Audi R4 Concept

Once the most followed sport in the world, WRC is now dwindling. The answer: bring back ‘Group B’, the 80’s extreme rallying series. Wild cars and a free rule book, attracting top manufacturers, drivers, innovators - and more fans, just as in the 80s! The R4 is my vision for how modern Group B cars would look.

The R4’s design pays homage to several cars which are iconic in rallying—although most cues are incidental, led by purpose. These include the roof wings/fins, first seen on the Subaru Impreza WRC, which aid stability at high speeds. In proportion and silhouette, R4 is similar to the Lancia Stratos and 037. However, this is still a thoroughly modern design, nothing is meant to be retro but the car’s spirit.

The intention was a taut, agile, and aggressive car, visibly powerful and extremely lively to drive. The front and rear DRGs help to define this character. The front is menacing, with a focus on aerodynamic function and cooling. It is dominated by a row of projector lamps, held under an ‘aero deck’ which cuts drag and produces downforce. The headlamp DRLs are in-keeping with Audi’s usual signature.

Like the front, the rear design is led by aerodynamics. The rear of the car is abruptly terminated by a kamm tail, into which a large recess is cut, housing the lamps, exhaust and carbon diffuser. Essential mud flaps are a final addition to a totally functional, graphical rear end design.

R4’s design is led by aerodynamics. The body is constructed in layers, which channel and shape the airflow around the car for maximum downforce. Cooling of the car’s 2.0 4-cylinder TDi engine is also a major concern, with deep side intakes feeding radiators and hood louvres to vent heat. The carbon brakes too are fed with air. Additionally, the wheels on the rally car use carbon discs to reduce drag and turbulence, an idea explored during Formula 1’s ‘Aero-era’.

Source: Thomas Gilbert

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