- 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 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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