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Audi Quattro and Porsche 911 SC in the driving report: high-tech versus weight training

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Audi Quattro and Porsche 911 SC in the driving report
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Audi Quattro - even getting in is something special: I let myself gently on the comfortably padded, almost Down the already plush-looking driver's seat and forcefully slam the panda-thin door into the lock. I'm sitting in the rolling legend A udi Quattro, a car that gave a brand new, sporty image and at the same time was considered an example of the latest automotive technology.

The Workplace in the Quattro looks spartan

My gaze wanders in the Audi Quattro via a dark brown plastic cockpit with an attached instrument box in which I only register a rev counter, speedometer, fuel gauge and boost pressure indicator. After all: the steering wheel and gear knob of the five-speed gearbox are covered in leather, there are electric windows and electrically adjustable exterior mirrors. Most impressive are the control displays for the two differential locks of the all-wheel drive: Two overturned Hs - as huge as if they came from a wheel loader.

Overall, the interior taken over from the Audi 80 works for around 50,000 marks that the Audi Quattro once cost, quite spartan. As a reminder: We are in the price range of the Porsche 911 SC, BMW 628 CSi and Mercedes-Benz 280 SLC. And they had at least some wood and chrome, a few more instruments and doors that fell tightly shut. I console myself with the prospect of unbridled, roaring all-wheel turbo power and start the engine of the Audi Quattro.

The Audi Quattro's machine runs surprisingly smoothly, only slight vibrations on the hands and buttocks. In the city, when you stop at traffic lights, the endearing, because you haven't heard for a long time, 'Trak ... trak ... trak ... trak ...' on the analog clock drowns out the rumble from the engine compartment. A turbo engine showered with odes to progress is at work there: 200 hp from a displacement of 2.1 liters, maximum boost pressure 0.85 bar. A charge air cooler in the Audi Quattro lowers the intake air temperature from 130 to 80 degrees. While I am swimming from traffic light to traffic light in city traffic, the machine pulls through bravely, even if I am already at3,000 rpm change gears. The needle of the boost pressure display occasionally wobbles out of the zero range.

Two rally world championship titles for the Quattro

Red again. We're waiting - time to look back at the history of the Audi Quattro: Actually a brilliant idea, including the exotic five-cylinder turbo engine to combine a permanent all-wheel drive. This not only gave the Audi Quattro its name, but also made it a bird of paradise in the automotive world in 1980. As normal street cars, only the AMC Eagle and the Subaru Leone had four-wheel drive. On the other hand, there were already a lot of series cars with turbo gasoline engines: Buick Regal, Lotus Esprit, Renault R5 Turbo, Porsche 924 and 911 and Saab 900.

Responsible for the revolutionary technology package in the Audi Quattro was Ferdinand Piëch, grandson of Ferdinand Porsche. Piëch was Head of Technical Development at Audi from 1975 to 1988 and wanted to bring the brand, which was reintroduced in 1965 and still not very prominent, to the attention of customers with a bang - which he succeeded immediately with the Audi Quattro. The combination of all-wheel drive plus turbo, plus the exotic five-cylinder engine, formed the unique selling point of the high-performance sports coupé.

And just as Piëch once catapulted Stuttgart into the top league of racing cars with the Porsche 917, the successful rallies of the Audi Quattro ensured a new image of the four rings. The two rally world champions in the Audi Quattro were Hannu Mikkola (1983) and Stig Blomqvist (1984), plus the brand title from 1982.

With full boost pressure, things are moving forward violently

Finally I can also give my Audi Quattro the spurs. Free travel on a country road with little traffic. With moderate acceleration beyond the 3,000 rpm limit, I think I can hear a fine turbine whistle. From 4,000 rpm the needle of the boost pressure indicator shoots up feverishly and the coupé so vehemently forward that I can hardly keep up with shifting. This has a bit to do with the jittery gearshift.

In contrast to much younger front-wheel drive turbo racers, the Audi Quattro has no traction problems and no steering twitching when it is fully powered. Thanks to all-wheel drive, the Quattro is almost as smart as a modern Audi A3, only much more comfortable. I quickly gain confidence in the well-balanced, slightly understeering turbo rocket. The high seating position and the good view to the front of the hood edges make it easier to circle around tight corners. The Audi Quattro is now a real pleasure, looks familiar like an old buddy who you can expect a lot without being let down by him. But is it really a real alternative to the Porsche 911 SC? Is the Audi Quattro a real sports car?

Different, sportier world - Porsche 911

Change of vehicle. I get into the Porsche 911 cockpitand even before I've driven another meter, I feel in a completely different world. The interior is much more compact, but still looks bright and friendly. Five round instruments are placed in a wide arch directly below the windshield, with the large rev counter in the center. They also provide information about oil pressure, oil temperature and the content of the 13 liter dry sump reservoir. The steering wheel with a thick leather rim is just a few centimeters from the watch collection - unchanged for 17 years when the first Porsche 911 was in the salesroom.

In contrast to the Audi newcomer Quattro, the Porsche 911 is an established sports car Size that the Ingolstadt-based company challenged in a provocative way: At 49,900 marks, the Quattro was just as expensive as the Porsche 911 SC, which accelerated the mystification of the youngest Audi offspring as a cheeky challenger even more. One can assume that Audi man Piëch liked such games with his former employer.

The Porsche 911 fits like a triathlete's dress, not a baggy jogging suit like the Audi Quattro. The view ahead is impeccable. Of the red body I only see the two exposed rounded fenders with the headlights.

The 911 just fits

Faster than in the Quattro, the Porsche creates a secure sense of togetherness - after I get to grips with the hard clutch and the long gearshifts that take place in the last third of the way got used. First, I stroll down a busy main road and check the steering that works spontaneously. From behind, the air-cooled boxer always howls something during leisurely gear changes. The 204 hp engine of the Porsche 911 also pushes bravely from 2,000 to 4,000 rpm, but it seems to be pretty bored.

Down on a small pass road. I hold back from turning the machine because the enormous amount of oil has not yet reached its operating temperature. But then! The engine pushes from behind like a jet, from 4,500 rpm the howling changes into a hard metallic screeching. The steering of the Porsche 911 is a tad lighter while accelerating, the Porsche claws into the asphalt with such poison. Accelerating out of corners, preferably uphill, is the domain of the Porsche 911, which, unlike the Audi, wants to be moved with more tip-toe feeling in order to avoid involuntary spins. Even when I drive straight ahead, the Porsche 911 requires more attention than the Audi Quattro, which stoically pulls its course, due to its pronounced rear-heaviness and direct steering.

The sportsman meets the high-tech device

However, the Porsche 911 rewards its alert driver with the significantly better driving values ​​determined by auto motor und sport : It sprinted from standstill to 100 km /h in a sensational 5.9 seconds, the AudiQuattro took 1.5 seconds more time for this. At the top speed, the 240 km /h of the Porsche 911 was compared to the 222 km /h of the Audi Quattro. The feeling of the Porsche 911 is also the sportier car. Nevertheless, and rightly so, the Audi Quattro won a place of honor in the sports car Olympus thanks to all-wheel drive and rally successes.

Shortly after its debut, the Audi Quattro found its role as a legendary high-tech bolide. At the end of his test report, Dirk-Michael Conradt wrote in auto motor und sport , issue 4/1981: 'For omnipresent admirers, it is not just a simple Audi, but rather, full of awe, 'the Quattro'.' Today more than ever, of course.


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