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  •   Davy Lewis reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    RETRO – THE EARLY UR QUATTRO / Heritage – The CA chassis Ur #Quattro / #1981 / #1982 / #Audi-Ur-quattro / #Audi-Ur-quattro / #Audi-CA-Quattro / #CA-Quattro / #Audi-Quattro /

    ‘It is remarkable that Audi decided to switch from LHD to RHD only weeks before the next chassis variant was due...’


    The #Audi-CA-chassis / #Audi

    Darron Edwards continues his analysis of the early Ur-quattros with some discussion of the details of the CA chassis (1981-1982)…

    In August of 1981, Audi started production of their second Ur quattro chassis production run, designated CA. These cars differed very little externally from the previous cars as most of the improvements made were under the skin. The engine bore and stroke remained the same and power output stayed at the quoted 200 PS.

    Some wiring improvements were made to try to reduce the load on the electrical system, although the ‘euro’ type fuse board was retained. These early fuseboards suffered in later years from bad contacts on the pins at the rear of the boards. Electrical resistance would build up across the contacts and cause the connector blocks to get very hot. All of these early cars had the main headlights, and other equipment, running straight through the ‘X’ contact on the ignition switch, which put a great strain on the wiring, especially on a cold winter morning with headlights, demister and fan on etc. Later cars would benefit form a large current (40 Amp) relay, alleviating this problem. Standard equipment remained the same for the 1982 model and the poor performing Hella twin headlamps were still fitted as on the previous year’s model. These would be replaced on later production cars by the much improved Cibie one-piece units, but not until after the annual factory closedown in the summer of 1982 by which time the CA chassis production run had come to an end.

    An external change that occurred on this model was the removal of the front and rear metal trim insert that was fitted to the windscreen rubbers. A solid rubber seal was used, removing the need for the metal retaining trim. All quattros that followed were fitted with this new type of front and rear windscreen seal.

    Underneath the car, the suspension and ride height was unchanged. The rear anti-roll bar, seen on the previous cars, was fitted until the end of this chassis run. This was removed for the 1983 year model. I’ve driven both types of Ur quattro, with and without rear anti-roll bar and the difference is very noticeable. The cornering of early cars is slightly sharper, more agile, but the big difference is noticed when lifting off the throttle when in mid-corner. The cars with the rear anti-roll bar tend to shift into oversteer rather violently when the throttle is lifted which may well explain why Audi decided to do away with the rear antiroll bar on later cars. What may have been perfectly desirable for a rally driver probably wasn’t the best thing for a company director on his way to a business appointment who’d gone just a little too fast into a corner and then lifted off in response.

    Internally, the 1982 year model used the same ‘moccha’ interior as the previous model, trimmed with the hard-wearing velour upholstery. The bolsters on the front seats were longer than on the previous chassis and this gave the front passengers a little more lateral stability and comfort around the thighs.

    Another feature that appeared on the 1982 car was an added ‘brow’ above the driver’s dash binnacle. This was a piece of ribbed plastic, added onto the existing surround, and it looked quite sporty as well as having a practical use in shading the instruments.


    The hand-operated diff lock levers were dropped from the middle of the previous chassis run, so all CA chassis cars were fitted with the pneumatic system that utilised a Bowden cable that runs underneath the car from front to rear to operate the centre differential lock. It proved problematic and this system was superseded from 1984. The easy solution was to move one of the pneumatic actuators from the rear diff housing to the side of the gearbox, thus removing the need for the Bowden cable.

    As from the beginning of production, all Ur quattros were factory built in lefthand drive form only. This continued through 1981. Some cars were converted to righthand drive in the UK by #GTI-Engineering and #David-Sutton-Motorsport . Clearly there was a demand for a proper right-hand-drive version in the UK. Audi received formal requests for a purpose-built UK car as early as #1980 but this was only granted by the factory in mid-July of 1982.

    It is remarkable that Audi decided to do this only weeks before the next chassis variant was due to be produced. In the last month of the CA chassis run, Audi built 17 right-hand-drive vehicles, 12 of which were destined for the UK. These cars are the rarest of all Type 85 variants. Phil Jameson of the quattro owners’ club has tracked down 10 of these rare UK cars. It’s testament to the build quality that most of these prototype right-hand drive cars are still in existence. These cars were all registered in the UK after August 1, 1982 so all would have probably appeared on ‘Y’ registration plates. A quadheadlamp quattro on this plate would likely be a late production right-hand-drive car so if you see one for sale, check to see if the V5 carries the designation ‘RHD’. If this is the case, you may be able to grab yourself the rarest Ur quattro of all...
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  •   Malcolm Thorne reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    QUATTRO DRIVEN WE ROAD TEST A LEGEND

    Driven: #Audi-Quattro We get out to test drive some proper automotive legends. This month we go all Gene Hunt and “fire up the Quattro” (you schlaggggs)!

    DRIVEN AUTOMOTIVE LEGENDS ROAD TEST: Daniel Bevis. LORD OF THE RINGS

    “ANYTHING HAPPENS TO THIS MOTOR, I’LL COME ROUND YOUR HOUSES AND STAMP ON ALL YOUR TOYS. GOT IT?”

    In a modern context, of course, the original #Audi Quattro is not all that astonishing. We’re spoilt today. Every new hot hatch boasts the sort of performance figures that would have been supercar territory back in 1980. Brakes are infinitely better, suspension systems far more advanced – the game has moved on. So today, the Quattro feels quick-ish rather than actually fast, and the brakes are a bit wishy-washy. But this really isn’t the point. You see, the thing about the Quattro is that… it’s a Quattro. It’s an icon, a legend, those ’80 fade rings on the doors speaking volumes about none-too-subtle sporting intent. This is a car that Audi sold to the public with switchable diffs, a boost gauge and a 2.1-litre 10v 5-pot offering 200bhp – a demonstration of trust in the man on the street that he could handle what their rally department had been cooking up. And for those lucky punters, the reward came in the form of a chassis so good, so poised, that it offers up oodles and oodles of unrelenting grip, sublime body control with surprisingly little roll, and the sort of dependable agility that few cars can match even now.

    THE DRIVE...

    This example may have over 170,000 miles on the clock, but it still feels as tight as a drum, whereas other performance machines of the era feel ¬ flimsy and rattly today (I’m looking at you, 205 GTI). This is testament to the fastidiousness with which Audi nailed the Quattro together. It smells exactly like a 1980s car should in there. It has appropriately boisterous seat trim and headlining, the driving position is superb – it’s a great relief to find a car that’s so revered is actually as good as everybody makes out.

    Sure, it could do with being more powerful (quite a lot more powerful would be nice), and it really needs better brakes. But that’s true of a lot of cars of the early 1980s. All of them, probably. But few of them work in harmony with the driver quite like this one does. It encourages and complements your inputs, urges you to push harder. It’s never scary. It just feels right.

    Even when you realise you’re going 20 or 30mph faster than you thought you were. Even when, as happened to me, you find the bright sunshine suddenly being switched off and replaced with a momentary torrential blizzard. “Hey, it’s a rally car, it’ll cope,” you think. And it does. Tremendously.

    THE VERDICT

    The one feature that really entertains is the turbo. And not just for the fact that delivers its thrills in a thoroughly old-school way, building the tension through treacly lag before spiking on boost and thumping you in the back. No, it’s the fact it sounds exactly like an approaching police siren. The first time you properly boot the throttle, you immediately back off assuming you’re about to be tugged by the fuzz. There are no blue lights in your mirrors, so you press on – and it happens again. Then you realise and it becomes a game. Suddenly, you’re not the mouse but the cat. You are DCI Gene Hunt, ring up the Quattro. And if I’d ever watched the show, I’d know exactly what that meant.

    / #1981 #Audi-Quattro-UK / #Audi-Quattro-Turbo /
    PRICE NEW: £15,037 ( 1981 BASIC PRICE)
    PRICE NOW: £18,000 PLUS (IF YOU’RE LUCKY)
    PRODUCTION: 1980-1991
    POWER: 197BHP, 310LBFT
    INSURANCE: GROUP 20

    ORIGINAL SPEC ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 2.1-litre straight-five 10V DOHC, #Bosch-K-Jetronic Fuel Injection, #KKK-26-Turbo , All-Wheel Drive, 50/50 Torque Split, 5-Speed Manual

    CHASSIS: 6X15-Inch #Ronal-Alloys with 205/60X15 TYRES, 280MM DISCS ALL ROUND, ABS , independent suspension all round

    EXTERIOR: BOX ARCHES, 80S Graphics, Oodles of Retro Chic

    INTERIOR: some frankly astonishing seat fabric, Blaupunkt-Toronto Sqr Radio

    BACKGROUND

    The model was a revelation when it appeared at Geneva in 1980. How could it not be? It took the generally agricultural process of sending drive to all four wheels and repackaged it as a means to go faster. The face of rallying would never be the same again, Audi’s racy Quattros decimating all comers and forcing every rival into an adapt-or-die position. The 350bhp A1 and A2 evolutions hit the motorsport world in 1983, the latter winning eight World Rallies over the next two years.

    And all that was before the bonkers 444bhp Sport Quattro S1 for the no-holdsbarred Group B competition. And for those people who used the road-going variants as daily drivers? Oh, they were heroes…

    BUYING ONE? LOOK OUT FOR…

    • Alarm – these cars traditionally don’t stick around for long, they’re dead-easy to break into.
    • Bodywork – early LHD cars suffer from rust due to less than fastidious rustproo¬fing treatments. Headlight lenses also tend to go brown after 10 years (an MoT failure).
    • History – Cambelt changes are needed every 80k and a full rebuild at around 120k (10 Valve) or 260k (20 Valve).
    • Interior – electronic dashes can go wrong and ¬ finding replacements isn’t easy.

    Pub Ammo – Audi Quattro

    The word ‘quattro’ is derived from the Italian word for ‘four’.
    The Quattro is also referred to as the UR-Quattro, meaning ‘primordial’ or ‘original’ in German.
    The first chassis officially shipped to the UK was 85-B-900099.
    In 1981 air conditioning would have cost you an extra 512 quid!
    The first UK cars were all left-hand drive. Audi claimed they couldn’t be converted
    (even though many were), until 1982 when they did it themselves.

    IN POPULAR CULTURE…

    “Fire up the Quattro! Shut it, you slaaaaag! Apples and pears. My old man’s a dustman” And so forth! All right, I never watched Ashes to Ashes, but that ¬ first ubiquitous phrase is as much a part of the TV-inspired everyday lexicon as “D’oh!”, ‘‘Here’s one I made earlier” and “We were on a break”. You almost feel sorry for the owners of UR-Quattros, as they must hear the bloody thing every day of their lives. Almost, yes, but not quite. Because the pay-off for having gawping bystanders relentlessly ¬ ring TV catchphrases at you is that, er, you get to own a Quattro. And having actually driven the timeworn (but feisty) red example in these very pages, I can con¬firm that this must be a very good thing.
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