That’s what we love about the Audi Quattro from 1983


It’s hard to believe that forty years have passed since then Audi presented the Quattro to the world. The car not only strengthened Audi’s image as a quality brand, it also radically changed the world rally championship scene. Audi first launched the Quattro Coupé in 1980 as a roadworthy homologation of the rally car and launched the Quattro on the North American market in 1983.

Audi had planned to build four hundred copies just for racing. However, due to strong demand, the Quattro went into series production and became one of the most iconic series cars of all time. In fact, the word “Quattro” epitomizes the excitement and glamor of motorsport in the 1980s.

Among the fire-breathing legends of Lancia, Peugeot and Ford, the Audi Quattro offered speed, sovereignty and agility thanks to its all-wheel drive that revolutionized rallying forever. In addition, the Quattro’s phenomenal turbo in-line five-cylinder engine produced the most impressive soundtrack, unique to the Quattro, with whistles, bangs and bangs that enriched the theater and excited the manic audience.

The Quattro evoked images of rally legends like Mikkola, Mouton and Röhrl, who skillfully danced the Quattro through the rally stages to victory. The Quattro has undoubtedly won the hearts of rally fans around the world.

The Audi Quattro was the first rally car to take advantage of the rule changes that allowed all-wheel drive in motorsport. As a result, this five-cylinder rally weapon brought in numerous victories and destroyed the competition in the early years of rallying. Most of the victories took place in 1982 with a total of seven victories, which directly won the manufacturers’ title of the World Rally Championship.

In addition, the Audi Sport Quattro, introduced in 1984 with a shorter wheelbase, clinched a triple victory that year and won both driver and manufacturer titles. Not to forget Walter Röhrl, who won the most famous mountain run, Pikes Peak, in a record-breaking sprint. This time, however, with a specially modified Quattro S1 with over 600 hp.

It is true that there aren’t many street cars that can boast such a rich motorsport history. In fact, Audi has become synonymous with all-wheel drive technology. Its reputation for building fast, well-built cars was no doubt bolstered by the most influential sports car – the Audi Quattro.

Five cylinder magic

Although all-wheel drive wasn’t new in the late 1970s, the concept of applying the same technology to road vehicles was still unknown at the time. Under the hood of the original 10-valve “Ur-Quattro” was a 2.1-liter in-line five-cylinder turbo engine paired with a five-speed gearbox.

With 197 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque, the Quattro sprinted from 0 to 100 mph in 6.5 seconds and reached a top speed of 140 mph. Weighing in at 2,811 lbs, the horsepower figures at the time were impressive as there was nothing like it on the scene .

In addition, the later cars included a 20-valve unit that boosted power to 227 horsepower and accelerated to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. Despite its size, the Quattro had predictable handling and punchy performance, with old-school turbo lag, of course! In addition, the growl of the five-cylinder was mesmerizing and very noticeable.

The Audi Sport Quattro, which was developed for Group B homologation in 1984, was and is the extreme version of the Quattro. It weighs just 2,645 lbs, had 302 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. In addition, the massive turbocharger catapulted the car to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. In fact, the most visible change to the Sport Quattro was the 12.6 cm reduction in the wheelbase. A total of only 214 were built, 160 of them road cars.

Development of a 1983 Audi Quattro

Audi Sport Quattro

The angular design of the Audi Quattro remains attractive and targeted. In addition, the slightly pronounced wheel arches gave the car an aggressive stance that separated the Quattro from the production vehicle. However, the Quattro was constantly updated with an improvement in the interior trim quality until 1991, although the exterior changes remained minimal with an update to the headlights.

The Quattro was generally well built with a spacious interior. In addition, the switchgear was clear and functional. Later cars included the spectacular digital instrument display, anti-lock brakes, and stiffer suspension.

Interestingly, the rally legend was almost called “Audi Carat” in advance development, which was somehow an abbreviation for “Coupe All-Wheel-Drive Turbo”. However, since there was already a perfume of the same name, Walter Treser, the Audi project manager at the end of the 1970s, suggested “Audi Quattro” – a name that would soon become the world’s best-known all-wheel drive system.

That’s what it costs today

Audi Quattro

Around 11,500 units of the Quattro rolled off the Audi production line in Ingolstadt. Allegedly, the value of the Audi Quattro is increasing every year, with the 20-valve version being more desirable. For example, a 1993 Audi ‘Ur-Quattro’ 10v was sold at RM Sotheby’s Earlier this year for $ 61,600.

In contrast, a pristine example of a 1991 20v ‘Ur-Quattro’ that was recently sold at Silverstone Auctions for a record-breaking $ 222,829 that is believed to be one of the last right-hand drive models to leave the Audi factory. In comparison, the Audi Sport Quattro was valued at a crackling half a million dollars!


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