Built in the skunkworks underbelly of Audi’s Sport division, the Audi Group S Prototype was born. It was so secretive that even the Audi bosses were unaware of its existence. It was created, with hushed tones and whispers, for the sole purpose of eating Peugeots and Lancias alive on the rally stage. However, it never got the chance, as the legend died. At least, so we thought.
Back in the ’80s, Audi was destroying everything that came its way on the rally stage, thanks to the fire-spitting Audi Quattro. But its nose-heavy front-engined layout meant that it was starting to lose its edge to the better balanced mid-engine cars from Peugeot and Lancia. Do counter act this, Audi decided to develop a mid-engine monster to compete. However, Audi engineers knew it had to be top secret, as it would be incredibly expensive and the board wouldn’t agree to it until they saw what it could do. So Audi engineers went to work creating the Audi Group S.
What they ended up with was a 1,000 hp mid-engine, all-wheel drive beast that would have dominated rally stages the world over. However, it was still unseen by the bosses at Audi. When legendary rally driver, Walter Röhrl, had to test it on public roads to see how it did. But he ended up getting pulled over by the police in the Czech Republic, where it was secretly being built and tested. The police were kind enough to let Röhrl go without any photographs, but some sneaky photographers saw this and snapped some pictures of Audi’s secret car. Eventually, word got to the people on the board at Audi and they weren’t too pleased.
Once Audi bosses found out about the Group S Prototype, they demanded all of them be destroyed, which they were. Well, except for one. This very Audi Group S Prototype was hidden away in an Audi garage somewhere for the past few decades and now it’s back to see the light of day at the Eifel Rallye Festival.
Seeing the Audi Group S Prototype rip down these narrow streets and dirt roads makes us wonder why it was ever scrapped in the first place. Just look at its crazy wedge body, massive wing and huge hood vents. It’s a masterpiece. But the pièce de résistance is the noise. That metallic growl is spectacular and lets you know, immediately, that this car would have been a classic by now if it had ever been allowed to race.