With the recent debut of the second-generation Audi R8, BoldRide has decided to look back upon the Ingolstadt-based automaker’s first ever mid-engine supercar, the 1991 Avus Quattro concept. The radical concept, named after the German Avus racing circuit, was introduced at the 1991 Tokyo Motor Show and foreshadowed the arrival of the R8 15 years before its launch.
The Avus sported a polished bare aluminum body, which concealed a W12 engine linked up to a Quattro all-wheel drive system. A W12 wasn’t actually used in the show car, as it was only ever intended to be a design study and Audi’s production W12 motor, later to be offered in the 2001 A8, was still under development.
Today the idea of an Audi supercar is relatively easy to grasp, but in 1991, the concept was pretty radical for the automaker, which was mostly known producing sensible sedans. The sole Avus concept remains in Audi’s museum mobile in Ingolstadt, but its spirit is present in every R8 currently on the road.