Why The Ur-Quattro Remains Such An Important Modern Classic
Brought to life by none other than Porsche’s grandson, the UR Quattro is far more than just a rally icon...
The Audi Ur-Quattro boasts status as an icon. One of those cars that gets under your skin. It's lived the automotive dream; changing the landscape of car design for all to see, and doing so with a sound that can bring nostalgic tears to rose-tinted glasses.
The looks, the quintessentially 1980s flared arches and über-aggressive stance radiates sheer dominance among its peers, whereas interior styling screams of cool. The result of all this? A proud lineage responsible for some of the most iconic automotive sleepers we've ever encountered.
The RS series that followed the Ur-Quattro claims enough provenance to craft an unrivalled dynasty of mechanical prowess. These cars can get you from A to B, even if B is 1000 miles away over the roughest of roads, and leave you feeling more-than refreshed upon arrival. As a bonus, because of the badge, you apparently don't need to use indicators, either.
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As we all know, the Quattro is credited with introducing an AWD system now employed by all-manner of contemporary vehicles. The Diablo, GTR and Veyron all raided the VAG parts bin. Would these groundbreaking machines even exist were it not for the Quattro? Things get even spicier if we look back at how all this awesomeness began in the late 1970s.
When Ferdinand Piëch saddled up at the top of Audi, he had already laid the groundworks for becoming one of the world’s most influential automotive titans. Having just designed the world’s most reliable diesel, the OM607 five-cylinder for Mercedes-Benz (remember the number five), he then rubbed his palms together and set out to get Audi a World Rally Championship title off the back of the Le Mans-winning Porsche 917. Yes, that was him too.
With 2.2 litres and ten valves split across five cylinders, and a whacking great turbo strapped to its chest, the Ur-Quattro developed 200-horsepower to begin with. Then, with some clever work to overhead cams and ten further valves, it ended its 11-year production with 217hp.
The little grand tourer was an absolute beast, and in good old '80s fashion of turbocharged power delivery, enjoyed sucker punching you in the face after gentle acceleration up to 3500rpm. We implore you to simply listen to the magic in YouTuber Marchettino’s video here:
Although the Quattro's merits within the WRC remains well documented, alongside the unilateral demise of RWD cars across the entire championship, less is known about the platform's short comings.
Having such a throaty engine protrude beyond the front axle resulted in poor weight distribution. Although, that said, it apparently doesn’t matter as the results and industry-wide changes speak for themselves. If we’re being realistic, these questionable design elements only hindered the mighty Quattro on dry tarmac stages, and that’s not really what the WRC is all about, is it?
Back in the production car, Marchinetto’s example is the perfect specification, the Holy Grail if you will. A rarer first-generation model with the ten-valve head and analogue dashboard, along with what has to be the best color and trim specification for a Ur-Quattro; Mars Red and that jazzy interior that simply has to be an iconic shade of brown and green. It's the law.
This particular combination is also favorited as it's identical to that of the famous car used as Philip Glenister's whip in British drama Ashes to Ashes.
How better to conclude than sit back, listen to the creamy burble of the five pot Audi as it drifted around South London to the soundtrack of The Human League? Our case is rested; fire up the Quattro.
This article was first published on Motorious. View it here.
Classic Cars for Sale
AUDI 80 QUATTRO B2 1986/C IN ZERMATT SILVER, NOT BEEN ON THE ROAD FOR APPX 15YRS, I AM CLASSING IT AS A FULL ROLLING PROJECT-RESTORATION, THE ENGINE TURNS BUT WOUNT START DUE TO THE FUEL PUMP NOT WORKING ALSO THE CLUTCH PEDAL IS TO THE FLOOR, CLUTCH MASTER CYLINDER,ITS GOT RUST ROUND THE WINDSCREEN PILLAR, DRIVERS SEAT IS WORN, NEEDS PAINT WORK & BODY WORK, ALSO MECHANICAL TO GET IT RUNNING BACK O
Year:1985 Color:Red with black leather interior Particulars: Recently extensively upgraded, complete engine overhaul (EU specs), new paint etc. Sales information: This Audi Quattro was originally delivered to the USA and came in 2012 to the Netherlands. Here, on a collector’s behalf, the beautiful Coupe was thoroughly made to perfection. The bodywork, unlike many quattro’s in Europe
Ex France. Good state. Completely original. The Audi Quattro is a road and rally car, first shown at the 1980 Geneva Motor Show on 3 March. The word quattro (means four). The Audi Quattro was the first rally car to take advantage of the then-recently changed rules which allowed the use of four-wheel drive in competition racing. It won competition after competition for the next two years. To
: A rare and desirable RR Quattro, just 81k miles from new, fresh service and cambelt. EQUIPMENT Sunroof, Heated front seats, Central locking system, Electrically operated windows, Headlamp washers, Sports steering wheel and gearknob in leather, Anti-lock braking system (ABS), PAS, Audi logo decals, Audi Gamma radio cassette, Tailored carpet mats, Spare wheel, Spare key. EXTERIOR This rare RR Qu