The Audi Quattro was first shown in concept form at the 1980 Geneva Auto Show. It wowed everybody that saw it, and Audi decided to make it into a production car. It was meant to compete in many different rally classes such as WRC (World Rally Championships).
The Quattro was the first of the rally cars to take advantage of the recently changed rules that allowed four-wheel drive. It then went on to win every rally competition for the next two years. But, the competition was catching up: Lancia’s Stratos and Ford’s Cosworth-powered Escort were also winning a lot.
The Quattro had independent front and rear suspension that helped it perform in some of the most challenging climates and terrains on Earth. It had a five-speed manual transmission with three, yes T-H-R-E-E locking differentials: front, center and rear. It had a 2.2 liter in-line five cylinder engine that produced up to 510 horsepower in the turbocharged rally versions. Street cars had to do with just 306 horsepower. Of course, the Quattro was very light and quick. It tipped the scales at around 3265 pounds. That is about 75 pounds lighter than a Chevy Corvette Z06 Carbon Edition!
The Quattro did not have ABS, but to make up for it, it had very large disc brakes. Many Quattro’s had air conditioning and 90% of them had leather upholstery. The Quattro’s that were imported to Canada mostly had sunroofs.
The racing versions had bodies made out of Carbon-Fiber and Kevlar. The racing versions’ wheelbase was shortened by 12.6 inches. In honor of the 30th anniversary of the original Quattro concept, at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show, Audi unveiled the Quattro concept. The new Quattro concept follows the same idea as the original Quattro: five cylinder engine, Quattro all-wheel drive and copious amounts of Carbon-Fiber. Dr. Ferdinand K. Piech said “the Quattro concept will definitely become a road car. It will be a low volume car that will compete with the Porsche 911 Turbo. Road & Track has already tested the concept against the original. You can look forward to (hopefully) seeing the new Quattro on the road around 2013-ish.
My uncle had a 1984 or 1985 Quattro that he had for about 18 years until 8 years ago (he then got a Honda Element). He was in good company. Some of the most notable people that have raced the original Quattro are: Walter Rorhl and Michele Mouton. They both won the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in Utah.
Attached is the link to Audi of America’s website with the Quattro concept.