In 1980, nearly 40 years ago, Audi introduced the legendary Four Wheel Drive ‘quattro’ technology which permanently revolutionised the automobile industry. The car was christened as the Audi Quattro, and in less than a year its Group 4 version (a typical racing class, referring to sports-car and GT racing) entered its first International Automobile Federation (FIA) rally and won it straight away. In doing so, the Ingolstadt company also changed the entire game, setting the bar formidably high. Ever since then, the all-wheel drive became the go-to indispensable design for winning anything other than a smooth, dry runway. It was a simple concept, but a very cool car – a coupe version of the Audi 80 (B2), with a turbocharged five-cylinder engine good for 200 hp and mated to a compact differential that facilitated a 50/50 torque split between the front and rear wheels.
But even this wasn’t a perfect rally car according to Audi – it was unweildy in tighter and heavy sections. Soon, other manufacturers were catching up, too – so in order to maximize the Quattro’s motorsports potential, a shorter-wheelbase version was getting designed. For the 1983 season, manufacturers were asked to build just 200 examples of high-quality rally cars (compared to the 5,000 of the outgoing Group 4 cars), and this encouraged them to build some ridiculously amazing creations. For the Audi Quattro itself was a massive innovation ; Audi consecutively took the Group B World Rally Championship driver’s titles in 1982, ’83 and ’84 with this car.
In building its B Sport Quattro range, Audi made major changes to its donor car. The project was led by former Alpina man Dr. Fritz I Nadra, who was commissioned by Ferdinand Pesch to build a lighter, more powerful version of the company’s innovative five-cylinder engine. He oversaw the development of a new alloy engine block and a 20-valve cylinder head. He said at the time, “For this Sport Quattro engine, I was told I could make a no-compromise engine – which is why it’s so good.”
The result was staggering – 302 bhp at 6500 rpm, capable of running at 7300 rpm for 24 hours on the test bench, and powered by a massive turbocharger that delivers 3 bars of boost on the road. In the end, it shared very little with the standard five-cylinder engine it depended on – even engine capacity changed, dropping to 2,133 cc (from 2,144 cc) in order to slip below 3.0 liters under the FIA turbo multiplier rules.
The most obvious change to the exterior of the car is the 12.6cm reduction in the car’s wheelbase. It could have been fashionable and had all of the proportional stability of a lump hammer, however it became without a doubt fascinating to look at, with its wider wings, fatter wheels and a multiplicity of air intakes. Weight became quoted by Audi at 1000kg, with a 55:45% weight distribution, however the real kerb weight ended up being round 1200kg whilst independently tested – nonetheless suitable for power to weight ratio.
This exotic stuff was charged more than £50,000 for customer cars when it was sold on a limited basis in the UK in 1985 and ’86 by Audi.
Unsurprisingly, this is an exciting car on many levels. For anyone who remembered the impact of this car in the mid-1980s, the excitement started when you saw it for the first time-it was compact, powerful, and very good-looking. Hard as nails. When I say “compact”, I mean very small, and it takes up less space than modern super minis. After entering, it was not terrible at all. The visibility and driver’s position are more like an upright family car than a lying supercar, which I really like. Turn it on and after a short churning , the five-pot settles into a surprisingly muted idle, although a blip of the throttle to clear its throat rewards you with a growling off-beat thrum that sounds wonderfully bass-laden.
The beginning of the work is not dramatic enough. The controls are heavy, but not that annoying, and the power transmission is progressive and easy to manage. Once it gets hot, it will soon become your first opportunity to lean on it, followed by the floor. Cause it to pull relatively slowly until it is turbocharged. At about 4500 rpm, the boost pressure indicator turns westward at 3 bar, and everything starts with a line. The engine sound became more loud, and the whole thing became exciting and blurred, as it began to waver on the horizon like a supercar. The gearbox is well tested and once it boils, the downshift will continue to turn the turbine and provide impeccable acceleration flow. To get a sense of perspective, 0-60 mph takes 4.8 seconds and 100 times 12.3-although things like Honda Civic Type R or Volkswagen Golf R may be harder, when your Turbo KKK is there, you will feel it as a used car Peak. It makes these modern attackers feel very digital and soulless.
Considering that this is a special certification inspired by motorsports, it is a well-preserved and beautifully decorated place to stay. It is based on the Audi Quattro, but surprisingly has little to do with the car it donated. It is almost perfect, unlike the standard British right rudder Quattro, which has an aggressive steering wheel that forces you to make strange adjustments. Fortunately, it also looks better than the B2 generation Audi on which it is based, but if you look closely, you will find that the dashboard is unique to Sport Quattro, which is an anonymous one-piece with a shared instrument box. However, everything applies to the Audi 200, and it is more practical and comfortable than a super sports car, so the price has been adjusted. You are in the city, you can see all four corners, there is space for your things in the cabin, and you can even fit some luggage in the trunk.
The Audi Sport Quattro is a very special car. This well reflects that the Group B rally is completely useless for the development of cars, and it has not been so successful in motorsports, but it is on a great and beautiful road. When it was new, it was different from many other certifications of the time because it was widely trimmed and sold as the best supercar to compete with the Porsche 911 Turbo and Lamborghini Countach. Together with other Group B road vehicles such as the MG Metro 6R4 or Peugeot 205 T16, it is very easy to use and control, which makes it unique today, which is easily reflected in its cost: £500,000 or more . Sport Quattro has an inherently annoying mechanical design, but engineers have created a car for drivers that can activate their synapses with impressively more confidence than any other Group B certification today. And it’s great, but what really opens your eyes to its modernity and relevance is its handling. Its ability to change direction is excellent, especially when you consider the distance in front of the front axle of the five-cylinder engine. Having said that, this is not a robot that can move from point A to point B at an astonishing speed and without emotion: there’s soul at the heart of the Sport Quattro and it’s telegraphed through its steering, your backside and your ears.