Audi Sport Quattro concept revealed

* V8 hybrid show car for Frankfurt * 691bhp, 0-62mph in 3.7sec * Production version being considered...

Audi Sport Quattro concept revealed

This is the Audi Sport Quattro concept, a tribute to the classic rally-inspired model that showcases plug-in hybrid technology to offer almost 700bhp.

The Sport Quattro concept looks similar to a previous show car, the Quattro concept, which was revealed three years ago - but while the first vehicle had five-cylinder power, the new model mixes a 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine with an electric motor.

The concept's drivetrain has three modes. It can run on electricity alone for around 30 miles, or in a hybrid mode that manages the petrol engine and electric motor (and even adjusts the sat-nav route for optimum efficiency), with CO2 emissions of around 59g/km. Hybrid mode also allows the driver to 'hold' electric charge, ready for a section of their journey that requires electric-only operation.

A third mode, Sport, focuses on performance, mixing the V8 engine's 553bhp with the 148bhp of the electric motor to produce a combined 691bhp. In this setting, the car can reach 62mph from rest in 3.7 seconds.

The car's styling builds on that of the five-cylinder Quattro concept, with squared-off wheelarches and thick rear pillars that hark back to the original model’s. It's around 40cm longer than the 1980s creation, though, at 4602mm; that's around the same as an Audi A5 Coupe.

The cabin features a slim dashboard, a head-up display, bucket seats and a multi-function steering wheel; Audi says the latter 'provides a glimpse into future sporty production models'.

The Sport Quattro concept might be a tribute to the original Sport Quattro – a shorter-wheelbase version of Audi's rally weapon that was launched in 1983 – but the complexity of the hybrid system means that the new model is considerably heavier than the original. Even with aluminium doors and wings, and carbonfibre technology in the roof, bonnet and rear hatchback, it weighs 1850kg.

At present the Sport Quattro concept is precisely that - a show car designed to show off Audi's plug-in hybrid technology. However, sources suggest that a limited production run of the car, with an accompanying high price, could get the green light in the next couple of years.