November 27, 2014 @ 04:31 PM

Legends and Legacies: Audi Quattro

In the 80s we have one of the greatest Audis in the world sweeping the board for both rally and road greatness. By Jerrica Leong

(image source: ausmotive.com)
In the 80s we have one of the greatest Audis in the world sweeping the board for both rally and road greatness. By Jerrica Leong
 
Not to mistake this with other four-wheel drive Audis, the Audi Quattro is often referred to as Ur-Quattro (German for “Original Quattro”), it is with this car that Audi achieved the impossible by creating a 4WD sports car.

The concept of an all-wheel drive as an aid to fast road driving rather than pure off-roading is not new to the motoring world at that time but it was Audi’s system that rewrote everyone’s definition of handling limits and that AWD is not just for off-roading.

You see back then, AWD systems were only practical in large off-road vehicles because the extra weight made it unviable in a road car. But Audi beat down all common perception with the invention of an ingenious system: a hollow gearbox output shaft connected to a central differential that contained an inner drive shaft to return power to the front axle, while the pro shaft running off the same centre diff transferred its share of torque to the rear axle.

(image source: classicandperformacecar.com)
Not only does the Audi Quattro have the awesome handling the AWD system provides, the system is also connected to a turbocharged engine. Power is provided by a turbocharged 2.1-litre five-cylinder engine that allows the car to sprint from 0-96kph in just 6.3 seconds. Bear in mind that this is the 80s we’re talking about, and that record is stunning.

Top speed? 193kph. it is no surprise that other than redefining the international craze for high performance with all-drive road cars, the Audi Quattro also turned the rallying world upside down. Audi was the undisputed champion with the Ur-Quattro for years before other teams realise that they won’t stand a chance unless they too adopt the AWD system.

A little fun fact, in 1981, Michele Mouton became the first female driver ever to win a rally race and finished runner up in the driver’s World Rally Championship in 1982 and she was piloting the Audi Quattro.

(image source: showautoreviews.com)
In 1983, Audi fitted an even more powerful engine into the Quattro to create the Quattro Sport, known to enthusiasts as the ultimate Quattro to have. The Sport has a shorter wheelbase and the bonnet hides a 300bhp 20V engine and was capable of 249kph. Impressive yes?

Even with the extreme price tag, the Ur-Quattro is the most sought after Audi of all time, it gave Audi a whole new image, transforming it from a company known for being dependable but dull to one of the most exciting manufacturers in the car industry. In short, it transformed to the Audi we know and love now.

(image source: autoviva.com)

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