Audi quattro

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Audi quattro (1980–1982)
Audi quattro (1980–1982)
Production period: 1980-1991
Class : Middle class
Body versions : Coupe
Petrol engines : 2.1–2.2 liters
(147–225 kW)
Length: 4404 mm
Width: 1723 mm
Height: 1344 mm
Wheelbase : 2525 mm
Empty weight : 1335 kg
successor Audi Coupé S2

The Audi quattro (also known as the Ur-quattro by Audi ) is a sports coupé from the Audi brand that was produced between spring 1980 and mid-1991. With 11,452 units built, it was one of the first road vehicles with permanent all-wheel drive to be produced in large numbers and was decisive for the success story of Audi's quattro drive and for the use of permanent all-wheel drive in road vehicles in general.

In the mid-1960s, a few road vehicles were equipped with permanent all-wheel drive from Ferguson . These included the Jensen FF presented in 1966 , of which only 320 vehicles were produced, as well as the Ford Zephyr with Ferguson all-wheel drive, of which 22 vehicles were experimentally manufactured for the British police. Because of the high production costs, the latter project was not pursued any further. The production of the Jensen FF was also stopped in 1971.

In the fall of 1971, Subaru launched the L-series, an all-wheel drive road vehicle that was equipped with a switchable all-wheel drive. In September 1979 American Motors introduced the AMC Eagle , whose permanent all-wheel drive worked with a viscous coupling .

Quattro GmbH was founded in 1983 , from then on permanent all-wheel drive was optionally available for more and more Audi vehicles.

Audi itself describes the Audi Coupé S2 model as the official successor to the original quattro .

The word quattro ( Italian for four ) is written in lowercase letters throughout. The original quattro logo also shows only minuscules .


During test drives in Scandinavia in 1977, during which Audi sedans were to be tested, the test manager Jörg Bensinger found that the support vehicle he was driving - an all-wheel-drive VW Iltis ( off-road vehicle , potential successor to the DKW Munga for the German armed forces ) 55 kW (75 PS) - was by far the fastest vehicle in the test fleet under winter conditions. After his return, he reported on his experiences to Ferdinand Piëch , then head of the vehicle development department at Audi. He convinced him to have a prototype with a five - cylinder turbo engine and four - wheel drive based on the Audi 80 produced with a small group of employees .

In 1978 this prototype with 118 kW (160 PS) was so developed that it could be presented to the VW Board of Management . This presentation took place during a test in Austria where winter tires and snow chains were to be tested on other vehicles on a snowy, steep incline. The quattro prototype mastered the incline without any problems - on summer tires . Another demonstration took place in the summer of 1978 in which the quattro prototype was supposed to drive up a steep, heavily watered meadow. Of all the comparison vehicles available for this test, only the quattro prototype mastered the task. A short time later, the VW board gave its approval for the construction.

In February 1979, another prototype, disguised as the Audi 80, was presented to some international journalists in Turrach , Austria. Paul Frère was among them . Two vehicles with winter tires with front-engine and rear-wheel drive and an Audi 100 with front-engine and front-wheel drive were available. While Frère only got around 150 meters on the snow-covered slope when driving the limousine , he even had to slow down in the quattro prototype because the speed reached was too high for this route. When he reached the top, he turned around, drove back and was asked by the development engineer Walter Treser whether he would like to carry out the experiment again on winter tires. Again the vehicle only had summer tires on. During another attempt that day - this time the vehicle was fitted with winter tires - Frère stopped on an enormous slope of 28% with a thick layer of snow and drove on without any problems. It seemed to have impressed him so much that he wrote a book about the Audi quattro and wrote down his experiences in it.

In March 1980 the Audi quattro was presented to the public at the Geneva Motor Show . The vehicle was celebrated as a sensation by the trade press around the world using numerous superlatives.


The body of the Audi quattro is based on that of the Audi Coupé . This in turn was a modified Audi 80 with two doors and hatchback . Externally, the quattro differed from the coupé in that it had widened fenders , more voluminous bumpers , sills and a larger rear spoiler . Some sources claim that the body was partially galvanized in the last few years .


  • 03/1980: Presentation of the Audi quattro at the Geneva Motor Show , which goes on sale in July.
  • 09/1982: Wide double headlights under glass and digital instead of analog displays.
  • 09/1983: Presentation of the Audi Sport quattro at the IAA in Frankfurt.
  • 12/1984: The quattro is visually matched to the coupé. Changes: black taillights, new dashboard, changed headlights and grille.
  • 08/1987: New engine with a displacement of 2.2 liters as well as new digital fittings and a new central differential.
  • 08/1989: New 2.2 l engine with four valves per cylinder ("20V").
  • 05/1991: Production of the quattro is discontinued.

Drive technology

The Urquattro received permanent four-wheel drive with a middle and rear differential lock . Up until the end of 1981, both locks could be operated manually and independently of one another with two claw clutches using cables. From 1982 up to and including 1987 both or only the rear lock could be switched on and off manually electropneumatically.

The quattro has been further revised over the years. In particular, its all-wheel-drive system was refined a little from the 1987 model year with a Torsen medium differential . The rear differential remained manually electropneumatic. These vehicles were ideally suited for winter drives or for other difficult operations on slippery roads (rain, dirt, autumn leaves, etc.).


There were different engine variants for this vehicle, but all quattros had a five-cylinder in - line engine with an exhaust gas turbocharger .

  • Audi quattro: 2.1-liter engine (2144 cm³) with 147  kW / 200  PS , MKB WR (03 / 1980-07 / 1987)
  • Audi quattro: 2.1-liter engine (2144 cm³) with 147 kW / 200 PS, MKB GV (05 / 1984-07 / 1987). Switzerland and Sweden only. Changed ignition map due to stricter emission standards.
  • Audi quattro: 2.2 liter engine (2226 cm³) with 147 kW / 200 PS, MKB MB (08 / 1987-07 / 1989)
  • Audi quattro: 2.1-liter engine (2144 cm³) with 119 kW / 162 PS and cat. , MKB WX (12 / 1984-10 / 1988)
  • Audi quattro 20V: 2.2-liter engine (2226 cm³) with 162 kW / 220 PS, four valves per cylinder (hence "20V"), MKB RR (08 / 1989-05 / 1991)
  • Audi Sport quattro: 2.1 liter engine (2133 cm³) with 225 kW / 306 PS (shortened wheelbase, four valves per cylinder), MKB KW (09 / 1984-08 / 1985)
  • Audi Sport quattro S1: 2.1-liter engine (2133 cm³) with 390 kW / 530 PS (shortened wheelbase, four valves per cylinder, for rally use ; 1985)


Acceleration 0–100 km / h in seconds and the top speed in km / h are given.

  • Audi quattro from 1980, 147 kW / 200 PS: 7.1 s, 222 km / h
  • Audi quattro 20V from 1989, 162 kW / 220 PS: 6.3 s, 230 km / h
  • Audi Sport quattro from 1984, 225 kW / 306 PS: 4.9 s, 250 km / h
  • Audi Sport quattro S1 from 1985, 390 kW / 530 PS: 2.6 seconds ( dual clutch transmission ) or 3.1 seconds (manual transmission), rally vehicle

Test values

quattro quattro 20V Sport quattro
0-40 km / h 1.8 s 1.5 s 1.4 s
0-60 km / h 3.3 s 2.8 s 2.4 s
0-80 km / h 4.8 s 4.3 s 3.7 s
0-100 km / h 7.3 s 6.5 s 4.5 s
0-120 km / h 9.9 s 8.9 s 6.3 s
0-140 km / h 13.3 s 12.0 s 9.3 s
0-160 km / h 17.9 s 16.4 s 12.2 s
0-180 km / h 24.1 s 21.1 s 16.1 s
0-200 km / h 38.1 s 29.1 s 18.4 s
1 km from a standstill 27.8 s 26.6 s 23.9 s
Top speed 224 km / h 233 km / h 248 km / h


Audi Sport quattro (1984–1985)

Sport quattro

A special variant was the Audi Sport quattro , also known as “the short one” , which was available from autumn 1984 , a significantly more powerful model with 225 kW (306 hp) and 350 Nm torque that has been shortened to 4.16 m body length and is the base vehicle for the Group B cars depicted. The body modification made the wheelbase 32 cm shorter. The dimensions of the body changed to: length 4164 mm, width 1790 mm, height 1345 mm.

The Sport quattro was until the summer of 1985 in a number of reportedly 220 copies (for the FIA - homologation of Group B were prescribed at least 200 pieces mandatory) built and a road version of the then exorbitant price of first 195,000  DM , later 203,500  DM in free Sale offered. However, there is different information about the production figures of the Sport quattro. Audi itself (logically) speaks of 200 vehicles produced, as required by the regulations, and of 20 more cars as evolutionary models. Graham Robson, an internationally recognized British trade journalist, writes, however, that no more than around 160 vehicles were actually produced, some of which, at least less than 20, were modified into evolutionary models contrary to the regulations.

Sport quattro S1 and E2

The Audi Sport quattro S1 emerged from the Sport quattro. It was produced in 1984 as the first so-called evolution model in an edition of 20 exclusively for racing purposes. 1985 came the E2, also known as "the wing monster", which was not based on the 20 previously built S1 versions, but was again produced in a number of 20 Sport quattro units as required by the FIA. All of these rally vehicles were not intended for free sale, but were reserved exclusively for the Audi Sport factory department . Only after the FIA banned Group B from the World Rally Championship at the end of 1986 could a few privileged motorsport enthusiasts buy them there.

Audi E2 “Pikes Peak” driven by Walter Röhrl at the 1st Rossfeldberg race in 2013

A particularly extreme variant of the Audi Sport quattro E2 is the "E2 Pikes Peak", with which Walter Röhrl set a new course record on Pikes Peak in 1987 and which is said to have an engine output of at least 441 kW (600 hp). When Auto Racing Rallycross there was the late 1980s and early 1990s some S1 and E2 Rallycross ideas who possessed engines with more than 478 kW (650 hp). The E2 Pikes Peak is still in racing condition and is occasionally shown at representative events, such as the international Arosa ClassicCar 2012 hill climb .

Tuning variants on a quattro basis

The very rare conversion of the Audi quattro Roadster from Treser
Henri Pescarolo in the ROC Audi quattro with high roof for the Dakar Rally 1984/1985 at the 24h de Chamonix in 1985


The Treser company, which was founded by the engineer Walter Treser , who played a key role in the development of the Audi quattro , converted a few examples into convertibles with a fixed roof, whereby the technology of the roof is comparable to that of the Mercedes SLK .


The Artz company built some special versions of the Audi quattro, mostly one-offs. These included a station wagon version with a very large tailgate made of glass that reached as far as the light strip between the taillights and a sedan based on the Audi 80 with the front, the extensions, the taillights and the technology of the Audi quattro.


For the Dakar Rally (1984/1985), the French company ROC built quattros with a roof raised by more than 10 cm.


Audi quattro A2 with Walter Röhrl during the Rally Portugal 1984
Franz Wurz as Björn Waldegård's Audi quattro co-driver at the January rally of 1984
Rudi Stohl and actor Roland Eugen Beiküfner at the Quattro legend 2015
Audi Sport Quattro E2 1
Audi Sport Quattro E2 2
  • The Audi quattro was built only 11,452 times. Its all-wheel drive technology was further developed and used for other Audi vehicles. The vehicles from Audi equipped with all-wheel drive still have the suffix “quattro” in the model name to this day.
  • Today the Urquattro is very popular and is priced significantly higher than other Audi vehicles from this time.
  • Today, the term quattro also stands for quattro GmbH , an Audi company that, like Mercedes-AMG or BMW M GmbH, specializes in the series production of particularly sporty vehicles ex works, whereby special customer requests can also be taken into account.
  • The car was originally supposed to bear the name “Carat”, an abbreviation for “Coupé All-Wheel Drive Turbo”. It was not until late that this name was discarded due to a perfume with the same name, the image and target group of which did not seem suitable for the Quattro.
  • What is largely unknown or only forgotten is that the first FIA Autosport title with an Audi quattro was not won by the Audi works team, but by the Austrian Franz Wurz . The father of Formula 1 Car Driver Alexander Wurz secured on 3 October 1982 at the Estering in Buxtehude his third Rally Cross -Europameistertitel (after 1974 and 1976), while Audi itself until about a month later in the RAC Rally of Great Britain , the World Rally Championship of 1982 (only the brand classification, Walter Röhrl won the driver’s classification in the Opel Ascona 400).
  • According to the KBA, at least 402 vehicles with the type code number of this series were registered as of January 1, 2015.
  • In 2012, the Thuringian body shop Gehrt manufactured a technically and optically true-to-original replica of the winning car of the San Remo Rally from 1985. For this purpose, almost all project partners at that time were involved again in order to manufacture the old components true to the original. The former Head of Audi Motorsport Roland Gumpert also did decisive work for this . The former drivers of the car, Walter Röhrl and Stig Blomqvist, were also involved in the project.
  • March 1, 2018, the announced Federal Ministry of Finance in Germany, a special issue of the stamp series ' classic German cars " from a nominal value of 1.45 euros on which the Audi Quattro is displayed.


Web links

Commons : Audi quattro  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Audi AG: quattro®: More traction, more safety, more dynamism .
  2. ^ Subaru press website: Symmetrical AWD. Archived from the original on October 16, 2009 ; Retrieved December 7, 2012 .
  3. ^ The Egg - Development of the AMC Eagle - By Doug Shepard ( Memento from January 12, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  4. The S models. In: .
  5. a b c d e f g h i j k Automobil Revue 15/1981 2.4.1981
  6. a b c d e f g h i j k Automobil Revue 15/1991 April 25, 1991
  7. a b c d e f g Automobil Revue 12/1984
  8. a b c Auto Zeitung 18/85,1
  9. Autocar August 14, 1985
  10. ( Memento from July 8, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  11. Passenger car inventory on January 1, 2015 by manufacturer, trade name and selected features. (PDF) In: Statistische Mitteilungen des Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt FZ 2, January 1, 2015. Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, July 2015, p. 14f , accessed on November 20, 2015 .
  12. Replika Sport quattro E2 accessed on February 1, 2013.
  13. Audi quattro, postage stamp for 1.45 €, 10-sheet accessed on March 1, 2018.