January 5, 2003

Audi Pikes Peak quattro Concept Study
Text and pictures courtesy of Audi AG

Premiere in Detroit: at the North American International Motor Show (January 5 to 20, 2003) Audi is exhibiting a sport concept study: the Pikes Peak quattro, for all on-road driving and moderate off-road terrain. It has been developed exclusively for this debut at America's most important automobile exhibition.

This impressive study for an Audi that is typical in its suitability for several market segments, takes its name from Pikes Peak, a mountain some 4,300 meters (14,110 feet) high that rises abruptly out of the Colorado Plain of the Rocky Mountains. It can be seen from many miles away and is also called "America's Mountain".

It is a gathering place for automobile enthusiasts on account of the "Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Race". Every year in June, up to 160 fearless drivers tackle this 12.4 mile (almost 21 kilometer) long run, which has straights on which 125 mph (200 km/h) can be reached but also 156 corners with loose stone surfaces, unprotected by any form of crash barrier.

Three victories have made the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Race part of the successful history of Audi Motorsport. In 1985 it was won by Michèle Mouton, the first woman driver ever to win a world championship rally. A year later, the legendary American race driver Bobby Unser proved to be unbeatable, and in 1987 Walter Röhrl in the Audi Sport quattro S1 scored a much-admired overall victory by conquering the Peak in the new record time of 10:47.85 minutes.

The qualities possessed by the Audi Pikes Peak quattro exhibit definite parallels with the world of rallying, that high-speed sport mostly conducted on loose-surfaced roads and tracks. However, the Audi Pikes Peak quattro for 2003 is considerably more versatile than the Audi Sport quattro that was so successful 15 years ago.

The idea behind the Audi Pikes Peak quattro

This four-door 4+2-seat hatchback is a draft design that indicates the systematic evolutionary path that current Audi design could take - but it is more besides: the Pikes Peak quattro illustrates the novel AUDI AG concept that spans several segments in the premium automobile category.

The Audi Pikes Peak quattro is notable for the manner in which it combines the sheer power of the legendary Audi quattro and an advanced design concept that brings together elements from widely varying types of automobile.

The Audi Pikes Peak quattro is a crossover model. It possesses typical qualities from a number of different automobile categories. From the luxury sport sedan it adopts dynamism and comfort, but its off-road competence comes from its variable-height adaptive air suspension and quattro driveline. This is not all: the Audi Pikes Peak quattro is equally convincing with its innovative seating concept with variable elements as used in luxury vans.

What makes the Audi Pikes Peak quattro a truly forward-looking concept are its restrained but elegant proportions, with a confident air of supremacy and styling full of character that set it well apart from clumsy attempts to interpret the theme of a `go-anywhere' vehicle.

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