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35 years of the Audi Quattro: anniversary drive in the original quattro

Hans-Dieter Seufert
35 years of Audi Quattro
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To our astonishment, the following finding has not yet been recognized by any historians' commission: without Adenauer there would be no Quattro. We would like to briefly clarify what the first Federal Chancellor did with the A udi Quattro had to do. Namely everything. Without Adenauer, the young Federal Republic would not have been linked to the West, no rearmament in 1955, no DKW Munga as a military vehicle, no development contract to Audi for a successor, so no VW Iltis and without VW Iltis also no Audi Quattro.

Because the idea for the Audi Quattro is born 1977, when Audi's test manager Jörg Bensinger roared through snowy Finland with the Iltis test car and wondered how smart it would be with a lot more horsepower. The idea of ​​high-speed all-wheel drive is supported by Ferdinand Piëch at home in Ingolstadt. The next step is to convince the controllers, the Wolfsburg and Wolfsburg controllers of the idea, for which the developers let the Audi rattle up wet meadows and snowy mountains.

Urquattro pulls lanes through the snow

We could now tell for a long time about the founding myths of the Audi Quattro, all of the four-wheel drive folklore, with which well-known stories might become a little better known. Or we could climb into the Urquattro, through the snow, to tell why the Audi Quattro was, is and remains one of the greatest sports cars ever. You can guess how that works out.

The red Audi Quattro with the chassis number 85ZJA900654 is actually in the Audi Tradition garage, where, in addition to old cars, there is also a very enterprising attitude towards car rental. A Urquattro? In the winter? In the snow? On ice? When do you need it? The car is delivered by a very cheerful truck driver, who is able to surprise us when unloading with the information that he not only sleeps, smokes and eats in the cab of his truck, but also grills sausages.

With the five-cylinder hum that can never be programmed into a sound generator, it warms upIn-line engine first oil, water and interior. Except for the flanks on display, the sports car looks like a normal Audi Coupé.

Four-wheel drive for good reason

Which is because the Audi Quattro was supposed to look like a normal Audi Coupé after the facelift in January 1985. Inside, even leather-covered sports seats don't change the fact that the furnishing style resembles an 80s eat-in kitchen. All the important buttons can be pressed without having to take your hand off the steering wheel, which above all allows conclusions to be drawn about the small number of functions. Yes, there may be an on-board computer, but it can be hidden, then only the speed flickers on the digital display (from 10/1982).

Clutch, first gear, and off. The Audi Quattro pulls off gently in the driving report, so undramatic. Then the photographer plops on the floor and the truck driver laughs, because that's when you remember that the Audi is parked in an icy parking lot. It is said that test drives that lasted for days tried to convince the board of directors of the advantages of all-wheel drive. Today, in three seconds, it is clear what power the Audi Quattro has. We drift down into the valley, soon onto a forest path that has been cordoned off for us. A bit of pebbles rattle in the wheel arches, then there is frozen ice, then snow.

Now would be a good moment to remember that only 11,560 of all Urquattro versions were built from 1980 to 1991 that such a perfect Audi Quattro is as expensive today as a Porsche 911 of the same age - we're talking about a sum far north of 50,000 euros - and the fact that neither the names Blomqvist, Stig nor Röhrl, Walter or Mouton, Michèle are standing (especially the latter would be a big surprise).

Audi Quattro - driving fast made easy

So better be careful ... what the heck: second gear, full throttle . The turbo builds up pressure, twenty-two, twenty-three haahaahaa ... The Audi Quattro sprays fountains of snow on all four wheels, then grips the snow as if it were dry, grippy asphalt. Then the coupe shoots up the mountain. A short ditch on the brakes before the curve is recommended by the rally heroes. Um, yes, their recommendation is now careless in the narrow forest, but with a gentle approach, the Audi Quattro hangs the rear a bit towards the forest on the outer board.

Gently counter-steer and accelerate again, then it spreads Torsen differential force so that it straightens the load again. So fast and sure that you wonder if Röhrl was right after all. He drifted a wolf with the Ascona in 1982 in order to keep up with the Audi rivals. And enriched the list of mutual friendliness between him and Madame Mouton with the statement that even a monkey can drive the Audi Quattro fast.

With a monkey tooth, butIn any case, all-wheel drive and turbo engine thresh the Audi Quattro uphill extremely safely, and a braking snow wedge pushes itself under the front wheels before the tight bends when you switch off the ABS. Then accelerate fully again, marvel at the enormous traction of the narrow 205 winter tires, shift, brake, start, hit the gas again. To the last knoll. Then the Audi emerges from the forest. The Quattro is at the top. Still.

Development of the Audi Quattro

It's about gravel. And ice, slush and a few dry roads. But above all, it's about the World Rally Championship. Just like the 1969 Porsche 917 was about Le Mans (and maybe also about a little self-expression). The Audi Quattro is intended to revolutionize the world of sports cars as well as the rally world. To this end, on the advice of Audi, the regulations will initially be changed so that all-wheel drive cars are also allowed to participate.

The development of the competition and the production model is running in parallel, after all, the Audi Quattro is also the top model in the series and not homologation model only. In 1981 Audi entered the World Rally Championship; Hannu Mikkola took his first victory in the second outing, the Rally Sweden. Victory number two: Michèle Mouton at the San Remo. It was not enough for the world championship title for Mikkola and Audi until 1983. In the following year Walter Röhrl started for Audi, won the prelude, the Monte.

But the drivers' world championship for Audi got Stig Blomqvist, Röhrl won only one rally with Audi in four years, the 1985 San Remo in the S1. The Audi Quattro is a Group B monster, accelerating from standstill to 100 km /h in 2.6 seconds. In its most powerful version, the S1 started in 1987 for the “race in the clouds” on Pikes Peak. Röhrl drives the 19.99 km in 10.47.85 minutes - the first under eleven minutes.

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