The original Audi Quattro is an iconic car, and a rally legend. It was released by the German manufacturer in 1980 and because Audi have since used the Quattro name on any car with four-wheel-drive, it is sometimes referred to these days as the “Ur-Quattro” (which loosely translates to “Original Quattro” in German).
Any rally enthusiast will know that the Quattro was a formidable rally car and dominated “Group B” rallying for a number of years. Audi were quick to take advantage of recent rule changes in the sport that allowed four-wheel-drive, and quite literally blew the competition away. The original Quattro was based on the Audi 80 platform, and did share some parts with it, but underneath it was a different beast altogether.
When first released the Quattro could be ordered with a naturally aspirated engine, or a 2.1 litre, five-cylinder, single overhead cam, turbocharged engine with close to 200bhp, and over 200 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to the turbocharger the car could accelerate to 60mph in around 7 seconds. This was supercar numbers for the time.
In 1989 the Quattro’s powerplant was significantly upgraded, with capacity increasing to around 2.2 litres, and more significantly the engine now had a double overhead cam set up, and 20 valves! The result was 217bhp in road-going form, and a top speed of just short of 150mph.
Audi also released a “homologation special” version of the Quattro – the “Sport Quattro”. The car is hugely different to normal road versions featuring a shorter wheelbase, an all-alluminium engine, Bosch Jetronic Fuel Injection, and a KKK K27 Turbocharger. Roadgoing “Sport Quattros” had around 300bhp, and the competition-spec rally cars had nearly 450bhp! Only 160 road-going homologation “Sport Quattros” were built, and values are around an eye-watering £500,000!
Armand’s Quattro is absolutely awesome, and certainly would have a place in our dream garage. We love the rugged look of the car, and the fact it’s not perfect – that works SO well for these rally-icons. As you can see Armands is also an accomplished photographer, we literally had too many good ones to choose from when he sent them over! He also has a really interesting story with the car, so read on below…
Audi Quattro Coupe ‘Widebody’ (1985)
- This was one of Armand's childhood dream cars. He grew up in a country where rally was a very big thing so as a child he got to see a lot of them and was always amazed by how fast and loud they were!
- One day a friend told Armands he had found one rotting away on someone's drive. Armands knocked on some doors, followed by about 2-3 weeks of talks and some stressful nights and then finally he clinched a deal!
- Armands has given the car a full rebuild. When he got the car it was very sad looking and had been put away because of rust issues and left to rot. He has sorted all the engine issues, fixed a cracked exhaust manifold, fitted new gaskets around all important components!
- He's also done a HUGE amount to the bodywork. He spent weeks welding the boot, floor and arches and various other bits where he found the issues. Once the rust underneath was sorted he decided to cut out the arches (which were too far gone) and build the car with wide UR arches.
- Finally Armands then painted the car himself in his garage, assembled it, and this is it 3 years later!!
Interview with the owner
- When did you first purchase the car?About 6 years ago
- What made you buy a Quattro then?This car is one of my childhood dreams. I grew up in a country where rally was a very big thing and in a family which loved and went to a lot of rallies, so I got to see a lot of them and was always amazed by how fast and loud they were. They have special place in my heart. As a child at that time, you look on the internet for fastest rally cars. And there it was – the quattro with all of those crazy videos from group B, and the sound, ohhh, and that sound.Ever since that I always wanted one. But they are difficult to find these days. However one day my friend said he has found one rotting away on someone's drive. I went there to see it, and yes there it was a very sad looking Audi. I knocked on the door, followed by about 2-3 weeks of talks and some stressful nights and then it happened! Booom, now it was rotting on my drive.
- That's an amazing story, we love it when someone saves a car! So what's it like to drive?Very different than my other cars. It's quiet and comfy. The suspension is very soft, too soft I would say, but that's just the way it was in 80's!Seats are very comfortable, in fact rear seats in it are probably the most comfortable seats that I have ever sat in. But the materials doesn't feel very soft to skin. So yes, it handles like a boat, lots of body roll, but a very comfy ride. Not the best sound insulation, but it goes well together with cars noises and it's aesthetics. Driving it is very enjoyable, and it has never let me down, extremely reliable car with lots of interesting features and party tricks built in. It's not fast, not fast at all, however it feels fast as when you are doing 40 in it, it already feels like it is going to kill you. Personally for me it's very nostalgic car as my first car was Audi 90 B2 and interiors are the same, driving it brings up a lot of memories, however back then people were not turning their necks to see that car passing by.
- What's the current BHP?136bhp from original 5 cylinder 2.2 10v engine
- So you've done a major rebuild job on this car – tell us more about that…When I got the car it was very sad looking car, put away because of rust issues, so just left to rot in driveway.Once I got it, first thing that I did was to sort the engine issues. Fixed cracked exhaust manifold, fitted new gaskets around all important component, took it apart to clean and sand all engine components, did full service on it, replaced all broken and defective components. So when engine was running smoothly got to work to the worst part, the floor. I spent quite a few weeks welding boot, floor and arches and various other bits where I found the issues.I then restored headlights, tried to save rear lights, but they were a bit far too gone, so they don't look as good as they should. When the rust underneath was sorted I jumped on the body work, all the arches were gone, so decided to cut them out and build it with wide UR arches. I saved the doors and then painted it myself in my garage, assembled it, and this is it 3yrs later!
- Well, we are seriously impressed Armands. We love the fact you've done some modifications too – do you plan to do any more?Yes, hopefully it will get a 20-valve turbo engine soon, so it would not only make right noises, but to be as quick as it supposed to be too.Different wheels are in the pipeline, as these were bought only as temporary measure.Possibly bodywork will get fair bit more aggressive, and the suspension needs looking into to.Finally a nice new paint job is coming soon too!
- Is the car a "keeper" or will you sell it one day?I'll take it to my grave!