbon-fiber enhanced fascias on the new Quattro Concept also feature a host of hard-core cues, from the massive grille and air intakes up front to a highly functional rear diffuser that also houses a pair of huge circular exhaust outlets. Rounding out the racy look are aero-optimized carbon-fiber side sills.

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Inside, the Quattro Concept features a sleek and minimalist but highly functional appearance that includes four individual sport bucket seats and a prominent carbon-fiber center tunnel as well as a massive transverse stiffening element located just behind the rear perches. The car's asymmetric dash is highlighted by a new reconfigurable instrument cluster that houses a center tachometer with a 6,500 rpm redline flanked by supplemental displays that include speed and gear data as well as a track diagram for use on ultimate "play days." The three-spoke multifunction sport steering wheel features shifter paddles to operate the car's automatic transmission, although it's not yet known whether it will have seven or eight speeds. In keeping with current Audi design thinking, the Quattro Concept also features the latest version of the automaker's multimedia interface (MMI) system.

More details to come when this latest Audi dream machine takes the stage next month in Frankfurt.

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