Journalists trekked across the sprawling exhibition grounds of the Frankfurt auto show this month for a second look at Audi's Nanuk Quattro, which was hands-down the most talked-about car at the show.
But the Nanuk didn't always get such respect. The two-seat cross between a sports car and an SUV is just a slightly reworked version of Italdesign's Parcour concept, which was shown by the Volkswagen-owned design house at the Geneva show in March. In Geneva, where the car had a Lamborghini badge, the reaction was warm, though not wildly enthusiastic.
After its Geneva debut, the Parcour was rebuffed at the Concorso d'Eleganza at Villa d'Este in May. A person involved in the selection process confided that the Parcour was "honestly not good enough. We didn't want to see it here."
Chagrined, Italdesign sent out a press release bemoaning that "unfortunately, this year we won't be there. And not because we chose not to be there."
So how did the Parcour get on the Audi stand in Frankfurt and become the surprise star of the show? Sources say Ferdinand Piech, VW Group's supervisory chairman, took a shine to the Parcour and ordered that it be part of the Audi display.