The Audi Avantissimo which debuted at the 2001 Frankfurt
Motor Show was in essence an estate version of the Audi
A8 executive saloon.
The bodywork of the Avantissimo concept was formed from
aluminium, just like the model on which it was based.
Up front was a 4.2 litre V8 which produced 430 horsepower
and 600Nm of torque. The power was sent to all four
wheels by a six-speed automatic transmission, which could also be operated manually
via shift paddles behind the steering wheel.
Large sections of the Audi Avantissimo's roof were constructed
using panels of sandwich glass with a dimming facility
which extend right down to the tailgate. There were
additional photo-voltaic cells in the roof panels which
provided sufficient solar energy when the engine is
switched off to operate the ventilation system's fan
and keep the interior of the car cool in hot weather.
The spacious interior of the Avantissimo concept was
generously equipped and trimmed with the finest materials.
For maximum comfort the rear seat cushions can be moved
forward by up to 110 millimetres, and the seat back
reclined a further 19 degrees compared with the normal
upright position. All four seats also featured Integral
lumbar support and massage devices in the backrests.
For maximum security Audi equipped the Avantissimo concept
with a sophisticated driver identification system. An
authorised driver was identified automatically and remotely,
using a signal sensor in the car key. The engine could
only be started after successful driver identification.
The system also incorporated a fingerprint scanner,
which automatically selects the seat position, air conditioning
settings and MMI configuration previously chosen by
each authorised driver it recognises.
In the end Audi decided against putting the Avantissimo
into production. And the A6 Avant remains the top-spec
estate car in Audi's lineup.
Similar and related vehicles:
Audi Quattro Spyder
Audi Le Mans
Audi (Auto Union) Type-D
Audi Shooting Brake
Audi TT Clubsport Quattro
Audi A1 Metroproject
Audi A1 Sportback
Audi Cross Coupe Quattro