This year marks forty years of the Audi Quattro, as you may have already heard. To celebrate, and honor, the famous Quattro, Autocar had the very special privilege of uniting some of the very best classics in Audi Sport’s history with its newest cars.
To say we’re jealous of the folks at Autocar for this would be a gross understatement. You might argue with their choices but they essentially brought the cars they felt best represented the “Quattro” badge together for one meeting. The cars assembled were the original Audi Quattro (latest version), the Audi RS2 Avant, the original Mk1 Audi TT, the first-gen Audi R8 V8 and the all-new RS6 Avant. What a killer group.
Don’t expect some sort of comparison, though. Instead, it was more of a retrospective. Rather than compare these cars outright, Autocar looked at each through the lens of progress.
The Audi Ur Quattro debuted forty years ago this year and began as a quirky idea. Fast forward to the present and that one word — Quattro — is as immediately recognizable as BMW’s M or Mercedes’s AMG. You can see that progress through these cars, the forty years of innovation, mistakes and lessons learned.
Take the Audi RS2 Avant, for example. It debuted only three years after the Ur Quattro ended production (though, thirteen years after it began) but feels far more advanced and better built. Admittedly, Audi had some help from Porsche but, still. However, while it was fast in a straight line, it didn’t handle corners well. Fast forward to today and the RS6 Avant — the RS2’s great, great, great grandchild — handles very well.
While you might not think the Mk1 Audi TT belongs, it absolutely does. Its design and quirky attitude made it immensely popular and probably did more for the “Quattro” name than any other Audi product.
This is a fantastic article and one that is absolutely worth reading for any Audi fan. Check it out.