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Audi Nanuk concept is a 189mph off-roading diesel R8

Just when you thought concept cars were getting a bit predictable, Audi has come along and unveiled a mental new mashup that fuses off-road capabilities with high performance and impressive fuel efficiency.

Meet the Nanuk. This bonkers contraption uses a 5.0-litre V10 TDI diesel engine that generates an impressive 544bhp and an absurd 999Nm of torque. Even though the Nanuk weighs a hefty 1,900kg, it can still haul ass – 0 to 62mph takes a mere 3.8 seconds and the top speed is quoted at 189 mph.

Quoted fuel economy, meanwhile, is an impressive 36.2mpg. Sure, you’ll have to drive incredibly slowly to achieve that, but it’s still impressive given the sheer performance on offer. 

The Nanuk has adaptive air suspension that can adjust ride height by 70mm, allowing you to go places most Audis would get stuck. Cleverly, the car can automatically adjust its ride height based on route data provided by the car’s built-in navigation system.

Other additions include carbon ceramic brakes sat behind sizeable 22-inch wheels and a four-wheel steering system; the front and rear wheels turn in opposite directions when travelling at low speed, and can turn in the same direction when travelling more quickly.

The 4541mm long, 1,990mm wide and 1,337 high body is based around a space frame made from aluminium, while the body panels are made from a carbon fibre reinforced polymer. Not the sort of car you want to accidentally scrape, then.

Audi says the Nanuk is a hint of what future models, including the R8, could look like.

We’re all for it, but we get the feeling this particular creation will remain a concept. However, that engine and certain aspects of the design could well make it into next generation Audis.

Given the rising popularity of crossovers, we get the feeling this won’t be the last we see of the Nanuk.

Audi Nanuk Pictures

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