Over three decades on from its release, the Audi Quattro is a cult icon for some, and is fondly remembered by many. Why? The Ur-Quattro (‘original’ Quattro) helped four-wheel drive gain traction (sorry) in the mainstream motoring market, and enjoyed considerable success in international motorsport.
Though it shared much of its bodywork and componentry with the Audi 80 coupe, it departed tradition with a four-wheel-drive system and independent-rear-suspension system. The engines offered throughout the Quattro’s life were all turbocharged, in-line five-cylinders, though the original was a single overhead cam (SOHC) in-line five with intercooled turbo, producing 200hp.
The car was a hit with both customers and racers, and won Audi the Manufacturers’ Championship in 1982 and 1984, and the Drivers’ Championship in 1983 and 1984. Audi’s 1983 World Drivers’ Championship was taken out by Hannu Mikkola, in a Group B Quattro, which he had also used in the 1982 Monte Carlo Rally, where he placed second, and the Swedish Rally, where he finished 16th.
This very car has been restored and is now up for auction at Bonhams’ inaugural Members Meeting Sale on March 21, along with a 1985 Audi Quattro Sport SWB Coupe — understood to be one of the six original cars delivered to the UK. Both cars have estimated values of over £220,000, befitting their status of rallying royalty.