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Audi Quattro purchase advice: Price explosion for the original Quattro

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Audi Quattro purchase advice
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Admittedly, it sometimes seems improvised, imperfect and not exactly velvety. But that is precisely the attraction of the early A udi Quattro. He lives the opposite of the boulevard sports car, looks for adventure on the gravel road and shows how effective large-scale technology can be when it is inherently robust and talented engineers pull out all the stops.


Hardy Mutschler

After the DKW Munga and VW Iltis off-road vehicles developed in Ingolstadt, Ferdinand Piëch, head of Audi development at the time, came up with the idea of ​​a high-traction passenger car with permanent all-wheel drive. It was to be called Carat and the design-related front-wheel drive power limit of around 170 hp was to be pushed far upwards through neutral driving characteristics in order to establish Audi as the third luxury brand alongside Mercedes and BMW. This was achieved with the Audi V8 from 1988 at the latest.

The Quattro, developed by Jörg Bensinger, Walter Treser and Roland Gumpert, provided the initial spark. The platform for the all-wheel drive was the second Audi 80, Type 81, from 1978, which was developed by Dr. Fritz Indra developed the 2.2-liter five-cylinder turbo engine and contributed the Audi 200 5T. The design comes from Giugiaro, but was transformed into a muscular fastback coupé shape by Hartmut Warkuß and Martin Smith, the civilian offshoot of which is called the Audi Coupé GT.

Body variants

Arturo Rivas

There is only the Coupé, optionally with a pop-top roof. The Sport Quattro, which was built by Baur in Stuttgart from 1984 to 1987 in 212 copies for the homologation of the new Group B regulations, was shortened to 2205 mm between the axles. The Sport Quattro already anticipated the DOHC 20V five-cylinder from 1989, but it developed 306 hp at 6700 rpm instead of 220 hp at 5900 rpm in the Audi Quattro of the second generation.


Arturo Rivas

The permanent all-wheel drive with bevel gear intermediate differential was improved in 1987 in the second generation with the Torsen worm gear. The force distribution could now be controlled axially up to 75:25 and vice versa, previously it was fixed at 50:50.



With an exhaust gas turbocharger and intercooler, the long-stroke five-cylinder generates 200 hp from 2144 cm3, later from 2226 cm3. In 1989 the elaborate 20V engine with 220 HP was presented, which constructively draws from the full.


Arturo Rivas

Very emotional, because the imposing-sounding five-cylinder thrusts powerfully from 2000 rpm, because the Quattro offers the best traction and allows high cornering speeds. A real sports device with direct power steering and a precise five-speed gearbox. In addition, this exciting mixture of puristic rusticity and luxurious appeal, which is particularly evident in the early Quattro.

The Quattro as a classic

Arturo Rivas

After a long descent, the Audi milestone and two-time rally world champion Quattro (1983 and 1984) received the unreserved consecration of a classic; today it is considered an icon.


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