The iconic Audi Quattro’s debut was back in 1980 and it went on to become a Group B rally legend with legions of fans all over the world. The Quattro has certainly become a cult classic and we couldn’t think of a better car for this month’s Cult Classics.
The Quattro technology’s history stretches back to 1976, when snowy test drives were first conducted in Sweden. In 1984 the Sport Quattro was born with more power than previous versions, impressive Kevlar features, an extra sixth gear and a short wheelbase that made it handle much easier. This was soon to be followed by the Sport Quattro S1 a year later.
The Quattro was a rally game-changer and perhaps the most iconic model was the howling S1 E2, with those extraordinary wings. Audi was the pioneer of full-time four wheel drive in road cars in the 80’s, however as a performance car, the Quattro really excelled itself. They turned out to be so popular that Audi had to scrap the original 400 build limit and take them to full production to meet demand.
Even with a relatively weighty and complex AWD system that affected the car’s handling in a big way, Audi still had a major advantage over other manufacturers.
Their A2 WRC’s specs are also impressive and thanks in part to the lightweight Kevlar wheel arches, it could do 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds. However, the Sport Quattro is generally regarded as the best Quattro, since it enjoyed huge success in Group B rally, nut there were only 213 made.
With its final evolution came an edition with a new improved engine (RR prefixed engine code), that brought even more power and refinement.
The Audi Quattro’s reputation as a superb performance car was born from its rally stage victories and Audi won its first rally on first attempt by nine minutes.
A classic red Quattro went on to be one of the most famous cars in British TV history, after its starring role in the ‘Ashes to Ashes’ television series, leading to the now famous phrase “Fire up the Quattro!”.
There are plenty of quality Audi Quattro examples being sold online and at auctions, so if you want to get yourself a little bit of motoring history, you just need to hunt around for the one that’s right for you.
Even to this day, despite Audi no longer being part of the rallying world, their four-wheel drive cars are still known by the name ‘Quattro’ – so the legend lives on!