The Quattro story began long before Group B era, in 1976 to be precise. It was then that Volkswagen approached Audi with a request to build a number of prototype four wheel drive vehicles for consideration by the German army as their original choice had never made it into production. The vehicle that the Army chose was called the Iltis and this could have remained just another military vehicle had it not been for the fact that the underpowered ugly four wheel drive vehicle ran rings around the top spec Audi 100 during winter testing in Norway.
As a result discussions were hastily had back at Audi headquarters as to the feasibility of fitting a four wheel drive system into one of their mainstream vehicles. The first test vehicle was a naturally aspirated 115bhp Audi A80, which proved the four wheel drive system gave the grip but the added weight sapped too much performance. So after some head scratching the 2.1 ltr turbo engine from the new Audi 100 was sourced.
Audi now had a secretly proven four wheel drive car, mated to a powerful turbo charged engine but no arena to show it off as the WRC rules at the time specifically banned four wheel drive cars from competing. Therefore discussions between Audi, the FIA and the other constructors were held and as the only four wheel drive vehicle that Audi apparently had was the Iltis the rules were swiftly relaxed to allow the “75bhp Army Truck” to compete. You can imagine their shock when the Audi Quattro Coupe was unveiled to the world at the 1980 Geneva Motorshow.
The Quattro rally car was homologated into Group 4 on the 1st January 1981, making its WRC debut on the Monte Carlo Rally in the hands of Hannu Mikkola. The car’s performance over the first eight stages caused teams to cry foul as in the icy and snowy conditions the car left the field in its blizzard. Unfortunately due to the team’s inexperience and the newness of the car both works cars failed to finish the event.
The next event was Rally Sweden which went much better and saw Hannu collect his first win in a Quattro and perhaps more importantly the birth of a legend.
Is a full group 4 replica of one of the first Audi Quattro rally cars Audi built, the original IN-NP 50 competed in just the 1981 Monte Carlo and Sardinia World Championship Rallies and was later scrapped in 1982. This car was built in the late 90's with the help of Audi Motorsport UK, David Sutton and John O'Connor to get the car as accurate as possible to the original.
This car has also competed in many shows and rallies which include the Neige Et Glace a 1500 km regulatory snow and ice rally, Chatsworth rally shows, Cornbury Park Historic Rally where it finished first in class, Race Retro, Donnington Park, Wilton House Supercar Show, 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed and on the WRC display stand at the 2010 WRC Rally of Wales GB.
Engine : Five-cylinder, 2.1ltr, in-line, longitudinally mounted in the front of the car, four valves per cylinder, 370 bhp
Induction : Fuel Injected, Turbocharged