The Audi quattro Spyder with its mid-engine concept was a sensation when it was presented to the audience at the 1991 International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt. With its aluminum body, it weighed in at just 1,100 kilograms (2,425.1 lb). Speculation about production of the car in limited numbers brought Audi dealers thousands of advance orders. But the envisioned price of 100,000 German marks could not be met. It remained just a prototype. Just one month later, Audi went one further at the Tokyo Motor Show and exhibited the even more radical concept supercar Avus quattro. Its highly polished aluminum body offered another demonstration of consistent lightweight construction from Audi. The development engineers selected the mid-engine concept for the Avus as well, but this time with double the number of cylinders: for spectacular drive performance, they planned a 509 hp 12-cylinder engine in a “W” arrangement.
The Audi Group S, developed for rally racing, is largely unknown. This one-off car produced in Essen was intended for racing in 1987 but was never put to use. Audi decided to withdraw for safety reasons from the World Rally Championship during the 1986 season that was already underway. A serious accident at the 1986 Portugal Rally – which did not involve an Audi – ultimately prompted the international sport authority FIA to eliminate Group B and the planned Group S from championship racing for the 1987 season. The technical features of the exhibited prototype: tubular steel frame, plastic body and four-valve turbocharged mid-engine.
The oldest exhibit is a Slaby-Beringer built in 1924. This graceful car is equipped with a one-cylinder two-stroke engine from DKW. Also equipped with a DKW engine is the Framo TV 300 three-wheeler built in 1929. The displayed transport car with platform body features 7 hp power output. The DKW F 9 built in 1941, which can be viewed at the Audi booth, is a true rarity. The 28 hp three-cylinder two-stroke engine – a new development at the time – promised outstanding performance. The body was notable for its striking aerodynamic shape. The outbreak of war prevented it from being produced in large numbers. Only ten units were built.
Two motorcycles complete the display of rarities at Techno Classica. From 1928 on, DKW ORe 250 racing motorcycles were permanent fixtures on the winners lists and dominated their cubic capacity class. The bike exhibited in Essen was built in 1930. A unique specimen on two wheels from Audi? In fact, the prototype for a four-cylinder motorcycle with the water-cooled motor of the Audi 50 was produced by Audi Pre-Development – in absolute secrecy – in 1976. The Design department provided the prototype with a typical exterior for the time. Due to sales strategy considerations, the Audi Z02 motorcycle was never produced.
The historical department of AUDI AG is presenting its rarities in a space covering around 700 square meters (7,534.7 sq ft) in Hall 7. Fans and collectors of miniatures can also purchase this year’s model here from Audi Tradition: an orange Audi Sport quattro rally car, limited to 333 copies, in 1:43 scale. Members of the Audi Club International (ACI) will display additional classic cars from the company’s history in Hall 7.1.