Considered to be the most significant technological advancement of the Group B rallying era, the Audi Quattro, or Ur-Quattro as it is sometime referred to, introduced the world to what we know today as the best all wheel drive system on the market. Introduced in 1981, the top of the line two door fastback was eventually powered by a turbocharged 2.2 Liter DOHC inline 5 cylinder engine making 217 HP and capable of reaching a 143 MPH top speed. In competition trim, the five cylinder was tuned to make as much as 500 HP while the car's curb weight was dropped to around 2,400 pounds good for a 0 to 60 MPH time of only 3.1 seconds. The Quattro won two WRC manufacturer's championships in 1982 and 1984 with Walter Röhrl and Stig Blomqvist behind the wheel as well as a pair of driver's championships with Hannu Mikkola and the Stig in 1983 and 1984. Meanwhile the Audi Quattro also won the 1985 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in record setting time with Michèle Mouton at the controls and then again in 1987 with Mr. Röhrl at the helm.
It’s hard to imagine Audi’s Quattro system being around for 30 years, but if you think about it, yeah, it’s been around that long.
First introduced at the 1980 Geneva Motor Show with the Audi Ur-Quattro, the Quattro system has gone on to become an integral part of Audi’s fleet of models, especially in the US where the whole system was partially responsible for turning the image of Audi from a Volkswagen-controlled carmaker to a brand that pretty much has stood as its own unique marquee.
In light of the Quattro system’s anniversary, Audi is scheduled to plan a year-long celebration with activities lined up, including an exhibition at the Audi Forum in Ingolstadt and an Audi Tradition where the brand shows off various Quattro models to shows all over Europe.
If you’re a fan of Audi’s Quattro system – from it’s roots back in 1980 with the Ur-Quattro all the way to the latest generation TT Coupe –then this celebration, along with the corresponding tour exhibits, is something we’re pretty sure you wouldn’t want to miss.
We here at Top Speed have been eagerly awaiting the return of the original four-wheel drive performance machine. The Ur-Quattro was mix of parts from the Volkswagen parts bin that Audi’s Group B engineers used to develop what at the time, most said would be too heavy and bulky an idea to be worth it. Today, all vehicles that compete in the top tier of rally racing are all wheel drive.
As you know Audi is preparing to bring back the Ur-Quattro . A first concept will be unveiled in 2010, with the production version following soon after in 2012. The production model will be available with stylish rims sized either 19 or 20 inches housing ceramic brakes and a newly designed aero package with an active rear spoiler, larger air intakes for additional cooling, wider sills and a magnetic-ride suspension. Of course the new model will come with a set of quattro sport differentials.
The new model will combine a sharp appearance with advanced technology and offer it in an affordable package just in time to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Ur-Quattro’s original rally success . Under the hood Audi will use a variety of power plants. Ranging from a V8 to biturbo V6, there is even talk of a twin charged 2.0 Liter four cylinder engine making an impressive 300 HP and the proven 2.5 Liter five cylinder from the factory tuned Audi TT RS .
Certain automotive enthusiasts have a particular lust for certain makes and models that can lead them to do crazy things. Some spend ridiculous amounts of money, some dedicate a little too much elbow grease and other do both. Their quest to obtain the vehicle of their dreams often ends with half built cars, clutter garages and broken marriages; but for some reason they strive on. Fortunately there are a few instances where all of the benefits can be had with none of the nasty drawbacks. One suck lucky car builder is Coen Donkers from Holland. Donkers was a fan of a particular Audi race car, but being that the real thing is over twenty years old and in limited supply, Coen decided to build himself an Audi Sport Quattro .
When Donkers picked up the car that would eventually become what you see before you, it was a wrecked shell of its current self, but luckily for Coen, he runs an Audi parts shop in Veghel, Holland. So he already had garage space for the project and a team of mechanics that could work on it in their down time. Coen decided to keep things simple, replacing the bent bodywork and work out pieces with all new OEM parts. Despite the Audi Sport Quattro replica’s wild appearance, the exterior is stock, it is just covered in graphics inspired by the rally car from the 1980s that make it look so radical.
Everybody’s favorite Group B contender, the Audi Sport Quattro, could be making a comeback in four ringed showrooms as early as 2012. The Audi Quattro , also known as the Ur-Quattro was a milestone of automotive engineering. When others said that 4 wheel drive was too heavy to be competitive Audi laughed. Mating their now infamous quattro all wheel drive system to a turbocharged 5 cylinder engine made them a force to be reckoned with from the European FIA rally stages to the American Pikes Peak Hill Climb, the Quattro dominated them all. So it is no wonder that the Volkswagen brand will bring back the championship winning name.
The new Quattro will be based on the A5 chasis and include a 425 HP turbocharged V6, an R8 inspired front end and thanks to Audi’s aluminum construction the vehicle should weigh in at less than 3000 pounds. Priced at around €70,000 (almost $90,000) the new iteration of the classic Audi is sure to become a collector’s item.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Group B car, or just want to see it in action again, check out the videos after the jump.
Fame has returned to the sought-after original Audi quattro thanks to its starring role in the new BBC TV drama series ‘Ashes to Ashes’, set in 1980. The most priceless example of the legendary sports car that pioneered four-wheel-drive for production road cars is Audi UK’s own unregistered car with zero miles, and will never be put up for sale.
So rare is this car - the last right-hand-drive quattro sports car ever made - that Audi is forced to keep it in a secret location and stored in a sealed, dehumidified environment. Similar to the TV star example seen nationally each week from February 7th, the as- new, just as it left the line Audi-owned example even shares the same bright red paint color.
An untouched and as new car could actually be worth an unlimited sum to an enthusiast Audi collector. “We would never be able to replace this car and its value to the brand is inestimable” said Jeremy Hicks Director of Audi UK. “Whenever we have exhibited it, we have received a succession of surprisingly high offers, but sadly this particular car, the quattro that started it all for the company in the early eighties, will never be for sale”.
As we reported yesterday, Audi is celebrating 20 years since Audi Sport Quattro S1 won the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in the US state of Colorado. Today we will present you a video, not the 1987, but a 1990 one, when Carlos Sainz takes on Stig Blomqvist in the legendary Audi Quattro S1.