It’s the car that triumphed in 1987 at Pikes Peak in the hands of none other than Walter Röhrl. It was the last hurrah of Audi’s Group B efforts, pushing out in its final specification close to 600 horsepower and 590 Newton-meters (435 pound-feet) of torque from a five-cylinder 2.1-liter engine. We’re obviously talking about the Sport Quattro S1 E2, which is this week’s featured car in DiRT Rally 2.0.
It goes without saying it’s one of the most challenging cars to drive in the video game, but once you get the hang of it, the rally legend is an absolute blast. Just take a moment to imagine how the Sport Quattro S1 in the E2 specification must be in real life taking into consideration it weighs as little as 1,090 kilograms (2,403 pounds). Back in the day, it did naught to 62 mph (100 km/h) in a mere 3.1 seconds and featured what many consider as the DSG’s precursor.
These are just some of the reasons why the Sport Quattro S1 E2 deserves to be Car of the Week in DiRT Rally 2.0. The racing video game also has the S1 EKS RX Quattro as the other Audi you can drive, and we’re hoping the recently announced DiRT 5 will have more cars carrying the Four Rings.
Decades later, Audi is practically the last automaker to still sell performance cars with five-cylinder engines with the TT RS, RS3, and Q3 RS. Ford also has an inline-five, but of an entirely different nature since it’s a diesel fitted in trucks and SUVs.
As a final note, it’s worth mentioning the inline-five was supposed to power another rally car during the late 1980s. The talented engineers from Audi had planned to put this engine in a new rally car designed for Group S in 1987, but FIA canceled the series along with Group B following multiple fatal accidents that occurred in 1986. You can see a prototype of the Sport Quattro RS 002 at the company’s museum at home in Ingolstadt.