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2001 Audi Avantissimo Concept

At the 2001 Frankfurt Motorshow, Audi stole the spotlight with the Avantissimo concept, a superlative iteration of Audi's avants featuring a twin-turbocharged V8 engine propelling power to all four wheels through the renowned Quattro system. Beyond its powerhouse performance, the Avantissimo was a testing ground for innovative technologies that would later grace future Audi models.

The expected W12 engine was surprisingly absent, replaced by a still-impressive 4.2-liter V8 with twin turbochargers, generating 430 hp and 600 Nm of torque. The car's six-speed automatic transmission was controlled by buttons in the steering wheel area, ensuring a seamless driving experience.

Designed for power, the Avantissimo boasted a permanent all-wheel drive and an aluminum body based on Audi's proprietary ASF space frame. The chassis featured the latest Electronic Stability Program and a hydraulic after-braking system. The car's suspension elements, reminiscent of the A4, included a four-lever front geometry and airbags for adjustable ground clearance.

The Avantissimo introduced the Multimedia Interface (MMI), offering three suspension modes: automatic, sport, and comfort. Michelin PAX tires, with a unique internal plastic bandage, allowed the car to travel up to 200 km after a puncture at a speed of 80 km/h.

In a departure from tradition, the Avantissimo's trunk design took center stage. The trunk extended 460 mm, opening automatically via an electro-hydraulic mechanism. The absence of a spare tire led to a reimagined layout, allowing for easy loading and an extended cargo compartment.

Designed for long-distance travel, the Avantissimo's rear seats mirrored a first-class airliner cabin, featuring a reclining sofa cushion and entertainment systems. Technical innovations included a roof with variable transparency, solar panels for ventilation, and Audi's Advanced Lighting System, showcasing bi-xenon headlights with computer-controlled movable reflectors.

Denis Orlov aptly concluded, "The Avantissimo concept car shows that the company is ready to take rather unconventional moves to change the current configuration," reinforcing Audi's commitment to pushing the boundaries of luxury and innovation in the automotive landscape.

Source & Images: AUDI AG