40th anniversary tribute
One-off Audi RS 6 GTO produced to commemorate 40 years of quattro.
A fitting way to commemorate 40 years of all-wheel drive, this one-of-a-kind Audi RS 6 GTO marries current day supercar with monsters from the past.
18 November, 2020
But in that 1989 season, in the hands of champions like Hans-Joachim Stuck and Walter Rohrl it recorded seven race wins from 12 starts
Elements of a proud motorsport past and one of the brand’s most impressive RS models come together in this one-off tribute built to mark 40 years of quattro.
The work of apprentices at Audi Sport’s Neckarsulm facility, the RS 6 GTO is an amalgam of mighty Audi RS 6 Avant with elements drawn from the fire-breathing Trans-Am and IMSA GTO racers of the late 1980s that so dominated racing in the US at the time.
Drawing heavily on the 90 IMSA GTO in its styling and colour scheme, this RS 6 GTO combines the best of current engineering with a race car of almost legendary stature, even though it only contested one season. But in that 1989 season, in the hands of champions like Hans-Joachim Stuck and Walter Rohrl it recorded seven race wins from 12 starts and would most likely have taken that year’s title had it contested two more meetings.
That car was powered by Audi’s legendary five-cylinder engine which had been developed for the brand’s world-beating rally campaign. In the 90 IMSA GTO cars it produced similar results against the competition in circuit racing, wowing crowds with its extraordinary acceleration and of course out-manoeuvring the opposition with its quattro all-wheel drive.
A genuine crowd pleaser that spent an inordinate amount of time at the front of the pack, Hans-Joachim Stuck even installed a novelty doll inside the back window of his car that, with the flick of a switch, dropped its pants and ‘mooned’ the car behind as a good natured dig at the opposition.
While details of this stunning design study are limited, it is a better than safe bet that no such device is installed. This concept instead melds elements of the IMSA car with RS 6 Avant architecture with stunning results.
“The RS6 GTO concept of our apprentices has turned out to be an incredibly great car. I am very proud of them and the results of their work,” says Helmut Stettner, Plant Manager at the Neckarsulm facility.
The already muscular RS 6 Avant has been further ‘massaged’ in the wheel arches to make it even wider and more imposing and the treatment of the front end absorbs the Singleframe grille into the front apron which draws heavily on race design.
The wheels are very much a modern interpretation of the 90 IMSA GTO’s own rolling stock, and the colour scheme is of course heavily influenced by the Audi 90 IMSA GTO. The Avant body style has also been visually altered by the addition of a large roof spoiler where the 90 IMSA GTO had a towered boot-mounted unit, and the trademark RS exhausts have been scrapped in favour of side-exiting race units. The overall effect is striking, and while paying homage to its racing heritage, has its own distinct identity and contemporary flair.
In side the rear seats have been removed completed and the beautiful RS sports seats in the front replaced with slim-line Recaro race units, complete with Schroth race harnesses. A roll cage completes the stripped down interior.
The RS 6 GTO joins a long and distinguished list of Audi design studies that have on numerous occasions become series production models down the track. The RS 6 GTO will not find its way into production but it is nonetheless a stunning example of the brand’s current and past performance culture – and they’re not so different when all’s said and done.
The treatment of the front end absorbs the Singleframe grille into the front apron which draws heavily on race design.
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