Audi developed the 2013 Audi Nanuk quattro concept show car in collaboration with the designers from Italdesign Giugiaro. Italdesign presented a very similar concept called the Parcour earlier that year, and clearly Audi was paying attention, and have decided to pursue the concept further.
Despite a similar layout and overall shape, the Parcour and Nanuk quattro have a few major differences. Firstly, and understandably, the Nanuk quattro fits in much better with Audi’s current styling direction. And secondly, whereas the Parcour was powered by a Lamborghini-sourced V10, the Nanuk quattro is powered by a newly developed V10 TDI. The powerful 5.0-liter diesel engine produces over 544 hp and delivers 1,000 Nm (737.56 lb-ft) of torque from just 1,500 rpm. A strengthened seven-speed S tronic located behind the engine transfers the torque to a specially designed quattro drivetrain.
The Audi Nanuk quattro concept has a curb weight of around 1,900 kilograms (4,188.78 lb). Yet it sprints from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.8 seconds, and the top speed is 190 mph (305 km/h).
The adaptive air suspension with electronically controlled dampers features the next generation of technology from Audi. The driver can manually adjust the ground clearance of the Audi nanuk quattro concept in three stages: normal, 30 millimeters (1.18 in) lower or 40 millimeters (1.57 in) higher. The system also controls the level of the body itself based on driving speed and the predictive route data supplied by the navigation system. On the highway, for example, the body remains lowered even when the Audi nanuk quattro concept is moving slowly. It is automatically raised when turning onto a gravel road.
The Audi Nanuk quattro also features a clever adaptive steering system which automatically adjusts itself to suit different situations. When the driver steers at low to moderate speeds, the rear wheels turn up to nine degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels. This shortens the wheelbase virtually by around 100 centimeters (39.37 in), reducing the turning circle to roughly 10 meters (32.81 ft). At higher speeds the system turns the rear wheels by as much as 2.5 degrees in the same direction as the front wheels. This extends the wheelbase virtually by around 140 centimeters (55.12 in) for better stability.
The interior of the Audi Nanuk quattro concept is fairly minimalist. The instrument panel is designed to appear as if it is floating. It is supported by aluminum stirrups at the center console, which have soft pads as leg rests. Besides numerous storage compartments, there is also a holder made of a soft material in the scissor doors.
All control elements, including the controls for the electronically controlled air suspension, the touchwheel for navigation and multimedia functions and the turn signals, are concentrated on the center tunnel console and the steering wheel. The seats, with folding backs, pronounced side bolsters and integrated head restraints, are power-adjustable. A mobile phone can be charged inductively in the Audi phone box.
Rather than physical dials and needles, the Nanuk quattro concept has a freely programmable instrument cluster. The driver can call up a variety of displays and information as desired. Two small monitors in the area of the A-pillars serve as digital exterior mirrors and display the images from the cameras on the doors. The same function is provided by the center display mounted on the headlining, which replaces the rearview mirror.
Audi haven’t said anything about making the Nanuk quattro concept a production reality. And given the extremely specific niche it sits in, don’t hold out too much hope. However if they ever decided to get crazy, then I don’t think there would be many complaints.