The 448 kW Nuvolari concept car was not a novelty - Audi will preview a sportscar that was designed to take on the hallowed Porsche 911, at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Audi will unveil a sportscar concept designated as a Porsche 911 beater at the Frankfurt motor show in September, according to Automotive News Europe.

Featured in CARtoday.com in March and the May issue of CAR magazine, the Nuvolari quattro concept study, which was shown at the Geneva Motor Show, was hailed to “outline the direction that Audi's future exterior and interior designs will take”.

The Nuvolari was a two-door coupé with 2+2 seating and powered by a 5,0-litre V10 biturbo engine with FSI direct fuel injection (power output of 448 kW and maximum torque 750 N.m). Audi claimed the Nuvolari quattro could accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4,1 seconds and hit a theoretical maximum speed of 320 km/h.

Although the Nuvolari was only a concept, Audi has firm plans to build a big four-wheel drive coupé that will be very much in keeping with the Geneva show stopper for appearance and size, and that it is scheduled to go on sale across Europe in 2006.

“What has yet to be decided by management is whether this new mega-coupé will be based on the A6’s steel underpinnings or the A8’s pricier, but more advanced aluminium space-frame chassis,” CAR said.

Audi’s Frankfurt Show concept promises to provide more accurate clues to the styling of the upcoming coupe. The Ingolstadt-based firm’s chairman, Martin Winterkorn, said that concept will use an aluminium spaceframe derived from the one Audi is building in Neckarsulm, Germany, for the new Lamborghini Gallardo. However, the Audi won’t use the Gallardo’s new 5.0-litre V10 engine.

“Within the group we have many choices of engines, from eight to 12 cylinders,” Winterkorn said - and he was probably referring to the 335 kW twin-turbo V8 and 6,0-litre W12 powerplants.

The high-performance Audi has been one of two priorities for Winterkorn since he was promoted last year to head the VW group sporty brand division that includes Seat, Audi and Lamborghini.

At the Geneva motor show in March, Winterkorn had said: “My priorities for the Audi brand are to enhance its sporty image with a crossover car and a sports car that is above our current TT but below the small Lamborghini (the Gallardo, featured on CARtoday.com in March).”