The two-seater is powered by a newly developed V10 TDI installed longitudinally in front of the rear axle. The powerful 5.0-liter diesel engine produces over 400 kW (544 hp) and delivers 1,000 Nm (737.56 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft from just 1,500 rpm. Its twin-turbo register charging unit is controlled via the Audi valvelift system (AVS). The common rail system operates at an injection pressure of 2,500 bar. A beefed-up seven-speed S tronic located behind the engine transfers the torque to a specially designed quattro drivetrain.
The Audi nanuk quattro concept has a curb weight of around 1,900 kilograms (4,188.78 lb). It sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 3.8 seconds, and the top speed is 305 km/h (189.52 mph). The innovative thermal management with its separate cooling loops and the steplessly regulated oil pump contribute to the excellent fuel consumption of just 7.8 liters per 100 kilometers (30.16 US mpg) on average.
Double wishbones guide the show car's 22-inch wheels, which are shod with 235/50-series tires up front and 295/45 at the rear. The carbon fiber-ceramic brake discs can withstand high temperatures and are extremely abrasion-resistant.
The adaptive air suspension with electronically controlled dampers features the next generation of technology from Audi. The driver can manually adjust the ground clearance of the Audi nanuk quattro concept in three stages: normal, 30 millimeters (1.18 in) lower or 40 millimeters (1.57 in) higher. The system also controls the level of the body itself based on driving speed and the predictive route data supplied by the navigation system. On the highway, for example, the body remains lowered even when the Audi nanuk quattro concept is moving slowly. It is automatically raised when turning onto a gravel road.
Another technological highlight of the show car is the integral steering, which resolves the classic conflict between dynamic handling and stability. The system combines the proven Audi dynamic steering at the front axle, which among other things can intervene at the cornering limit for enhanced stability, with supplemental steering for the rear wheels. Separate actuators activate the two active track rods.
When the driver steers at low to moderate speeds, the rear wheels turn up to nine degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels. This shortens the wheelbase virtually by around 100 centimeters (39.37 in), reducing the turning circle to roughly 10 meters (32.81 ft). Handling also becomes more agile. The Audi nanuk quattro concept turns in even more eagerly and is essentially neutral in corners.
At higher speeds the system turns the rear wheels by as much as 2.5 degrees in the same direction as the front wheels. This extends the wheelbase virtually by around 140 centimeters (55.12 in) for better stability. On the highway, the show car is firmly seated on the road and masters fast corners and avoidance maneuvers with aplomb.