1980 Audi quattro

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Image for 1980 Audi quattro - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 1980 Audi quattro - Exteriors, Interiors and Details
Image for 1980 Audi quattro - Exteriors, Interiors and Details

About the Car

1980 Audi quattro

The Audi Quattro was a famous and historically significant Audi road and Rally car. It was special in that it was the first AWD Grand Tourer since 1966’s Jensen FF. Officially, the model name is simply “Quattro”, always with a capital “Q” (although the graphics on the car, confusingly, refer to the AWD system and use a lowercase “q”). The word “quattro” with the lowercase “q” is used to refer to either the Audi AWD system, or any AWD version of an Audi automobile. To avoid confusion, it is also commonly referred to as the Ur-Quattro (the “Ur-” prefix is a German augmentative used, in this case, to mean “original” and is also applied to the first generation of Audi’s S4 and S6 sport sedans, as in “UrS4” and “UrS6”).

European Distribution

Audi released the original Quattro in 1980, making it both the first car to feature Audi’s quattro All Wheel Drive system (hence its name) and the first to mate quattro with a turbocharged engine. The powerplant was a 2.1 L, single overhead cam, 10 valve straight-5 originally making 160 hp (149 kW) and eventually receiving upgrades to 200 hp and then to a twin-cam setup producing 220 hp (164 kW). It is considered one of the most significant rally cars of all time, and was one of the first to take advantage of the then-recently changed rules which allowed the use of all-wheel-drive in competition racing. Many critics doubted the viability of all-wheel-drive racers, thinking them to be too heavy and complex, yet the Quattro was an instant success, winning its first rally on its first outing. It won competition after competition for the next two years.

Total road car production is around 11,000 vehicles over the period 1980-1991. The body style received very little modification during its production run, the only significant changes were made for the 1985 model year, which included a new sloping front grill, headlights, trim and badging changes. All Quattros were hand built in Germany by a dedicated crew.

North American Distribution

Sales of the Quattro in North America began with the 1983 model year and continued through 1986. Total sales in the USA was 664 units.

The Audi Sport Quattro

The Audi Sport Quattro was a Quattro program car developed for Group B rallying homologation, and sold as a production car in limited numbers – it featured a different body shell and a significantly shorter wheelbase.

Other information

The Quattro is also famous for being a career highlight of one of the pre-eminent women in rally racing, Michèle Mouton.

In 2004, Sports Car International named this car number four on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1980s.


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