Audi Quattro

This article is about the Audi car. For Audi's 4WD system, see quattro (four-wheel-drive system). For the Audi subsidiary, see quattro GmbH.
Audi Quattro B2 (85)[1]
Manufacturer Audi AG
Also called Ur-Quattro
Production 1980–1991
Assembly Ingolstadt, Germany
Designer Jörg Bensinger
Walter Treser
Ferdinand Piëch
Franz Tengler (transmission)
Martin Smith (stylist)
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size car, rally car
Body style 2-door coupé
Layout longitudinal front engine, four-wheel drive
Platform Volkswagen B2 platform
Related Audi 80 (B2),
Audi Coupé (B2)
Engine 2.1 L I5[2] SOHC 10v (1980–87)
2.2 L I5 SOHC 10v (1987–89)
2.2 L I5 DOHC 20v (1989–91)
Transmission 5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,524 mm (99.4 in)
Length 4,404 mm (173.4 in)
Width 1,722 mm (67.8 in)
Height 1,346 mm (53.0 in)
Kerb weight 1,290 kg (2,844 lb) to 1,350 kg (2,976 lb)
Successor Audi S2

The Audi Quattro is a road and rally car, produced by the German automobile manufacturer Audi, part of the Volkswagen Group. It was first shown at the 1980 Geneva Motor Show on 3 March.[1][3] Production of the original version continued through 1991.


The word quattro is derived from the Italian word for "four". The name has also been used by Audi to refer to the quattro four-wheel-drive system, or any four-wheel-drive version of an Audi model. The original Quattro model is also commonly referred to as the Ur-Quattro - the "Ur-" (German for "primordial", "original", or "first of its kind") is an augmentative prefix, in this case meaning "original".

The Audi Quattro was the first rally car to take advantage of the then-recently changed rules which allowed the use of four-wheel drive in competition racing. It won competition after competition for the next two years.[1] To commemorate the success of the original vehicle, all subsequent Audis with their trademark quattro four-wheel-drive system were badged "quattro" with a lower case "q" and in a distinct typeface which has remained nearly unchanged since its inception.

The Audi Quattro shared many parts and core body components with the Coupé version of the Audi 80 (B2) model range.[1] The Quattro was internally designated Typ 85, a production code it shared with the quattro versions of the Audi 80 coupé Audi 80. Its characteristic flared wheelarches were styled by Martin Smith. The Audi Quattro also had independent rear suspension and independent front suspension.[4][5]

Production history

The idea for a high-performance four-wheel-drive car was proposed by Audi's chassis engineer, Jörg Bensinger, in 1977, when he found that the Volkswagen Iltis could outperform any other vehicle in snow, no matter how powerful. Bensinger's idea was to start developing an Audi 80 variant in co-operation with Walter Treser, Director of Pre-Development.[6][7]

European market

Audi released the original Quattro to European customers in late 1980,[1] featuring Audi's quattro permanent four-wheel drive system (hence its name), and the first to mate four-wheel drive with a turbocharged engine.[1]

The original engine was the 2,144 cc (131 cu in) (2.1 L), inline-5-cylinder 10 valve SOHC, with a turbocharger and intercooler. It produced 147 kW (200 PS; 197 bhp) and torque of 285 N·m (210 lbf·ft) at 3500 rpm; propelling the Quattro from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.1s, and reaching a top speed of over 220 km/h (137 mph).[1]

The engine was eventually modified to a 2,226 cc (136 cu in) (2.2 L) inline-5 10 valve, still producing 147 kW (200 PS; 197 bhp), but with peak torque lower in the rev-range.[1] In 1989, it was then changed to a 2,226 cc (136 cu in) inline-5 20v(2.2 L 20v) DOHC setup producing 162 kW (220 PS; 217 bhp), now with a top speed of 230 km/h (143 mph).[1]

Audi Quattros are referred to among owners and enthusiasts by their engine codes, to differentiate between the earlier and later versions: the earliest 2144 cc 10v being the "WR" engine, the 2226 cc 10v being the "MB" engine, and the later 20v being the "RR" engine. Hence, Quattro models may be referred to as either the WR Quattro, MB Quattro, and RR or "20v" Quattro, respectively.

Quattro car production was 11,452 vehicles over the period 1980–1991,[1][3] and through this 11 year production span, despite some touch-ups, there were no major changes in the visual design of the vehicle. For the 1983 model year, the dash was switched from an analogue instrument cluster, to a green digital liquid crystal display (LCD) electronic instrument cluster. This was later changed in 1988 to an orange LCD electronic instrument cluster. The interior was redesigned in 1984, and featured a whole new dash layout, new steering wheel design, and new centre console design, the switches around the instrument panel were also redesigned at this time. In 1985 the dash changed slightly with harder foam and lost a diagonal stripe, the dash switches were varied slightly and the diff lock pull knob gave way to a two-position turning knob with volt and oil temp digital readouts.

1987 MB-engined Audi quattro

External styling received very little modification during its production run. Originally, the car had a flat fronted grille featuring four separate headlamplenses, one for each of the low and high beam units. This was altered for the 1983 model year, and replaced with combined units featuring a single lens, but housing twin reflectors. This was changed again, for the 1985 model year, in what has become known as the 'facelift model' and included such alterations as a new sloping front grille, headlights, and trim and badging changes. Max speed was 124 mph.[2] The RR 20v Quattro also featured a new three spoke steering wheel design, leather covering for door arm rests, gloveboxes, centre console and door pockets. There was also a full length leather-wrapped centre console running all the way to the rear seats. The 20v was also the first Ur-Q to have "quattro" script interior with partial leather seats. The floor on the drivers side had a bulge due to dual catalytic exhaust setup. The different models may be distinguished by the emblems on their boot lids: the WR had a vinyl 'quattro' decal or a brushed aluminium effect plastic emblem, the MB had chrome plated 'audi', 'audi rings' and 'quattro' emblems, whilst the RR had only chrome plated 'audi rings'.

The rear suspension was altered early on with geometry changes and removal of the rear anti-roll bar to reduce a tendency for lift-off oversteer. For the 1984 facelift, the wheel size went from 6x15-inch with 205/60-15 tyres to 8x15-inch wheels with 215/50-15 tyres. At the same time the suspension was lowered 20 mm with slightly stiffer springs for improved handling. For 1987, the Torsen centre differential was used for the first time, replacing the manual centre differential lock.[1]

The last original Audi Quattro was produced on 17 May 1991, more than two years after the first models of the new Audi Coupe range (based on the 1986 Audi 80) had been produced.[8]

North American market

Sales of the Quattro in North America began with the 1983 model year.[9] They entered the all-wheel-drive market established by the AMC Eagle, the first full-time all-wheel-drive passenger car to reach mass production.[10][11]

The North American Quattros were constructed concurrently and were of the same design as the European 1982 models (they did not include the minor cosmetic changes of the European 1983 model) and continued through 1986. Total sales in the U.S. were 664. The Canadian market cars were identical to the U.S. version with exception of the speedometer that was metric. Official sales figures for Canada were 99; which included 61 in 1983, 17 in 1984, 18 in 1985, and 3 in 1986.

The U.S./Canadian cars were equipped with larger impact bumpers with built-in shock absorbers, like the rest of the 4000/Coupé models. They did not have anti-lock braking system (ABS), but included air conditioning and leather upholstery in most of the cars. Most of the 1984 and 1985 Canadian models came without sunroofs. The remainder of the electric, suspension, and cosmetic updates took place at the same time as the European cars.

The initial 2.1 L (2144 cc, engine code "WX") engine for U.S./Canadian models included minor component and engine control unit (ECU) changes, lowered turbocharger boost pressure, different camshaft, as well as emission controls that consisted of a catalytic converter and lambda stoichiometric fuel control that lowered power to 160 hp (119 kW; 162 PS). Other mechanical specifications were identical to the European market vehicles. The WX engine was also used on Swiss and Japanese market cars. Audi built 200 special edition cars in 1988 with WX engine and analogue instruments; with everything else identical to the MB model of that year.

Audi quattro Spyder concept (1991)

The Audi quattro Spyder show car is mid-engine coupe with 2.8 litre V6 engine rated 174 PS (128 kW; 172 hp) and 181 pound-feet (245 N·m) of torque, 5-speed manual gearbox, aluminium body, 1,100 kg (2,425 lb) kerb weight, orange or green body colour, trapezoidal links suspension.

The concept car was unveiled in 1991 Frankfurt Motor Show.[12][13]

Audi quattro concept (2010)

Main article: Audi quattro concept

At the Paris Motor Show in 2010 Audi presented the quattro concept. It commemorates the 30th anniversary of the original Audi Quattro and the Audi quattro four-wheel-drive system. Based on the Audi RS5, it features a modified 2.5 L five-cylinder TFSI engine and the sixth generation of quattro transmission.[14] It was reported that Audi was considering a limited production model (200–500 cars) based on the quattro concept.[15]

Audi Sport quattro concept (2013)

Audi Sport quattro concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show

The Audi Sport quattro concept was unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the original Audi Sport quattro.[16][17] The show car features angular flat C-pillars, as well as the rectangular double headlights featuring Audi's Matrix LED technology, a spoiler at the lower edge of the rear window, rectangular tail lights, 21-inch wheels, carbon fiber-ceramic brake discs, bucket seats with integrated head restraints, multifunction sport steering wheel, two driving modes (race and setup) in virtual 3D displays, Audi MMI control unit, and air conditioning. The doors and fenders are aluminum, while the roof, hood, and the rear hatch are made of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer. The front suspension features five control arms per wheel while the rear has track-controlled trapezoidal link.

Power is from a 4.0 TFSI V8 engine rated at 560 PS (412 kW; 552 hp) and 700 N·m (516 lb·ft), along with a disc-shaped electric motor rated at 150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp) and 400 N·m (295 lb·ft) (for combined power 700 PS (515 kW; 690 hp) and 800 N·m (590 lb·ft)), mated to an eight-speed tiptronic transmission. A liquid-cooled 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery is in the rear, and the show car's range is claimed up to 50 km (31 mi) on electric power alone.

At the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, Audi presented the new 2014 Audi TT Quattro Sport Concept. It is powered by a 2.0 L four-cylinder TFSI engine that can produce 420 PS (309 kW; 414 hp) and 331 N·m (244 lb·ft) of torque. It uses Audi's Quattro AWD system and an S Tronic dual-clutch transmission.[18]


Quattro - A1 and A2 evolutions

Audi Sport Quattro S1 E2[19][20]

Audi Sport Quattro S1 driven during the 2007 Rallye Deutschland.
Manufacturer Audi AG
Also called S1, S1 Quattro "Audi Sport Quattro E2"
Production 19851986
Assembly Ingolstadt, Germany
Body and chassis
Class Coupé, Group B rally car
Body style 2-door coupé
Layout longitudinal front-engine four-wheel-drive
Related Audi Quattro
Engine 2110 cc I5 turbo
Transmission 6-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,204 mm (86.8 in)
Length 4,240 mm (166.9 in)
Width 1,860 mm (73.2 in)
Height 1,344 mm (52.9 in)
Kerb weight 1,200 kg (2,646 lb)
Predecessor Audi Sport Quattro
Walter Röhrl driving a Quattro A2 at the 1984 Rally Portugal

The original Audi Quattro competition car debuted in 1980, first as a development car, and then on a formal basis in the 1980 Janner Rally in Austria. Largely based on the bodyshell of the road-going Quattro models (in contrast to the forthcoming Group B cars), the engine of the original competition version produced approximately 300 bhp (224 kW; 304 PS). In 1981, Michèle Mouton became the first female driver to win a world championship rally, piloting an Audi Quattro.[1] Over the next three years, Audi would introduce the A1 and A2 evolutions of the Quattro in response to the new Group B rules, raising power from the turbocharged inline 5-cylinder engine to around 350 bhp (261 kW; 355 PS).

The Quattro A1 debuted at the WRC 1983 season opener Monte Carlo Rally, and went on to win the Swedish Rally and the Rally Portugal in the hands of Hannu Mikkola. Driven by Stig Blomqvist, Mikkola and Walter Röhrl, the A2 evolution won a total of eight world rallies; three in 1983 and five in 1984. Two examples of the same car completely dominated the South African National Rally Championships during 1984 to 1988, with S.A. champion drivers Sarel van der Merwe and Geoff Mortimer.

A 1988 Audi Ur-Quattro driven by Audi Tradition driver Luciano Viaro won the 13th Silvretta Classic Montafon.[21]

Sport Quattro

Michèle Mouton's Audi Sport Quattro at the 2006 Goodwood Festival of Speed

The Audi Sport Quattro S1 was a Quattro programme car developed for homologation for Group B rallying in 1984, and sold as a production car in limited numbers.[1] It featured an all aluminium alloy 2,133 cc (130.2 cu in) (2.1 L) 20v DOHC engine slightly smaller than that of the Audi Quattro (in order to qualify for the 3-litre engine class after the scale factor applied to turbo engines). In road-going form, the engine was capable of producing 225 kW (306 PS; 302 bhp),[1] with the competition cars initially producing around 331 kW (450 PS; 444 bhp).[1]

The vehicle also featured a body shell composed of carbon-kevlar[1] and boasting wider arches, wider wheels (nine inches as compared to the Ur-Quattro's optional 8-inch-wide (200 mm) wheel rim), the steeper windscreen rake of the Audi 80 (requested by the Audi Sport rally team drivers to reduce internal reflections from the dashboard for improved visibility) and, most noticeably, a 320 mm (12.6 in) shorter wheelbase.

In addition to Group B competition in rallying, the Sport Quattro won the 1985 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with Michèle Mouton in the driving seat, setting a record time in the process.[22] 224 cars of this "short version" Sport Quattro were built, and were offered for sale for 203,850 German Marks.[1]

Sport Quattro S1 E2

1985 Audi Sport Quattro S1

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Audi Sport Quattro at Legendy 2014 car show in Prague

The Audi Sport Quattro S1 E2 was introduced at the end of 1985 as an update to the Audi Sport Quattro. The car featured an inline 5-cylinder engine that displaced 2,110 cc (128.8 cu in) and produced an officially quoted figure of 350 kW (480 PS; 470 bhp).[1] However, the turbocharger utilised a recirculating air system, with the aim of keeping the turbo spinning at high rpm, when the driver closed the throttle, either to back off during cornering, or on gearshifts. This allowed the engine to resume full power immediately after the resumption of full throttle, reducing turbo lag. The actual power figure was in excess of 500 bhp (373 kW; 507 PS) at 8000 rpm.[1]

In addition to the improved power output, an aggressive aerodynamic kit was added that featured very distinctive wings and spoilers to the front and rear of the car to increase downforce. The weight was reduced to 1,090 kg (2,403 lb), and the S1 could accelerate from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.1 seconds.[1] Some of the cars were supplied with a "power-shift gearbox", a forerunner of the DSG technology.[1]

The S1 E2 was successful in the rally circuit, with Walter Röhrl[1] and Christian Geistdörfer winning the 1985 San Remo Rally. A modified version of the E2, was also driven by Michèle Mouton.[1] The S1 evolution would become the final Group B car produced by Audi, with the works team withdrawing from the Championship following the 1986 rally in Portugal.[1] The final factory machines of 1986 were rated at 441 kW (600 PS; 591 bhp).[1] In 1987, the car won the Pikes Peak driven by Walter Röhrl.

WRC results


Season Model(s) Driver Pos. Pts
1981 Audi quattro Finland Hannu Mikkola (3º) • France Michèle Mouton (8ª) 63
1982 Audi quattro France Michèle Mouton (2ª) • Finland Hannu Mikkola (3º) • Sweden Stig Blomqvist (4º) 116
1983 Audi quattro A1 and Audi quattro A2 Finland Hannu Mikkola (1º) • Sweden Stig Blomqvist (3º) • France Michèle Mouton (5ª) 116
1984 Audi quattro A2 and Audi Sport quattro Sweden Stig Blomqvist (1º) • Finland Hannu Mikkola (2º) • Germany Walter Röhrl (11º) • France Michèle Mouton(12ª) 120
1985 Audi Sport quattro Sweden Stig Blomqvist (2º) • Germany Walter Röhrl (3º) • Finland Hannu Mikkola (22º) 126
1986 Audi Sport quattro S1 E2 Finland Hannu Mikkola (18º) • Germany Walter Röhrl (22º) 29

WRC victories

 #  Event Season Driver Co-driver Version
1 Sweden 31st International Swedish Rally 1981 Finland Hannu Mikkola Sweden Arne Hertz Audi Quattro
2 Italy 23º Rallye Sanremo 1981 France Michèle Mouton Italy Fabrizia Pons Audi Quattro
3 United Kingdom 30th Lombard RAC Rally 1981 Finland Hannu Mikkola Sweden Arne Hertz Audi Quattro
4 Sweden 32nd International Swedish Rally 1982 Sweden Stig Blomqvist Sweden Björn Cederberg Audi Quattro
5 Portugal 16º Rallye de Portugal Vinho do Porto 1982 France Michèle Mouton Italy Fabrizia Pons Audi Quattro
6 Greece 29º Acropolis Rally 1982 France Michèle Mouton Italy Fabrizia Pons Audi Quattro
7 Brazil Rally of Brazil 1982 France Michèle Mouton Italy Fabrizia Pons Audi Quattro
8 Finland 32º 1000 Lakes Rally 1982 Finland Hannu Mikkola Sweden Arne Hertz Audi Quattro
9 Italy 24º Rallye Sanremo 1982 Sweden Stig Blomqvist Sweden Björn Cederberg Audi Quattro
10 United Kingdom 31st Lombard RAC Rally 1982 Finland Hannu Mikkola Sweden Arne Hertz Audi Quattro
11 Sweden 33rd International Swedish Rally 1983 Finland Hannu Mikkola Sweden Arne Hertz Audi Quattro A1
12 Portugal 17º Rallye de Portugal Vinho do Porto 1983 Finland Hannu Mikkola Sweden Arne Hertz Audi Quattro A1
13 Argentina 3º Marlboro Rally Argentina San Carlos de Bariloche 1983 Finland Hannu Mikkola Sweden Arne Hertz Audi Quattro A2
14 Finland 33º 1000 Lakes Rally 1983 Finland Hannu Mikkola Sweden Arne Hertz Audi Quattro A2
15 United Kingdom 32nd Lombard RAC Rally 1983 Sweden Stig Blomqvist Sweden Björn Cederberg Audi Quattro A2
16 Monaco 52ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo 1984 Germany Walter Röhrl Germany Christian Geistdörfer Audi Quattro A2
17 Sweden 34th International Swedish Rally 1984 Sweden Stig Blomqvist Sweden Björn Cederberg Audi Quattro A2
18 Portugal 18º Rallye de Portugal Vinho do Porto 1984 Finland Hannu Mikkola Sweden Arne Hertz Audi Quattro A2
19 Greece 31º Acropolis Rally 1984 Sweden Stig Blomqvist Sweden Björn Cederberg Audi Quattro A2
20 New Zealand 14º Sanyo Rally of New Zealand 1984 Sweden Stig Blomqvist Sweden Björn Cederberg Audi Quattro A2
21 Argentina 4º Marlboro Rally of Argentina YPF Cordoba 1984 Sweden Stig Blomqvist Sweden Björn Cederberg Audi Quattro A2
22 Ivory Coast 16ème Rallye "Marlboro" Côte d'Ivoire 1984 Sweden Stig Blomqvist Sweden Björn Cederberg Audi Quattro Sport
23 Italy 27º Rallye Sanremo 1985 Germany Walter Röhrl Germany Christian Geistdörfer Audi Quattro Sport S1

Ashes to Ashes

Gene Hunt's Quattro in the car park of BBC Television Centre

A red 1983 Quattro is driven by DCI Gene Hunt (played by Philip Glenister) in the television drama Ashes to Ashes (aired on BBC1 from 2008 to 2010). Two cars were used through the run of the series: the original, and a stunt car that was acquired for series 2. Both portrayed the same car.[23] The original vehicle (also used in the Children in Need Top Gear crossover mini-episode) lacked a sunroof which was present on the car(s) used in series 2 and 3, hence a fake one was added for the sake of continuity. The stunt car was written off for the jump in series 3, episode 1 by the director of that episode and used as a parts and interior shots car until it was shot up in the finale, leaving the original intact[24]

In the run-up to the 2010 general election, a campaign poster by the incumbent Labour Party government portrayed Conservative Party and opposition leader David Cameron as Gene Hunt sitting on the bonnet of the iconic red Audi Quattro and urged voters not to allow Cameron to take Britain "back to the 1980s" by electing his party into government amid fears that it would lead to a repeat of the social unrest and unemployment that Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government of that era oversaw. The image was then adopted by the Conservatives, with the slogan "Fire up the Quattro, it's time for change",[25] with the comment 'Idea kindly donated by the Labour Party'. "Fire up the Quattro" was a call to action uttered by DCI Hunt in Ashes to Ashes.

See also



  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 "25 Years of Audi Quattro" (Press release). Audi of America Press Site. 22 February 2005. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  2. 1 2 World Cars 1985. Herald Books. 1985. ISBN 0-910714-17-7.
  3. 1 2 Achorn, George (16 March 2005). "Audi Tradition at the Techno Classica 2005". Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  4. "1984 Audi Quattro Treser Coupé". Motorbase. 19 September 2008. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  5. "Drive: 1982-1985 Audi Quattro". October 2005. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  6. "History of the Audi ur-Quattro". Archived from the original on 24 June 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  7. "Audi history 80s" (PDF). Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  8. "Audi Quattro". Retro Car Icons. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  9. Severson, Aaron (23 October 2013). "Legend of the Quattro". Autoweek. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  10. Jacobs, Ed (September 1979). "4WD AMC Eagle - passenger comfort, all-weather capability". Popular Science. 215 (3): 90–91. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  11. Sass, Rob (9 March 2008). "A Breed of 4-by-4 Hatched on the Fly". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  12. "Concept Cars: Audi Quattro Spyder". Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  13. Adams, Kieth (7 July 2013). "Friday concept: Audi Quattro Spyder". Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  14. "Audi quattro concept". Audi. Archived from the original on 3 October 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  15. Kable, Greg (8 October 2010). "Audi to build reborn Quattro". Autocar. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  16. Paukert, Chris (10 September 2013). "Audi Sport Quattro Concept speaks softly, carries a 700-hp stick". Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  17. "Audi Sport quattro concept" (Press release). 4 September 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  18. "2014 Audi TT Quattro Sport Concept Review". Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  19. "Audi Sport Quattro S1". Rally Paradise. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  20. Holmes, Martin (11 July 1985). "The Sport's evolution". Autosport. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  21. "Audi ur-quattro and R8 e-tron win the Silvretta Classic and E-Auto Rally" (Press release). 13 July 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  22. "Pikes Peak records shattered". The Post and Courier. 14 July 1985. p. 3-C. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  23. "img38/320/audi3u.jpg". Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  24. "Luigis • View topic - My 3.8 filming photos". Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  25. "Gene Hunt poster sparks propaganda battle". BBC News. 3 April 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2014.


  • Walton, Jeremy (1984). Audi Quattro: The Development & Competition History. Sparkford, UK: Haynes. ISBN 0854294104. 

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