Today it’s the battle of fanboy points versus cool points when it comes to the question: Which would you take – the old school Quattro Sport S1 or the old money-killing R8?
We’re talking about two of the most defining Audi sports cars of their respective day of the early 1980’s and late 2000’s, cars that came across at pivotal points in Audi’s history. The Ur-Quattro S1 defined Audi to much of the world with it’s styling, incredible power, unrelenting winning streak and technical prowess with the then-revolutionary quattro all-wheel-drive system. The R8 will be remembered by many in the same way years from now as an innovative, radical looking sports car making use of all of the quattro GmbH know-how of both technology and light weight materials.
For any fan of the four rings, both of these cars are way up on the “desireability” scale in terms of design, power, name cache, and full-on geeky love of all things Audi. So, we here at 4RingBlog are going to ask all of you Audi guys to choose. Which would you have if you had the cash and could only get one? Let’s take a look at both and then decide from there!
The Audi Quattro Sport S1
It’s 1985, we’re a full two years from the stock market crashing and you’ve got a lot of coin to spend, it’s the oppulent ’80’s after all! What do you buy if you’re living in Europe and want something fast but understated? Skip the Magnum PI Ferrari 308 and get something much, much faster, the Audi Sport Quattro S1. This car was properly quick in all regards. Bred from the rally car of the same name which dominated in the Group B rally class, you knew you had something special when you were driving one, it had better be special too, considering it’s original $200k+ Deutsch Mark price! While the street version of the S1 only produced 306HP compared to the 500+ plus of its rally counterpart, it was still plenty fast given it’s use of light weight materials and low curb weight, especially compared to modern vehicles.
Yes, the S1 was a true winner, both on and off the dirt track. One that is rare actually more of a rare sight than a Bugatti Veyron with only 224 produced to meet the required production level for homologation. This is truly a car that will get an rally fan’s blood pumping on sight alone not to mention this is the grandfather of the Audi line-up with DNA from the Quattro moving into nearly every model Audi currently has in it’s line up.
The Audi R8
Do you forsake history and go for the new, sleek R8? With its LEDs at the front and its carbon fiber blades on its flanks, the R8 looks every bit the car of a playboy. No wonder it was Tony Stark’s choice of ride in Iron Man. Taking its namesake from the highly successful Audi R8 Le Mans prototype, the road car has been equally successful in terms of sales and the rave reviews received upon its launch. And what isn’t there to like? Styling from the Audi Le Mans concept, a quattro GmbH-developed 4.2L FSi engine producing 420HP tucked inside of the aluminum space frame, all propelled forward by permanent all-wheel-drive with a rearward biased torque split. If that wasn’t enough, the R8 also comes equipped a magnetically assisted suspension to help dampen the car while you jet around listening to tunes on its high-line Bang & Olufsen stereo. Oh and did we mention that the R8 gets a 5.2FSi V10 producing 500+ HP next year?
So, the R8 looks every bit the part of Audi’s successful first attempt at a super car and has the power to back up it’s name. However, Audi isn’t done yet. Every good sports car has some racing pedigree in it and the R8 will supply just that as Audi has recently begun to deliver the R8 LMS GT3’s to customers for competition inthe FIA GT3 series, though that should be sporting a V10 and be rear-wheel driven. Look for the R8 LMS to start tearing up European circuits this summer/fall, just in time for the R8 5.2 V10 to go on sale and elevate the super car status of the R8 even higher.
So which would you choose? The cost of both cars are within the same ball park. A brand new Audi R8 V10 or a well-sorted Quattro Sport S1? Would you choose history over modernism? Would you choose raw, crushing power or more delicate yet powerful finesse? You tell us in the comments section!
(Quattro Sport S1 pics sourced from: The Cartorialist)