Plug-in drivetrain rather than Quattro technology makes the headlines this time, however, with the new concept boasting impressive performance and efficiency in equal measure.
The Audi Sport quattro combines a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine with an electric motor to create system outputs of 515kW of power and 880Nm of torque.
This brings an acceleration figure of 3.7 seconds for the 0-100km/h run and a top speed of 305km/h, though the quattro concept uses just 2.5 litres of fuel per 100km and emits only 59 grams of CO2 per kilometre.
Fuel economy is additionally aided by cylinder deactivation that effectively reduces the model to being a four-cylinder on light throttle, and stop-start.
An eight-speed ‘tiptronic’ automatic transmission puts power to the road via all four wheels, while the Audi Sport quattro concept also features a sport differential on the rear axle to vary torque distribution between the back wheels.
The Sport quattro features three driving modes. EV mode enables the car to travel up to 50km using only the 110kW/400Nm electric motor that’s powered by a lithium-ion battery.
Hybrid mode combines the 412kW/700Nm V8 with the electric motor and can use the satellite navigation to calculate the most efficient use of the two motors for a particular route. A Hold/Charge function also allows drivers to store up extra battery charge for later use.
To extract maximum performance from the Audi Sport quattro, a Sport mode ensures the V8 is constantly supported by electric boost.
Audi has constructed the concept from a variety of lightweight materials inside and out, though the 4.6m-long Sport quattro still weighs 1850kg.
The bonnet, roof and rear hatch are made from carbonfibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) and aluminium is used for the doors and front quarter panels.
The driver-focused interior includes racing-style bucket seats, a 2+2 seating layout, a slim dash featuring an embossed ‘quattro’ logo, and a digital instrument cluster.
The multi-function steering wheel of the Audi Sport quattro points to future steering wheels for the company’s models, and takes a cue from Ferrari by including key buttons such as engine start/stop.
The quattro steering wheel also includes Drive Select, S(port) and EV mode buttons.
As the 2010 Audi Quattro concept marked the 30th anniversary of the 1980 Ur Quattro, the 2013 Audi Sport quattro concept pays homage to the Sport quattro model of 1983 that served homologation purposes for the company’s Quattro world rally car.
The latest concept was previewed in leaked sketches makes a number of visual nods to the original Quattro models, including the shape of the rear pillars, rectangular double headlights, rectangular tail-lights and ‘blisters’ on the front quarter panels.
Contemporary Audi design cues are also prominent, however - not least in the large hexagonal grille.
The Audi Sport quattro concept will debut at this month’s 2013 Frankfurt motor show, with a production model tipped for around 2016.