The original “UR” Audi Quattro is probably the greatest car in the brand’s history and one of the most famous rally cars of all time. It’s really what started it all for Audi, as prior to the Quattro Audi was just considered a quirky alternative to BMW and Mercedes-Benz. After the Quattro, though, it was taken seriously as a genuine performance brand. If you feel like getting the gist of the Audi Quattro’s history shouted at you, check out this new video from Donut Media.
If you don’t know the history of the Audi Quattro, it actually started off as a parts-bin test mule based off of the Audi 100 sedan and used a Volkswagen Iltis all-wheel drive system. The story goes the VW was testing the Iltis, a military-grade truck, in the snow and despite its modest 75 hp diesel engine, it was faster in the snow than the larger engine front-wheel drive Audis that execs were driving. So they realized that all-wheel drive grip could actually impact performance, not just safety.
With that, they decided to make a couple of parts-bin cars based off of the Audi 100 and the Audi Quattro was born. Immediately, Audi took it racing and dominated motorsport. Weather it be the WRC (World Rally Championship) or Pikes Peak, the Quattro seemed almost unstoppable. It’s boxy looks, turbocharged five-cylinder engine and crazy exhaust note made it lovable as well.
After the Audi Quattro eventually died off, the Audi brand went on to put Quattro all-wheel drive systems in almost every car it made and still does today. So not only was the original Audi Quattro one of the most successful and exciting cars in WRC history, it’s also the most important car in Audi’s history. It made the brand what it is today. Check out the Donut Media video below and this one here to learn more about Audi’s legendary rally racer.