The Audi Quattro was launched in 1980 – at the Geneva Motor Show. It is safe to say that it revolutionised motoring. The Quattro’s state of the art four-wheel drive system pushed roadholding to a new level. Top speed was 142mph. 0-60 took 6.3s. That came courtesy of a turbocharged 2.1-litre 5-cylinder engine. The Quattro’s top-spec output was 220bhp.
The Quattro turned into a truly iconic rally car. For the Audi team’s technicians, its 4-wheel drive set-up was love at first sight! As with the roadster, the increased grip levels significantly upped the competition car’s traction in the rough stuff. Sat between the road and rally cars was the Sport Quattro – a 2-seater ‘homologation special’. It was fitted with a 300bhp motor. The Sport’s shortened wheelbase meant it handled even better than the standard Quattro. It retailed at three times the price of the base model. Still, a top speed of 155mph made it more than tempting!
When Audi announced they were pulling the plug on the Quattro, there was uproar. So, Audi succumbed to the pressure – and production continued until ’91. Not just rally fans, but motorists too had fallen in love with the car. They had taken to four-wheel drive like … well, like a rally driver to water. The Audi Quattro’s remarkable tally of wins said it all!