It feels raw. Strapped into the Sparco seats there is a purposeful mood to this experience.
Despite being surrounded by some soft leather and quality trim, the minimalism of the dash serves to diminish any distractions to the aim of the game: driving fast.
In front of you is a large LCD instrument pod with an ‘‘everyday’’ mode and a ‘‘race’’ mode that mirrors the original’s instruments and also can show GPS renderings of race circuits.
Fire it up with the ominous red starter button and you immediately feel the engine vibes come up through the thin seat.
You are also aurally assaulted by the disharmonious five-potter as most of the sound-deadening material is stripped out for weight saving.
We are restricted to slow speeds on the test drive.
After all, says Schlossmacher: ‘‘There is only one of these in existence and we have to bring it back alive.’’
Yet it feels special, even at the relatively low speeds we are allowed on the test drive through the hills behind Charlie Sheen’s Malibu mansion in Two and a Half Men.
Highway patrol cars provide an escort and have blocked the top and bottom of the road because the car is unregistered.
The lithe handling feels exciting and the steering is sensual. It feels connected to the road. Unfortunately, there is no scope for testing its performance potential in the five minutes we spend driving the closed public road.
It gets the slick S5 six-speed manual gearbox which is an absolute joy to use plus the firm but fair suspension from the RS5.
The roads here are billiard-tablesmooth, so it glides along with a stress-free ride.
There are plenty of rattles and squeaks in the body and trim, but after all this is a priceless one-off concept car that has not had the usual rigorous pre-production testing.
However, there is a certain inevitable feel about the car that says Audi is itching to get this into production.
A board decision on the car’s future will be made in the next three months. Bring it on.
The raw Audi Quattro concept’s cabin The cars were so powerful and fast, the World Rally Championship permanently banned them in 1986.
But a quarter of a century later their hero status lives on.
Audi Quattro Sport is among the legends of this infamous Group B rally class that raced from 1982 to 1986, winning two constructor and two driver championships.
The Quattro not only won more Group B rallies than any other car of its time, but also the 1985 and 1987 Pikes Peak hillclimb.
Apart from all-wheel drive, which became the norm for WRC cars, the Quattro was full of advanced technology such as ABS and selflocking differentials.
Only 206 Quattros were built, including rally cars.
About half that number exist today and are avidly sought collectors’ cars, fetching as much as $500,000.
RAW POWER: Just bring it on