- Post is under moderation/ #1988 quattro had done 145k miles but had been properly looked after.
/ #Audi-Quattro / #Audi / #1988-Audi-Quattro
Case history snapped up
When we are putting the magazine together each month, we frequently ponder over which of our Case histories we would most like to own, and the Audi quattro in the February issue found a lot of favour.
We were not alone in our appreciation, either, as its now-former owner Dr Jonathan Davies told us: “I had firm interest from three people as soon as the magazine came out. I had offers of deposits, and people wanting to view the car at various times, so I took a bold decision: not an auction but a race! “I said the first person to deposit the full amount would own the car.
One declined to buy without seeing it (fair enough). Two wanted to continue, and I received notification of a transfer after close of business the same day, which translated into funds in my account the following morning. The new owner came up, checked over the Audi, and drove off happy. Good car, good write-up, good price and a good deal all round!”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationSPORT QUATTRO REP GET SHORTY Slick #SWB rep packs 509bhp / Stunning, 500bhp replica
This Lamborghini-coloured Sport #Quattro #replica has been transformed from rough and ready into a 509bhp, road-legal track toy.
Celebrated automotive restoration and tuning outfit, Retropower, has long been recognised as a force for good that takes on projects that start with tired, broken and rotting vintage vehicles and end with glistening, modified and mechanically sound high-horsepower masterpieces. Needless to say, we were excited to hear that the latest fettled fourwheeler to roll out of the company’s Leicestershire workshop is wearing an Audi badge.
The car in question is a #1983 quattro that at some point in the past had been subjected to short-wheel base chassis remodelling by renowned #Audi specialists, #Dialynx-Performance. The Swindonbased firm has been a supplier of aftermarket tuning components for turbocharged Audis since its inception in 1988, but Dialynx is perhaps best known for its many Sport quattro conversions.
Developed for #Group-B rallying in the mid 1980s, the Sport quattro featured an all-alloy 2.1-litre 20-valve engine sat inside a lightweight body shell comprising carbon-Kevlar panels and a windscreen rake borrowed from the Audi 80. In order to get rid much of the bulk that the manufacturer deemed to be an obstacle when competing against the rally-ready chariots of rival car makers, the Sport’s chassis was made considerably shorter than that of the ‘regular’ wheelbase rally quattro that preceded it. This ditching of metal delivered reduced understeer, more responsive handling and quicker turning, while the large body panels allowed for the use of bigger wheels and an increased track width.
A couple of hundred road-going Sport quattros were produced for homologation purposes, but buying one today will set you back a serious amount of dosh (over £100k), not to mention the horror of the associated running costs. This is where Dialynx Performance steps in – the company has transformed many factory quattros into Sport replicas over the years, resulting in what is claimed to be a car that is virtually indistinguishable from the model that it mimics.
Furthermore, Dialynx says that its replicas offer lucky owners tameable levels of performance as opposed to the uncompromising aggression produced by genuine Group B belters.
“I’m led to believe that the Audi that made its way into our workshop was the third quattro that Dialynx had converted to Sport spec,” recalls Retropower co-founder, Callum Seviour. “Sadly, time hadn’t been kind to the car, and we discovered a huge amount of work that needed to be done in order to bring it back to its best,” he says. The striking body kit applied to the race-inspired rep was just one of many areas in need of attention. That said, a cosmetic overhaul was all that the car’s owner was prepared to commission until he could be sure that Retropower’s work was of a standard that he was happy with.
“I guess you could call it ‘testing the water’!” laughs Callum’s brother, Nat. “We stripped the car, treated it to new subframe mounting points, removed and replaced its roof, built a new supporting roof frame, double-skinned its chassis legs, restored its body panels and bonded the corrected wide-arch kit into place before covering every part in a coat of primer. We were about to follow up with a lick of sparkling grey lifted from the Lamborghini colour catalogue when the quattro’s owner signalled his approval for us to start a long list of mechanical upgrades!” he confirms.
Ordinarily, Retropower would take care of any spanner wizardry and/or fabrication work that needed to be carried out on one of its customer’s cars before tackling aesthetic updates, but the instruction that it was given with regard to the Audi forced the Seviour boys to work in an unorthodox manner. “The car’s owner was thrilled with the revitalised appearance of his ride,” continues Callum. “This gave us the green light to strip and rebuild the 2.2-litre ‘RR’ five-cylinder powerplant that sits beneath the vented bonnet up-front, although requested modifications that included a relocation of the engine’s cooling system and a boot-mounted dry sump kit forced us to cut away at metal that we’d only just prepared for paint!” he groans. Nevertheless, the 20-valve lump was carefully inspected before a period of planning that would transform it into an absolute monster. Not that the work involved in achieving such a feat was as easy as we might have made it sound...
The car’s inline-five had suffered severe mechanical failure at some point in the recent past following work that a third party had undertaken on behalf of the owner. Subsequently repaired under warranty, the revised nuts and bolts were supposed to be producing in excess of 500bhp, but the condition and performance of the engine that Retropower were asked to work with casts doubt over that figure. Indeed, a sump populated by metal particles, a cracked cylinder head, a weeping head gasket, worn bearings and a mismatched piston that was making contact with a valve face all pointed towards what can be politely labelled as a ‘bodge’, and that’s without mentioning the serious lack of grunt that the car was producing under load.
“We reground the engine’s billet crankshaft, machined all piston pockets so that they matched one another, and we sourced a new head before enlarging and smoothing its ports,” Callum tells us. As many original parts were retained as possible, with CNC polishing and restoration being employed to ensure the continued use of expensive equipment that was considered to be perfectly serviceable, while fuelling upgrades included twin Bosch high-flow pumps and 1000cc #ASNU-injectors .
A Wagner Tuning inlet manifold and a chunky #Garrett GT40 turbocharger were called upon to work alongside a side-exit stainless steel exhaust system in the airflow department. Routing of the custom pipework demanded significant modifying of the Audi’s floor. Further metalwork involved the creation of a custom rear bulkhead and channelling for water pipes that travel the length of the car and back now that its cooling and lubrication systems sit in its boot space.
A roll cage was already present, but door bars and diagonals were literally left hanging. “We were shocked to see that such an important safety device was so poorly fitted inside the car!” gasps Callum. “To counter this worrying discovery, we fabricated a comprehensive multi-point cage that travels through the dashboard, triangulates and attaches itself to key structural components throughout the chassis,” he explains.
Talking of which, suspension and braking upgrades were already evident in the form of modified struts (to allow for coilovers) and braces, Koni damper inserts and Tarox six-pot stoppers, yet the Retropower touch bettered these key features thanks to the appointment of SuperPro polybushes and a Wilwood pedal box. The latter inhabits a cabin that also boasts Recaro Pole Position buckets, a flocked dash, Stack gauges and an SPA KitDash that occupies space once reserved for standard quattro clocks.
Even though the completed car is used as a track toy, it remains road legal. This surprising fact meant that its owner wanted a show-quality finish to what is essentially a motorsport body kit. To that end, masses of effort went into filling and block-sanding what would otherwise be “ripply” panels before the Lambo paint was finally splashed across the flawless build.
Azev A wheels coated in a similar shade were already in place when the Audi arrived at the Retropower workshop, unlike this awesome VAG machine’s current power output. “I’m delighted to be able to say that the car is now producing over 500bhp following the huge amount of time and effort that my team has spent on the project,” beams Callum. He’s being typically modest; despite a dyno printout displaying an impressive 509bhp and 410lb per foot of torque (delivered by a custom map on a MoTeC M48 ECU), this fantastic four-wheel drive pocket rocket has the potential to knock on the door of 600bhp if its owner ever fancies investing in a transmission upgrade.
In the meantime, running a powerful engine well below its top end abilities should result in a safe, reliable delivery of ponies both on and off the track. Retropower, we salute you!
SPECIFICATION #Audi-Sport-Quattro-replica / #Audi-Sport-quattro / #Audi-Quattro / #Audi / #MoTeC-M48 / #Motec / #MoTec-ECU
Engine: 2.2-litre I5 20-valve DOHC ‘RR’, steel crankshaft, forged connecting rods and pistons, enlarged and smoothed cylinder head ports, combustion chambers reshaped and cc matched, standard camshafts, standard valvetrain, custom dry sump system, dry sump located in boot, radiator and twin slimline fans relocated to boot space, electric water pump and controller, #ASH silicone hoses and tubes, twin #Bosch-044 fuel pumps, #ASNU 1000cc fuel injectors, alloy fuel cell, MoTeC M48 ECU with single-channel capacitor discharge ignition, #Wagner-Tuning inlet manifold, #Garrett-GT40 turbocharger, custom side-exit exhaust system, #Varley race battery, custom wiring loom.
Performance: 509bhp @ 7050rpm, 410lb/ft torque @ 5800rpm
Transmission: Standard quattro five-speed manual gearbox, quick shifter
Suspension: Standard struts modified with coilover conversion for adjustable ride height, Koni damper inserts, SuperPro polybushes throughout
Brakes: Tarox six-piston front calipers, Audi RS4 rear calipers, Sport quattro discs, Ferodo DS3000 pads, Wilwood pendulum bias pedal box
Wheels: 8x16in #Azev A five-spokes, Toyo Proxes R888 225/45x16 tyres
Exterior: #Dialynx-Performance shortened quattro shell, replica Sport quattro enlarged body kit, modified floor for exhaust and coolant pipes, full respray in Lamborghini Grigio Estoque
Interior: Fully stripped, #Recaro-Pole-Position bucket seats, custom multi-point roll cage, fuel and oil lines throughout cabin, electro-hydraulic power steering pump positioned behind driver seat, battery positioned behind passenger seat, flocked dashboard, SPA KitDash, electric water pump ECU mounted on dashboard, aluminium false front floor panels, all new wiring, steering column stalk deletion, custom switch panel, Stack gauges, start button and kill switches
Thanks: Callum and the team at Retropower www.retropower.co.uk
Top: Moody front end shot.
Above: Flocked interior and lots of custom switches Below: Looks fantastic side-on.
Above: That iconic front end Right: the 5-cylinder powerhouse Below: It’s all in the details.
Above: Bumper cut out for air flow.
Below: Slimlime rads moved to the boot.
“We sourced a new head before enlarging and smoothing its ports”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationRETRO – UR quattro #1984 / #1987 #Audi-Quattro F , G, H… / #Audi-Quattro-F / #Audi-Quattro-G / #Audi-Quattro-H / #Audi-Ur-quattro / #Audi /
Darron Edwards continues his account of the development of the Ur quattro, with a look at the F, G and H series models between 1984 and 1987…
Cosmetically, the Ur quattro had remained virtually unchanged since its introduction in 1980, but all that changed in 1984 when both the interior and exterior of the car received some subtle upgrades that made all the difference. Bringing the quattro right up to date, most of these changes remained until the final incarnation of the car seven years later.
The three chassis types that spanned 1984 to 1987 were the last to use the tried and tested 200 PS ‘WR’ engine and so this was the most settled period of Ur #Quattro production, when the car remained virtually unchanged, inside and out.
The #Audi-Quattro-FA chassis was introduced in August 1984 and the cosmetic changes were obvious straight away, with the front and rear end of the car receiving a more modern look. At the front, the one-piece Cibie headlights were retained but they now had sloping glass lenses, coupled with a re-designed sloping front grille and headlight trims. This gave the front end a much more streamlined look and it did indeed improve the aerodynamic co-efficient of the car.
At the rear, a revolutionary design was used, with the tail lights now ‘smoked’ black. A very clever manufacturing process was used, where the lights appeared black from a distance but closer inspection shows that a coloured shroud covered the bulb so that, when it illuminated, the lens would appear to change colour briefly.
The prismatic strip that runs horizontally across the lower part of the boot lid also received the smoked black treatment, while the top of the boot lid which up until now had been painted satin black, regardless of body colour, was now painted the same colour as the rest of the car.
The rear skirt that surrounds the bumper was also re-designed and it now had an integrated mudguard to prevent dirt spraying up the side of the car from the wider 8-inch wheels.
Another revolutionary design on this model was the use of flexible additive in the paint that was applied to the rear rubber spoiler. This meant that it could be colourcoded and, together with all the other new features, it gave the rear end of the car a radical and more modern new look. This new look was eventually copied by most motor manufacturers on a wide variety of cars and even the Ford Capri would get its own version of smoked rear lights and prismatic rear panels were offered as aftermarket accessories for many models.
Up until now, the rear badging had been achieved by the use of dot matrix decals, finished in either silver or black (dependent on body colour) manufactured by 3M. These were replaced by new three-dimensional plastic badges, with a chrome or black finish. The size and shape of the font used was the same, but the position of both the ‘Audi’ and the ‘quattro’ badge was raised slightly compared to the original decals.
A new range of body colours was introduced in 1984, with Mars red now replaced by a deeper and more striking red called Tornado red. It suited the new cosmetic changes very well and became the definitive colour of this period of Ur quattro production.
The decals in the rear side windows were also re-designed. They were originally silver dot matrix, but from the FA chassis and up until the JA they were now a dark brown colour and of a hollow / outline design. This was done to match the rear de-mister that bore the ‘quattro’ legend – when the rear screen element was heated, the famous name would melt the ice and slowly appear in the rear window. A very cool touch!
Inside the car, a new look was also applied. Brown was now replaced by black, and plenty of it! The new dashboard that made its debut on the previous model was now finished in black vinyl to match the new carpet and other interior trim. It had a new centre console panel that now featured an oil temperature gauge and voltmeter and also a neat two-stage, rotary diff lock switch that illuminated two green LE Ds set in a graphic of the quattro drivetrain.
A smart grey tartan cloth with a fine red and blue pinstripe was introduced for the front and rear seats and this new cloth was also applied to the front door panels and rear quarter trim. It was coded ZN and called ‘Graphite Eton Flannel’. This is my personal favourite interior trim and was fairly hard-wearing, apart from the upright bolster on the driver’s seat. I regularly repair these with a new black cloth panel.
The digital dash that was fitted from 1984 was now green. On some cars you could alter the way that the rev pointer appeared. It was possible to switch between a dual finger pointer or a ‘snail trail’ type pointer. This could be done by selecting ‘fuel range’ on the MFD and then holding down the re-set button on the computer switch. The revcounter, clock and gauges could also be turned off by pushing in the dash dimmer switch, although this is a feature that I’ve seldom used. This new system replaced the turquoise coloured digi-dash unit from the previous car. The handbrake warning light was also removed from the driver’s side under panel and now fitted in the binnacle.
The wiper stalk on the steering column now only moves up for wiper selection (early quattros had the intermittent position down one click). First position is now for intermittent wipers and then the next two clicks for slow and fast wipe. This newly designed stalk also contained the switch to operate the voice check system.
Most G and H chassis cars were fitted with the standard tilt sunroof. This could be tilted by 25 degrees or, by pulling two clips, completely removed and stored on two special runners in the boot. It’s worth noting that most FA chassis cars that I’ve seen don’t have a sunroof.
With the introduction of the HA chassis came a couple more safety improvements. The front brake callipers were redesigned and the front brake discs enlarged. The callipers were now twin piston – a big improvement on the previous single-pot units. The discs were thicker and larger to complement the new callipers.
The second safety improvement was the introduction of twin side light and brake light bulbs in the rear light clusters. This was done without the need for new rear light units. A simple modification to the bulb holders was enough to greatly improve the visibility of the brake lights, especially as the rear lenses were now black.
As far as spare parts are concerned, these three chassis are probably the easiest of all quattros to source parts for as they were the most numerous of all Ur quattros. I own two #Audi-Quattro-GA chassis cars and I love driving them – I feel completely at home in their comfortable interior and I enjoy the green digital dash. This was obviously not the case for everybody, though, as Audi would change all this in the next incarnation of the Ur quattro...
Above: New green digital dash. Above right: Twin brake light bulbs in the rear cluster for the #Audi-Quattro-HA chassis improved their visibility greatly. Below: GA chassis.
Left: FA chassis models featured a revised interior, with ‘Graphite Eton Flannel’ cloth on the seats and door panels, a black vinyl dashboard to match the black carpets and other interior trim and a new centre console panel... Above: The new console panel included an oil temperature gauge, voltmeter and a neat rotary control for the diff lock featuring green LEDs in the graphic of the quattro drivetrain.
‘Tornado red became the definitive colour of this period of Ur quattro production...’
Left: New rear-end from 1984 featured ‘smoked’ rear lenses and prismatic strip. Also note new three-dimensional badging. Above: The top of the boot lid was painted body colour, instead of the satin black of previous models, along with the rear rubber spoiler whose paint featured a flexible additive.
‘The FA chassis was introduced in August #1984 and the cosmetic changes were obvious straight away...’Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationMILLTEK SPORT MB QUATTRO CLASSIC AUDIS – MILLTEK MB QUATTRO PHOTOS: NEIL BIRKITT (WITH THANKS TO LEIGH RAVEY AND KENNY LONGDON) / #Audi-Ur-quattro / #Audi-Quattro / #Audi-Ur-Quattro-Milltek / #Audi-Quattro-Milltek / #Audi-Milltek / #Milltek / #2016
Milltek’s new exhaust system for the classic #Audi Ur #Quattro sounds simply sensational, but first they had to find a suitable example to fit it to…
‘The new #Milltek-Classic-exhaust-system offers great performance, exceptional fit and finish and a perfectly-judged sound enhancement...’
There can be few features about the Ur quattro that don’t make reference to its unique combination of engine sound and exhaust note – the distinctive warbling, skirling off-beat cacophany that arises from the unusual 1-2-4-5-3 firing order of the turbocharged in-line five-cylinder engine.
It’s the stuff of legend, with just about every quattro enthusiast having a story to tell of how, as a child or teenager, they were spellbound while watching the works rally cars charge through the Welsh forests, spitting gravel and flames in equal proportions…
Those same impressionable youngsters are all grown up now and many have gone on to become quattro owners and enthusiasts (can there be anyone who’s an owner who isn’t an enthusiast?) Indeed, the Ur quattro now ranks among the most iconic of classic cars from that early Eighties era – uncommon enough to be very special, but not so rare and expensive as to be unobtainable – and the enthusiasm for the model remains undiminished.
As a born again high-performance classic car it still looks fabulous and remains practical even today, still able to hold its own in the cut and thrust of modern motoring and likely to attract just as much attention in the pub car park as many expensive supercars.
So it was no real surprise that, when the renowned exhaust specialist #Milltek-Sport launched a new initiative to produce a range of high-quality high-performance exhaust systems for the classic car market, the Ur quattro would be one of the first on their applications list.
Although Milltek is known mostly for its extensive range of applications for the latest high-performance models, with the Volkswagen Group playing a huge part in its portfolio, the company has a long history that goes way back to the times when cars like the quattro were just emerging.
Milltek’s founder, #Phil-Millington , began his long experience in the exhaust industry as manager of one of the country’s first exhaust centres in 1977 before taking over the running of a stainless-steel exhaust specialist in Devon, and then founding his own business – #Falcon-Exhausts – in #1983 , just about the time that the quattro was making its mark here in the UK market, the first time around.
So, there was already a lot of experience in producing exhaust systems for a wide range of models that were contemporary at the time, but which are now the mainstay of the current classic car market. But it was never going to be a simple case of dusting off the original blueprints from the archives and reproducing the old systems. Although a high quality of construction had always been a strong point for the Falcon systems, there were also many ways in which Milltek’s latest advanced construction techniques and modern materials could be used to improve upon the design and manufacture.
With the decision made to use an Audi Ur quattro as one of the first demo cars for the new initiative, the guys at Milltek set about finding a suitable example for long-term development and testing of the new revised system and for subsequent promotional purposes. And, let’s face it, who wouldn’t jump at the chance to own a quattro!
After a bit of searching around, in August 2014 they sourced a suitable example, a #1988 model with the later spec 2.2-litre 10-valve #MB-turbo-engine . Finished in gleaming Alpine white – a colour which, after Tornado red perhaps, has to be one of the classic signatures for the Ur quattro – as soon as they saw it they knew it just had to be added to the Milltek fleet. Ironically, it was already fitted with an aftermarket stainless-steel exhaust, manufactured by a rival brand, but that didn’t put them off!
Although very solid at first sight – indeed, it was widely admired when it first appeared on the Milltek Sport stand at Audi Driver International in October 2014 – perhaps inevitably, when they delved a bit deeper, it was found to need some bodywork restoration, and that task was entrusted to Simon Norman at 2Refinish, based in Hinckley, Leicestershire.
A very thorough and top quality exercise followed throughout the early months of 2015, with the bodywork completely stripped and overhauled and treated to a glass-out respray, before it next appeared on the Milltek stand at the Classic Motor Show at the NEC , to be much admired and featured in our November issue.
Of course, like any classic car of its age, there were also quite a few mechanical gremlins to be ironed out. Milltek’s Leigh Ravey tells us that he’s now picked up quite a bit of practical experience at troubleshooting the old K-Jetronic injection system and dealing with many of the idiosyncrasies of the older cars, none of which involve modern diagnostic techniques like reading fault codes…
For instance, recalling a recurrent problem with the brake pedal switch and wiring that was shorting out, causing the brake lights to be on permanently, and dealing with an intermittently troublesome idle control valve, Leigh philosophically regards it as ‘the joys of old cars, I suppose!’
The car now also has a new set of Bilstein dampers, H&R lowering springs, Powerflex bushes and, of course, its piéce de résistance – the new Milltek Classic exhaust system which, in their own words, is claimed to ‘offer great performance gains, exceptional fit and finish, a powerful but perfectlyjudged sound enhancement and a look that’s close to the original exhaust system but subtly enhanced, remaining faithful to the car’s iconic design’…
This particular system is the louder non-resonated ‘downpipe-back’ application, which uses a 10V adapter pipe, connecting pipe, centre silencer bypass assembly, rear silencer assembly and polished tailpipe tips. The systems are also available in a slightly more restrained / subdued resonated form, and with other tailpipe assemblies, which include Titanium and Cerakote finishes as well as polished tips.
As well as using top quality construction, with Type-304 aircraft grade 2.5-inch diameter (63.5 mm) stainless-steel pipework, mandrel-bent for optimum gasflow to ensure maximum performance throughout the rev-range, Milltek’s development engineers also took the opportunity to solve one of the original system’s weak points by adding a new mounting point.
Although it requires drilling four holes in the boot floor to accommodate the new mounting, this is well worthwhile. It not only solves the age-old problem of the drooping rear silencer with its typically sagging tailpipes that no longer sit neatly in the aperture in the rear valance, but it also dramatically reduces movement of the rear silencer when cornering.
The opportunity was also taken to revise the routeing of the pipework over the rear axle to ensure that no contact is made, preventing any chafing of the pipework itself as well as keeping exhaust heat away from the CV joint.
Milltek Classic has also completed development of a version for the later 20V models; otherwise identical to the 10V version, it uses a different front adapter pipe. So, was it all worth it, given that there’s already plenty of aftermarket stainlesssteel exhaust systems available for the Ur quattro… Let’s just say that, while hanging out of the window of the camera car to get the driving shots for this feature, I just wish that there had been a way to capture and bottle the glorious sound that emanates from this exhaust system as the Milltek quattro accelerated and cruised past at 70 mph – it’d be a best-seller!
Contacts Milltek Sport Unit 3 Victoria Way, Pride Park , Derby DE24 8AN Tel: 01332 227 280 / www.millteksport.com
2Refinish Unit 35, Sketchley Meadows Ind. Estate, Hinckley, Leicetershire LE10 3ES Tel: 07885 674 484
‘ I just wish that there had been a way to capture and bottle the + glorious sound that emanates from this exhaust system...’
‘A very thorough and top quality exercise followed throughout the early months of 2015, with the bodywork completely stripped and overhauled and treated to a glass-out respray...’
‘After a bit of searching around, in August 2014 they sourced a suitable example, a 1988 model with the later spec 2.2-litre 10-valve MB turbo engine...’
‘So it was no real surprise that the Ur quattro would be one of the first on the applications list...’Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationQUATTRO 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.
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 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)
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
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.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationFACE OFF! Group B icon Vs. rallycross monster. S1 E2VS1 EKS RX. Pics courtesy www.EKSRX.com.
These two S1s may have been created 35 years apart but they share a surprising amount of DNA… Face off – S1 E2 versus S1 EKS RX.
Back in the halcyon days of rallying, there was only one car for me – the #Audi S1 E2. This Group B machine had it all: extreme looks, savage performance and the kind of sound track that could wake the dead. The fact it was a real handful to drive just added to the legend. It’s the car that Walther Röhrl drove to victory in the gruelling Pikes Peak event, complete with its be-winged aero battle armour. A fierce, fire breathing machine that emitted an off-note warble, punctuated by loud bangs from the anti-lag system. As a snapshot of the 80s, it captured the excess perfectly.
With the banning of Group B, the S1 E2, along with many other legendary cars such as the 205 T16 and Lancia 037 were left with nowhere to go. Victims of their own success you might say. At the time, many commentators said that the world would never see the likes of these crazy machines again.
But they were wrong.
In 2014, we got word of a new generation of S1 that would be competing in the World Rallycross series. Based (loosely) on the S1 road car, it promised over 500bhp and was designed and built to be flung around Rallycross courses all over Europe. It is, in effect, the spiritual successor to the original S1.
Technology has moved on significantly over the last 35 years. From turbo design, featuring ultra responsive variable vein technology, to suspension which is able to keep a car planted and stable when it lands after a big jump, there’s no doubt that the new S1 would destroy an original in a head-to-head race. But this isn’t about asking which is better, or faster; it’s about appreciating both cars and looking at how the S1 has evolved for the modern age.
The original S1 was a thing of compromise. While other teams were building well balanced, mid-engined machines that were right on the pace, the Audi quattro was big and nose heavy. The Short Sport was born to try and quell that issue and reduce some weight. A lighter alloy block helped, as did the more upright windscreen to reduce glare from the sun. The vast cooling system was moved to the rear, to get more weight off the front, and top wheelmen Stiq Blomqvist and Walter Röhrl were tasked with piloting the thing. The addition of a lockable diff meant the rear could be more easily brought into play, while towards the end of its career, the S1 E2 received a primitive version of what we know today as a DSG transmission. Even so, the S1 was a very analogue beast. You had to really drive the thing and have a full understanding of its shortcomings. Walter Röhrl said it was one of his favourite cars of all time – citing the challenge of driving it on the limit as one of the main reasons. Here was a car that still had three pedals, a regular manual gearbox and even featured steel body panels.
The S1 EKS RX is a very different machine to the S1 E2. For starters it was designed and built with a specific purpose in mind – the Rallycross series. Unlike the S1 E2, it wasn’t an adapted version of an existing car, so it had a clear brief. With modern CAD, hightech composite materials, plus access to the latest technology in braking, suspension and engines, this was always going to be a ruthlessly efficient machine.
Designed to compete in short, high intensity events, the S1 EKS didn’t need the longevity required of a rally car. They do however need to make a good start, which is where the power and suspension all comes together. Being able to lay down a savage launch and get ahead of the pack is critical to success in this event. The suspension in particular takes a lot of development as it has to cope with tarmac and gravel – the original S1 would have been set up according to the rally it was competing in.
There’s a six-speed sequential box with a mechanical shifter for lightening fast shifts. The 2.0 turbo engine creates over 560hp and is capable of taking the S1 from rest to 60mph in just 2secs – on a dirt track. Last year, S1 EKS RX lead driver, Mattias Ekström was joined by Röhrl, who drove the S1 EKS. He is said to have remarked on the modern S1’s unbelievable power, lightness as well as telepathic handling and immediate gear shifts. Ekström commented that Röhrl approached some corners faster than he did!
At the time of writing, the S1 EKS has not had the success that the team has hoped for. Having said that, fifth in the team standings and sixth for Ekström in the drivers’ championship offers something to build on. As to the question, which of these machines is best? Well, clearly, the modern S1, dripping with the latest in race car technology is the more capable and competitive car. But, I’d bet my last Jelly Baby, that almost all of you reading this, like me, would take the original S1 E2.
Above: Bumper to bumper action. Below: Rally cars and a road going S1.
QUICK SPECS #Audi-S1-EKS-RX-quattro / #Audi-S1 / #Audi /
Engine: 2.0 straight-four turbo
Transmission: 4WD, 6-speed sequential box
Chassis: Reinforced steel body (based on S1)
Suspension: MacPherson struts, Ohlins dampers
Brakes: 4-pot calipers with Pagid RS pads
Wheels: 17in OZ
TECH DATA #Audi-S1-E2-Quattro / #Audi-S1-E2 / #Audi-S1 / #Audi-Quattro / #Quattro
Engine: 2.1 five-cylinder turbo
Transmission: 4WD, synchronised 6-speed manual
Chassis: Self supporting steel body with sheet steel parts
Suspension: MacPherson struts with lower wishbone, Boge twin tube spring strut inserts
Brakes: Two circuit hydraulic system
Back in the 1980s, manufacturers had to satisfy strict rules of homologation. To prevent rally teams from producing multi-million pound specials, all competition cars had to be part of a production run of at least 200 road going models for Group B. Consequently, manufacturers created road versions of cars like the Sport quattro – cars that today are worth a small fortune. Sadly, the rules have changed, so manufacturers no longer need to make road going models. Although cars like the S1 EKS must still be loosely based – i.e resemble their production counterparts. They may look similar, but with high-tech spaceframed construction, complex composite bodies and the latest in race car engine technology, they are much further away from the road car than their 80s sibblings were.
Below: “The S1 E2 is ace!”
Above: Evolution of the S1...
“Group B grunt versus modern Rallycross technology”
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- Post is under moderationDriven mad opinion. This month the Ed has been thinking about quattro drive and what it really means… / #Audi-Quattro / #Audi / #Quattro / #2016 /
It’s that time of year where certain Audi owners get very smug about the fact they drive quattros. This is to be expected. After all, permanent fourwheel drive means safer handling and more grip when it’s slippery out there. It’s a fantastic invention and something that’s become the very cornerstone of Audi’s brand identity. However, driving a quattro does not make you Walter Röhrl. There’s something people seem to forget about four-wheel drive. If each wheel is fitted with an all-season/summer tyre, it’ll be next to useless in proper ice and snow. You could have ten-wheel drive, but if none of the tyres can get a grip, you’re stuffed.
Okay, you’ll stand more chance of getting somewhere than your neighbour in his rear-wheel drive BMW 5-Series, but to really maximise the potential of quattro, you’ll need cold weather or winter rubber. The higher silica content makes them softer and the tread design cuts through water and ice. It’s double the impact too – winter tyres make a big difference on a 2WD car, but on an Audi quattro, they make a huge difference.
The recent cold snap was heralded as “Nirvana” for quattro drivers. My This month the Ed has been thinking about quattro drive and what it really means… Facebook feed was full of excited updates about loving quattro and looking forward to showing what it can do in the slippery conditions. And then it began.
Within a matter of hours, the first post appeared. It was a silver Mk1 TT, parked in a ditch. The front end had clearly taken a smack and the comment said it all, “Got a bit excited in the snow – thought quattro was supposed to help you out?!”
Well yes, up to a point. But it’s not some magic device that can get you out of trouble if you drive like a knob. The following day, there was a post showing another poor Audi – this time a B5 S4 – with a large tree-shaped graze down the side. Oh dear.
The thing about four-wheel drive is that you rarely get any clue as to when the grip has run out. In fact, often, the first you know about it will be as you’re spinning towards that field of confused looking sheep. With rear-drive or frontdrive cars you get an idea when the grip has run out – oversteer and understeer tend to give the game away early on and if you’re lucky, you can correct it before it gets expensive. But with four-wheel drive, there’s grip, grip, grip, and then – Oh shit! Of course if you’re a bit of a driving god, then you’ll be able to suss the limits of grip on a four-wheel drive car. It’s the kind of stuff that our Finnish friends seem to have an innate ability to do. Let’s face it, they spend half the year under a blanket of the white stuff, so you’d expect them to cope better than we do with our two days of snow when the UK comes to a standstill. That said, these guys aren’t mincing around on summer tyres. They use studded rubber, which gives insane grip in otherwise treacherous conditions.
While we’re on the subject, don’t be fooled into thinking an R8 is some magic four-wheel drive supercar either. These things are set up with a 70-30 rear wheel bias, with quite puny looking driveshafts on the front. They are designed to be more tail happy, so it’s very easy to come unstuck – especially in a highly tuned car.
So my advice is this: if you want to really blow your quattro trumpet, get some cold weather tyres fitted up. Then you can show other drivers what it’s all about. Better that than posting pics of your Audi in a ditch...Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.