Audi Sport quattro turns 35
In 1980 Audi presented the Audi quattro – in 1983 Audi presented the Audi Sport quattro.
20 September, 2018
With unveiling of the Audi e-tron and the dawning of a new era for the brand happening only two days ago, it’s fitting to remember another milestone model that turns 35 this month.
Amazingly, it was in September 1983 that the Audi Sport quattro made its international debut at the Frankfurt International Motor Show, building on the already awesome reputation of Audi quattro which had been unleashed on the world only three years before in1980.
Plenty has been written about the devastating effect the Audi quattro permanent all-wheel drive had on the rally world, reducing the competition to mere participants from the beginning. In true Audi tradition though, resting on past successes was never an option, so further development and improvement was required to keep the leading edge.
From the summer of 1982, the brand began work on a quattro with shortened wheelbase and a dual camshaft engine with four valves per cylinder that would keep the rally fires burning. But to run such a car in the fierce group B rally class, the international sporting law required the manufacturer to build of a series of at least 200 units beforehand.
Plenty has been written about the devastating effect the Audi quattro permanent all-wheel drive had on the rally world, reducing the competition to mere participants
The body of the Sport quattro consisted of aramid and glass-fibre reinforced plastic as well as carbon fibre Kevlar compounds
In September 1983 this series model made its debut as the Audi Sport quattro at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The ‘Little Guy’, as it was often lovingly called, abounded with high-performance technology and boasted 225kW making it the most powerful German production car of its day. The developmental engineers had managed to strike a balance between a pure sports car with breathtaking performance on the one hand and a reliable road vehicle that could also easily deal with the cut and thrust of day to day traffic on the other hand.
The body of the Sport quattro consisted of aramid and glass-fibre reinforced plastic as well as carbon fibre Kevlar compounds. Because of the small number of cars required for homologation, it was manufactured by the Baur body company in Stuttgart, with Seger & Hoffmann of Switzerland supplying the corresponding body plastic parts. The first car from the small series of 214 units was built in February 1984 and the Audi sport quattro – the Little Boy – is revered to this day.
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