Rally fans go weak at the knees at the mere mention of the Audi Quattro, built from 1980-91, and for good reason too. The GT that brought all-wheel drive to the world’s supercar lexicon attained legendary status having won the World Rally Championship in ‘82 and ‘84 and the gruelling Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in ‘85 and ‘87, setting new world records along the way. Not only was it a fiendishly clever car (which came about through a change in regulations) it also seated some of the greatest drivers of all time including Stig Blomqvist, Michèle Mouton and Walter Röhrl and inspired other incredible AWD models such as the Impreza, Lancer Evo, Nissan Skyline and 911 turbo.
Inspired by the four-wheel drive Volkswagen Iltis and developed in the Scandinavian snow during 1977, it made its debut at the 1980 Geneva motor show and was based on the Audi 80/4000 Coupe. It featured the iconic Martin Smith-designed wheel arches, a wider track, four-wheel disc brakes and independent suspension while the longitudinal, turbocharged 2.1-litre five-cylinder made 200 horses (by 1991 output rose to 220 horses). It was mated to a five-speed manual which was connected to a centre differential that split torque 50/50 between the front and rear axles blessing it with tencacious roadholding abilities which helped make it the must-have performance car of the decade. Originally developed as a low-volume homologation special for Group 4 rallying, that idea was soon scrapped due to public outcry. After an impressive 11 year production run during which time the car visually hardly changed, total Quattro production stood at 11,452 units.
Best of all, thanks to its robust build quality and reliability, you can buy a good one today for around Dh100,000 (concours condition cars fetch Dh260,000) and drive it, hard, until you too are as good as Blomqvist and co.
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