We’ve all come to appreciate Audi’s iconic quattro technology, one of the world’s most potent all-wheel-drive systems. Its what makes modern Audis such great vehicles, from the full-size A8 sedan to the Q7 SUV and the R8 supercar.
Now in its seventh generation, the quattro system has been enabling Audi engines to send their power to all four corners for 34 years. That’s not to say it took the Germans more than three decades to achieve perfection. No, the quattro was equally revolutionary when it was introduced in 1980, but sometimes it’s a good idea to look back on those brilliant ideas that changed the automotive world forever. And that’s what Petrolicious did with its latest video, which pays tribute to the UrQuattro, the first four-ringed vehicle to receive all-wheel-drive.
The UrQuattro, also known as simply Quattro, debuted in 1980 as a midsize, two-door coupe . While not exactly spectacular by design, the Quattro was the first vehicle to benefit from Audi’s then brand-new all-wheel-drive system. The feat proved to be decisive into turning the boxy UrQuattro into a legend on both the road and rally courses.
Although the production car remained largely unchanged until it was discontinued in 1991, the Quattro spawned a series of fierce rally cars. It all began with the A1 in 1980, which then developed into the Group B-spec S1 evolution. The latter was one of the most extreme rally cars ever built and went on to win several WRC events and the Pikes Peak Hill Climb three years in a row. In all, the quattro system helped Audi score 23 rally wins and two WRC titles, among other trophies.
Sure, Audi is no longer building rally cars, but that’s not to say the quattro has abandoned its motorsport roots. The connection is still obvious in the company’s results at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a race the Germans have won 13 times the last 15 years.
But enough with the history, now hit the play button above for a trip down the memory lane with the initial Audi UrQuattro.