Audi rocked 1991 with these two concept cars; here’s your chance to see them

1991 Audi quattro Spyder concept

Audi all-star concepts return to Techno Classica Essen

Audi will bring two of its best-known concept cars to Techno Classica Essen, the world’s biggest classic car exhibition that takes place in the German city of the same name every April.

The Ingolstadt-based automaker wants to rekindle 25-year-old memories by showing the Audi quattro Spyder and the Audi Avus Quattro concept cars, both of which debuted in 1991.

The midengined quattro Spyder made a huge splash at the Frankfurt motor show that year, wowing crowds with its sleek design, aluminum skin and modest 2,425-pound curb weight (but mostly its sleek design). Dealers clamored for the car with talk of a limited production of the model running rampant, but ultimately Audi could not meet the target price of 100,000 Deutsche marks, and the project was shelved. The aluminum construction made it into the first-generation Audi A8, which debuted in Europe in 1994, though the overall shape of the car would not be revisited until the R8 coupe debuted in 2006.

1991 Audi quattro Spyder concept rear

Audi’s second big 1991 hit was the Avus Quattro concept, a far more futuristic design that also showcased lightweight materials and techniques. The Avus was midengined as well, but in contrast with the quattro Spyder, it packed a W12 engine good for 509 hp.

Sound familiar? Audi brought the W12 monster into production in the twilight years of the first-generation A8 sedan 10 years later in 2001. The production 6.0-liter W12 made from two VR6 engines churned out 414 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque, with Audi offering this model in Europe and Asia. Don’t be surprised if you’ve never seen one; the company made just 750 examples of that first-gen A8 with the W12 underhood, though the W12 found its way into the second-generation A8 as well as the Volkswagen Phaeton.

1991 Audi Avus Quattro concept

Audi will have a few more heritage cars on display at the Essen show, with the oldest dating back to 1924.

Techno Classica Essen runs from April 6-10. Visit the event website for the complete schedule.