by Stuart Schwartzapfel
Small, practical cars have a reputation for being boring. Audi begs to differ. The luxury manufacturer's A3 TDI Clubsport Quattro is a concept car created to cater to Audi fans at the 2008 Wörthersee Tour, the annual meeting of Volkswagen and Audi enthusiasts in Austria that took place in late May. The concept is based on the company's A3 hatch, which is already in production.
Audi has shown a string of high-powered diesel concept and production vehicles since last December. For its part, the A3 TDI Clubsport Quattro features a turbo diesel version of the company's 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. It pumps out 221 horses and an astonishing 332 pound-feet of torque. The car's body, meanwhile, was inspired by Audi's DTM race car. Race-tuned details include gaping front air dams, flared fenders, and a large rear spoiler.
The Verdict: A hot hatch that's sure to redefine the meaning of small, practical cars.
Stuart Schwartzapfel is a regular contributor to BusinessWeek.com. Hehas studied the automotive marketplace and works as an advertising and marketing strategist for major manufacturers. He does not write about any car brands for which he currently works.