Audi Nanuck Concept makes surprise Frankfurt appearance

Audi surprised guests and organisers the evening before the Frankfurt Motor Show opened with the appearance of a new diesel sports car. The Nanuck Concept was produced in collaboration with ItalDesign Giugiaro, and Audi reveal that the design 'language' is likely to be seen across its range of new-generation SUVs.

The Nanuck has a 5-litre, mid-mounted V10 TDI engine that will provide give a top speed of 190 mph and, if Audi's claims are correct, a commendable 36mpg.

Fabrizio Giugiaro from ItalDesign Giugiaro confirmed that its Parcour model provided the inspiration for the Nanuck. He added that his company's original concept was particularly welcomed by Audi for its four-wheel drive and mid-engine layout.

The Nanuck's four-wheel-drive steering enables the back wheels to turn in the opposite direction to those at the front when driven at low speed. Another innovation is its three-staged air suspension, which reacts to different driving conditions or can be used to manually turn the car into an off-roader.

Audi insist that there has been no decision to take the concept further at present, and it seems that the main purpose of the surprise unveiling was to provoke a reaction. It remains to be seen whether the concept will ever become a reality for Audi fans.