For Audi enthusiasts, the Ur Quattro is the legend. It’s the car that launched Audi into the world of both rally racing and performance road cars. It dominated the rally stage in the ’80s and set the tone for Audi’s performance road cars in the ’90s. However, is it more than just four-wheel drive nostalgia or is it actually still good to drive?
In this video from JayEmm, we get to see the Audi Ur Quattro and what it’s actually like to drive today.
What’s interesting is that, despite being considered a relatively large car back in its day, it’s actually quite a bit smaller than a modern day Audi A1. Yet, while it’s small for a modern car, it feels big and heavy. That’s likely due to its old-school hydraulic steering, heavy cast-iron five-cylinder engine and ’80s Torsen-diff Quattro all-wheel drive system. Plus, that heavy engine does hang entirely ahead of the front axle.
However, there’s still some real enjoyment to driving it. The engine is more punchy than you might expect an ’80s engine to be. It’s a 20-valve, 2.2 liter turbocharged five-cylinder and it makes around 217 horsepower, which isn’t too bad considering its age. When in its powerband, it actually provides a decent punch, so long as it’s on boost.
Then there’s the grip. The old-school Quattro system is nigh unflappable, especially when you consider that it doesn’t have to wrangle modern power to the wheels. Torsen-based Quattro with only 217 horsepower and a relatively low curb weight means that you can put your foot down through corners, even in the wet, and the Ur Quattro will be just fine.
There’s a ton of understeer, though. All of that engine ahead of the front axle is just too much weight, too far forward to make it a sharp sports car. However, if you can prepare for it ahead of time, understand how it drives and learn how to adjust to it, you can genuinely have some fun with the classic Audi Ur Quattro. So, it seems like the legend is still fun.