Models Racing Special
New start Small Medium: B Large: C Extra large: D Concept_cars
Concept car Auto 2000 Al2 Project Rosemeyer Steppenwolf Avantissimo

The following pictures are official Audi press photos. Thanks very much to Otakar of retractable.free.fr for sending them!

2001, Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA), Germany: After the terrorist attacks in the USA, the world's largest auto show changed its face. Instead of party and music there was a determination not to give in. The fancy parties were cancelled, which was in the interest of everyone. What was not cancelled was a demonstration of current and future possibilities in automotive engineering. Many new cars and concept cars were revealed. Among them the Audi Avantissimo. The picture to the left shows a late artist's impressions of what the car will look like. The Avantissimo was mostly designed using computer-based technics, but having paper-based skills in the beginning surely won't hurt.


The final result is a large station wagon, or Avant in Audi's jargon. The name Avantissimo ressembles Italian and could be the superlativ of Avant or mean "the most advanced" from Italian avanti = ahead. Either way, it's correct. The Avantissimo is modern and large, probably exactly as big as the next A8. With its once again improved Alumimium Audi Space Frame (ASF), quattro and the V8 engine it also has other features we will see in the next A8. So the logical question was if the next A8 will be availabe as an Avant. Until now, no company has really succeeded in producing a top-of-the-line luxury station wagon.


Audi has so far only built one luxury Avant using a V8 as a basis. But this project was by far less serious than the Avantissimo. Officially the Avantissimo is only a showcase to demonstrate what can be done with a luxury station wagon. But why demonstrate, if you do not want to do it, too? Time will tell...
The new Aluminium rims look quite massive, what is achieved by having a "dish" behind the five spokes. I think that look fits the Avantissimo well.


Independent from the fact whether the next A8 will come as a station wagon or not, some things presented in the Avantissimo are very likely to be availabe in normal models. One of them is Audi's intelligent lightning system. It is an advanced version of the Bi-Xenon set-up. The headlights turn left or right when the car corners to provide the best light even in theses situations. A small computer calculates the best angle by taking speed, steering input and GPS position into account. The GPS system is also used for a modern traffic guidance and navigation system, neatly integrated into dashboard.


The picture above shows the air intake below the head lights. This design element is mirrored at the rear, shown in the picture to the left. The recesses below the red part of the rear lights holds the white rear driving light (English term?).
Also noteably are the massive twin exhaust pipes.
The CHMSL (Center High-Mount Stop Light) is almost as wide as the rear window but so slim that it does not spoil the appearance.
I must admit that I do not really know what the indented area between the rear lights is for, as the license plate is probably mounted at the lower area. Perhaps it is just for visually break the large area?


Here the wonderful interior. Thank god that today leather may have colours other than black, charcoal and the like. The dashboard holds two large instruments for speed and rpm and the already mentioned multimedia interface. The important information of the multimedia system is presented between the two large instruments. The center console is pretty wide and holds the Tiptronic shifter and the knobs and dials for (for example) the air condition.

cargo bay

Beautiful, but not extremely large as the emphasis is comfort on all seats. The large wheel wells show in the trunk. Nicely hidden by the brown covers. It is interesting how the trunk id is hinged. The hinge is set back into the roof. That way, a part of the roof swings upward when opening the door. Gives much headroom when un/loading, but I guess short people could get a few problems there, or not?

rear + roof

Here you can see once again how far the trunk lid reaches into the roof. And you can see the glas roof which makes for a very bright interieur. The length of 5.06m (5.53yards) is not very apparent.


Despite the edges and air intakes, the Avantissimo finds a way to be energetic without too much aggression. While the sharp edges would probably cause problems with not only German laws, you can cearly see that Audi will stick to the now trademark of having a chrom (or metal) surrounded grill below the bumper. That way the bumper optically cuts a large grill in half.
Oh, by the way, the Avantissimo is 1.91m (2.1yards)wide.


The heart of the Avantissimo: A twin turbo 4.2litre V8 with 316kW and a massive torque of 600Nm. Rumours are that this engine will see service in the next S8 (and/or the RS6?). The pipes for the turbochargers are effectively laid-out and the engine looks very tidy without having that artificial feeling that often accompanies engines hidden under a plastic cover.

Models Racing Special
New start Small Medium: B Large: C Extra large: D Concept_cars
Concept car Auto 2000 Al2 Project Rosemeyer Steppenwolf Avantissimo

All pictures are official Audi press photos. Thanks very much to Otakar of retractable.free.fr for sending them.
Copyright 2001 Jens
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