Techno Classica Weekend Edition: 1991 Audi Quattro Spyder

This weekend edition focuses on Techno Classica. No, that’s not a new wave band (that’s Classix Nouveaux), but a classic car show held in Essen, Germany, in early April. It’s a show where German manufacturers often like to flaunt their greatest hits, and every now and then something particularly rare takes the stage.
The car to start off the weekend here is the Audi Quattro Spyder from 1991, perhaps one of the best looking Audi concepts ever. It was one of the undeniable stars of this year’s show.

The 1990sness of the Audi, colour and all, is undeniable when you look at the detailing. But it’s as handsome now as ever, and little things here and there tie it to actual, built Audi and VW products. Aren’t those headlights Phaeton-like?
The prototypes – two were built, this Fidzi orange one and a Gomera green car – were powered by a mid-mounted 2.8 V6, which was unusually transverse. 170 hp isn’t a supercar number, but as the car only weighed 1100kg, that’s probably plenty.
Even the interior looked well finished for a prototype. And of course it had a cassette deck.
It’s amazing this thing is a quarter of a century old.

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  1. Sjalabais Avatar

    Actually, if you just squirt at the exterior, it could be 10-15 years younger than it is. That’s pretty impressive.

    1. CraigSu Avatar

      And what exactly do you squirt at the exterior to make it look that much younger? On the other hand, I’m not sure I want to know.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        I’m going to raise the language card, lie down flat on the floor, and hope this thing just passes. Oi oi.

        1. julkinen Avatar

          I died at “on the other hand” 😀

  2. JayP Avatar

    The Spyder was kind shoved to the side by the press when the Avus came out.

  3. JayP Avatar

    The Spyder was shoved to the side by the press when the Avus came out.
    From what I read over the 25 years, the Spyder was kinda left over from the Group B days. Audi was running the front engine S1 while everyone else had gone mid. Audi wanted to stay true to the production car and was late to the mid engine game. There was one or 2 cars built when B was cancelled. Some of that tech made it to the Spyder.
    That was about the same time Audi was phasing out the 5 cyls and making a big deal out of the V6 and it’s new aluminum production processes. 170 hp may sound underwhelming today. AND IT WAS THEN TOO!
    The V6 isn’t even a VR6! That’s another strange story… Audi and VW both build V6’s, both make about the same power.
    To be honest, the Spyder has aged better than the Avus.

  4. NapoleonSolo Avatar

    Fidzi orange, my foot. That’s Kiwi Orange, and a very nice shade of it.

    1. Vairship Avatar

      Kiwis are green or all-black, everyone knows that 😉

  5. NapoleonSolo Avatar

    Beautiful car.

  6. Jofes2 Avatar

    “It’s amazing this thing is a quarter of a decade old.”
    Decade? You wish, don’t you?

    1. julkinen Avatar


    2. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
      dead_elvis, inc.

      When a good friend turned 25, a very blonde friend of ours gave him a birthday card in which she’d written “cheers to your first half century”. He’s turning 50 next year and I plan on congratulating him on being really, really old.

  7. salguod Avatar

    Dear Audi,
    Gather your design team around this car and let them gaze at it for a few hours and hopefully they’ll be reminded of the beautiful, simple, timeless elegance that once was the hallmark of your aesthetic.
    Simply stunning.

    1. wunno sev Avatar
      wunno sev

      seriously. this is that ’90s Audi super-Bauhaus design language taken to its supercar conclusion. i love it – it’s unfussy without being “minimalist”, and it achieves a sort of spermy look that i’ve never seen in another car. works really well.

    2. Maymar Avatar

      The worst thing is, as underwhelming as the current A3 is, it’s still what passes for tasteful with newish premium cars.

  8. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    Really lovely, and looking production ready. The front 3/4 makes me think of the Nissan 300ZX, while the rear channels some Ferrari flying buttresses.

    1. crank_case Avatar

      The proportions are almost contemporary Ferrari 348.

  9. JayP Avatar

    A few years later Audi presented the TT Concept. Basically a cool looking Golf.
    Those of us in the US flying the Audi flag had nothing to cheer for. UrQuatttros weren’t imported. Audi’s rally and road racing had ended. All that was left was Hans Stuck racing that big V8 in touring car.
    But there was the hint of the Spyder. Then the tease of the Avus… then the Audi TT.

    1. Van_Sarockin Avatar

      TT was amazing. Especially in hardtop with basketball interior. At least as a design statement. Totally together.

      1. JayP Avatar

        That was the time when Honda had just showed the S2000, the Boxster was coming and everyone had a rwd concept. The TT looked good, not the sports car.

  10. MattC Avatar

    It is amazing to see a concept car that with very few changes would not look out of place in the 21st century. This is an exceedingly beautiful concept.

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