We’ve seen luxury SUVs, sporty SUVs, coupe SUVs and convertible SUVs, but no one has ever made a proper supercar SUV… Until now that is!
This, is the Audi Nanuk concept, and roughly translated its name means ‘Polar Bear’, which is a bit weird. Anyway, the Nanuk was designed by the same team from Italdesign Giugiaro that built the Parcour concept which was shown at this year’s Geneva Motor Show and this is an Audi version of that intriguing car.
The idea behind the Nanuk concept is to preview what a ‘go anywhere’ supercar from Audi might be like and it’s said to preview the styling direction taken for the next generation R8 and future Audi Q models. Apparently there’s even a production possibility for this sort of car, Audi reckon that there are “certain markets” that would be very interested in a vehicle of this sort – think China and the Middle East -, though the project hasn’t yet been green lighted.
Showcasing Audi’s new family of diesel engines – which will include V6s, V8s and V10s – is the Nanuk’s monster 5.0liter turbo-diesel V10 engine. It produces 544hp and no less than 1000nm (738lb-ft) of torque, so, as you’d imagine it is quite fast. Despite its staggering 1900kg mass, the Nanuk will accelerate from 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds and at full stride this weird looking Polar Bear will be doing 190mph. But what’s even more impressive is that if it were to exist in the real world (riding on a modified R8 chassis) the Nanuk could do 36mpg.
The Nanuk’s air suspension system is pretty nifty as well. It can adapt to surface conditions automatically or the driver can select from three different settings which each raise or lower the ride height. Basically it allows the car to be a ground-hugging supercar when you want and rugged rock crawler when you don’t. There’s also a four wheel steering featuring which can turn the rear wheels by up to nine degrees in the opposite direction to the fronts at low speeds to aid maneuverability off road. Very clever.
The Nanuk probably seems like a classic ‘shock and awe’ concept car that’ll never enter production to most, but the world will take any kind of SUV it can get – the disgusting BMW X6 is a prime example of that. We’ve seen the SUV-ification of coupes, convertibles, and luxury cars now, so why not supercars? This Polar Bear could go further than you think.
By Aiden Taylor (@AidenT_RD)