Audi Quattro
aka UrQuattro
Production 1980 – 1991
Class Rally Car
Body Style 2-door coupé
Length 4404 mm
Width 1722 mm
Height 1346 mm
Wheelbase 2522 mm
Weight 1290–1350 kg
Transmission {{{transmission + drive}}}
Engine 2.1 L SOHC 10v I5 (1980–87)
2.2 L SOHC 10v I5 (1987–89)
2.2 L DOHC 20v I5 (1989–91)
Power {{{Horsepower and Torque rating}}}
Similar Lancia Delta Integrale
Ford Sierra RS Cosworth
Toyota Celica GT-Four
Designer Jörg Bensinger
Walter Treser
Peter Birtwhistle
Dr. Ferdinand Piëch

The Audi Quattro is a famous and historically significant road and rally car produced by the German automaker Audi. Notably, it was the first four-wheel drive grand tourer since 1966's Jensen FF.

It is considered one of the most significant rally cars of all time, and was one of the first to take advantage of the then-recently changed rules which allowed the use of all-wheel-drive in competition racing. Many critics doubted the viability of all-wheel drive racers, thinking them to be too heavy and complex, yet the Quattro was an instant success, winning a rally on its first outing. It won competition after competition for the next two years.

Model Name[]

Officially, the model name was simply "Quattro", although the graphics on the car, confusingly, refer to the four-wheel drive system and use a lowercase "q". The word "quattro" with the lowercase "q" is used to refer to either the Audi AWD system, or any AWD version of an Audi automobile. To avoid confusion, it is also commonly referred to as the Ur-Quattro (the "Ur-" prefix is a German augmentative used, in this case, to mean "original" and is also applied to the first generation of Audi's S4 and S6 sport sedans, as in "UrS4" and "UrS6").

Adding further complexity to the issue is the fact that, within the last decade, Audi has retroactively changed all references to the model to lowercase (as can be seen on the official website's historical gallery), to match its current branding scheme and copyright. While Audi now states that "quattro" must always be written fully in the lower case, all original documentation, promotional materials and press released during the model's actual production period use the uppercase format, which is still the usage of choice for hobbyists and writers not affiliated with Audi.

European Distribution[]

Audi released the original Quattro in 1980, making it both the first car to feature Audi's quattro four-wheel drive system (hence its name) and the first to mate four wheel drive with a turbocharged engine.

The powerplant was originally a 2.1 L (2144 cc), SOHC, 10 valve straight-5 producing 203 PS (149 kW); this was eventually modified to a 2.2 L (2226 cc) 10 valve straight-5 and then to a 2.2 L (2226 cc) 20v DOHC straight-5 setup producing 223 PS (164 kW). Audi Quattros are often 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.

Total road car production is 11,452 vehicles over the period 1980–1991 and through this 11 year production span there were no major changes in the visual design of the vehicle. For the 1983 model-year the dash was switched from an analog instrument cluster to a green digital LCD display (later changed for 1988 to an orange LCD display). The interior was redesigned in 1985 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.

Externally, overall styling received very little modification during its production run. Originally, the car had a flat fronted grill featuring four separate lenses, 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 grill, headlights, and trim and badging changes. The RR 20v Quattro also featured a new three spoke steering wheel design.

North American Distribution[]

Sales of the Quattro in North America began with the 1983 model year, which 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 USA were 664.

The initial 2.1 L (2144 cc) engine for US models included minor component and ECU changes, including lowered turbocharger boost pressure, which lowered power production to 172 PS (127 kW).

The Audi Sport Quattro[]

The Audi Sport Quattro was a Quattro program car developed for Group B rallying homologation in 1984, and sold as a production car in limited numbers — it featured a 2.1 L (2133 cc) 20v DOHC engine slightly smaller than that of the Audi Quattro but capable of producing approximately 355 PS (257 kW). The vehicle also featured a different body shell comprising wider arches, wider wheels (eight inches as compared to the Quattro's seven inch wide wheel rim), the steeper windscreen rake of the Audi 80 (requested by the Audi Sport rally team drivers for improved visibility) and, most noticeably, a 320 mm shorter wheelbase. It was followed by the more powerful Audi Sport Quattro S1 in 1985.

Concept Cars[]

Quattro Spyder Concept (1991)[]


Audi Quattro 2010[]

The Audi Quattro Concept was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in 2010. It commerates the 30TH Anniversary of the Quattro car and the four wheel driving system. The car is based on the Audi RS5. It has a modified 2.5L five-cylinder TFSI Engine. Audi planned to produce the new Quattro at a limit of 200 - 500 cars, but then production stopped in 2012.

Sport Quattro 2013[]

Audi had (possibly) made another attempt to revive the Quattro. At the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2013, Audi unveiled the Sport Quattro.


Other information[]


Audi Quattro

The Quattro is also famous for being a career highlight of one of the pre-eminent women in rally racing, Michèle Mouton.

In 2004, Sports Car International named this car number four on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1980s.

While the Quattro drive system is used in VWs and Skodas, Audi is the only manufacturer licenced to use the name.

External links[]


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