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Would you buy a rear-wheel-drive Audi?

quattro, derived from the Italian word for “four” has been Audi’s trademark all-wheel-drive drivetrain for over the last quarter of a century. However, as quattro is continually refined and with Audi’s new torque- vectoring system(debuting on the 2010 S4) pushing more power to the rear wheels, Audi has strived to provide a more balanced power delivery akin to a rear-wheel-drive car.

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Ironically though, with this new push toward pseudo-rear-wheel-drive dynamics, does it change your perspective on the idea of all-wheel-drive in Audis? It’s a legitimate question given Audi’s move toward rear-wheel biased torque splitting.  However, Audi’s history lies in the world of all-wheel-drive.

A rear-wheel-drive Audi? More after the jump…

In the late 1970’s, as Audi tried to climb out of it’s conservative shell as a very small, off-shoot German brand. To do so, Audi decided enter the FIA’s Group B with it’s revolutionary all-wheel-drive concept hidden within the original Audi Quattro. The design proved its worth by winning many of the Group B rallies against the likes of the Ford RS200 and Lancia 037. From that point forward, permanent all-wheel-drive permanently found its home within Audi’s line-up while bringing their name to the forefront of motorsport.

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So, as the last few decades have marched on, and Audi’s reputation became centered around the idea that quattro and permanent all-wheel-drive have become synonymous  with Audi, in fact, these days it seems almost silly to buy one of their cars without quattro all-wheel-drive.

In practically all of the segments in which it competes, Audi finds itself pitted against rear-wheel-drive competition from Lexus, BMW and Mercedes and Ferrari. With cars like the IS350, M3 Coupe, S Class, and F430 the odds certainly seem stacked against all-wheel-drive. In addition to this, and ironically, Audi Sports runs rear-wheel-drive race cars.

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That’s right, when you see the new R8 GT3 tearing up the ‘Ring or you see the A4 DTM car at Mugello – you’re actually watching a rear-wheel-drive Audi, in most cases, because permanent all-wheel-drive systems are not permitted under regulations for many series in which Audi competes. So, obviously, Audi knows how to build very successful, potent rear drive cars.

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So this begs, the question, with a company who’s history and forthcoming models will be quattro-based to move along its wonderful power plants – what would you think if they built a rear-wheel-drive Audi? Would you buy it?