The Audi Quattro story part 1 (AutoSkunk review) by ShawnSkunk

The Audi Quattro story part 1 (AutoSkunk review)

ShawnSkunk

23 January 2019 at 12:34:47 MST

hello guys and welcome to my first AutoSkunk posting
AutoSkunk is bassically just a fun little blog compirsed of nothing but
cars, hopefully in the near future game streams mostly focused around
racing games and driving simulators and yet with some pure furryness too
but it can also be for non furries too, so long as all of you can
tolerate the funky smell of skunk (just kidding I wouldn't do that to
all of you out there) :3
since my car I own is a classic 1987 Audi 5k CS Quattro I thought it be
fitting for my first review to be an Audi review so therefore I decided
to review the history of the Audi Quattro all wheel drive system and the
cars that made it and the company famous, the 1980-87 UrQuattro and the
1980's to early 90's 200 (also called the 5000 CS in the United States)
and 90 saloons, you couldn't call yourself an Audi fan and not like
Quattro or these cars, they're practically collector's items today and
you'll learn why? soon enough so let's start this review right away,
this is part 1 of the story of Audi Quattro all wheel drive
the quattro all wheel drive system is perhaps by far one of most famous
systems in history, with ingenious engineering and superior traction.
this system today is on practically every new Audi in their model line
up, but in order to understand how this system came to be, what it is
today, and how it drove Audi to fame you have to go back to the very
beginning.
the story of Quattro can predate it's beginning as far back as the
winter of 1976 when engineers were testing a rugged 75 horsepower four
wheel drive VolksWagen Iltis SUV for the German military, one engineer
named Jorg Bensinger who was watching the testing and closely examining
the vehicles capabilities realised that the extremely underpowered 4x4
vehicle handled far better in the snow than any of Audis passenger cars
which had way more power than the Iltis.
an idea imeddiately came to life in his head, he started to wonder what
if Audi took that 4 wheel drive system and built a car off of it?
he took his idea to Ferdinand Piech who was the great grandson of Dr.
Ferdinand Porsche and the head of Audi at the time, Piech approved
Jorg's idea but on the condition that he would develop a high
performance car with the system.
Ferdinand Piech's reason for this request was that he thought a high
performance all wheel drive car would be good for racing, so Jorg
Bensinger and an organised development team lead by Walter Tresor took
the body of an Audi 80 Coupe and the 4 wheel drive system of the
Volkswagon Iltis and combined them together to create their all wheel
drive Audi and then in January they took the car along with some Audi
executives to Turracher Hohe Pass in Austria to give them a
demonstration of this new car's capabilities.
the car's performance in the snow impress the executives and after
seeing it performed well in 30 degree banks they were convinced enough
to greenlight production of their new all wheel drive car, however
though the execs were not really sure if this car was going to be a big
hit mainly because engineers put the engine ahead of the transmission
meaning that the engine was furthermost ahead of the front wheels which
can be terrible for weight distribution but somehow the weight
distiburution wasn't as bad as some initially thought it was going to be
and thanks to it's all wheel drive system it wouldn't be much of a
problem at all, but there was still the problem of getting the power
evenly distributed amongst all four wheels, while many 4x4 vehicles like
the Jeep have a transfer box that can transfer power between the front
and rear wheels they sometimes made for an uncomfortable ride which
won't do for Audi's image and reputation for building prestigious and
comforatable automobiles.
two men on Bensinger's team who were transmission specialist named Hans
Nedvidek and Franz Tengler had a solution to the problem, take an
outputshaft, hollow it out and put another shaft straight through the
outputshaft to drive the front wheels, it was an ingenious idea and thus
the first all wheel drive Audi was born and fittingly enough it was
called the Quattro or UrQuattro as it was reffered too meaning
primordial, original or first of it's kind and this name was used to
seperate the car name Quattro from the name of it's all wheel drive
system.
the Quattro made it's debut in March at the 1980 Geneva Motor Show as
the company's first all wheel drive passenger car, though a little bit
pricey Piech announced that it was the start of something completely big
saying that today or in this case March 1980 is the premiere of all
wheel drive for passenger vehicles.
the Quattro had a boxy yet sporty hatchback body with a 200 horsepower
turbocharged 2.1 liter 5 cylinder engine coupled to a 5 speed manual
transmission and Audi's trademark Quattro all wheel drive and yet had
seating for four so long as you didn't have a third child, otherwise if
you do? well then you probably have tie that thrid kid down on the roof,
wait a second what the hell am I saying? that's a terrible idea! the
Quattro was capable of going from 0 to 60 in 7 seconds, this may not
sound very fast by today's standards but back in 1980 this was
considered fast and so would a low 15 second quarter mile be considered
fast back then too, they may not have had the power to compete with more
powerful premium sports cars or performance saloons but they can hold
their own against them on a twisty road thanks to their all wheel drive
and surely enough after it's debute it was a hit and people wanted all
wheel drive in their passenger cars, nearly every Quattro they built was
sold and overtime millions of Audis up to this day were sold equipped
with Quattro all wheel drive.
the Quattro looked great on the outside but underneath it's skin it was
still an Audi 80 Coupe and had a lot of Volkswagon Golf Mark 1
components with an inline 5 engine out of an Audi 200, in other words
this car was Frankenstien on wheels but neither the less everyone
including myself loved this car and it was a lot of fun to drive
especially in video games like Gran Turismo, if you were or are a GT
gamer like me you probably got a lot of joy out of the street version of
that car while it was available in the games from GT4 to GT6 as well as
GT PSP (flashback of me back in 2009 with my Darth Vader themed PSP and
GT PSP when it was brand new I loooove GT PSP! X3).
inspite of it being a parts bin special kind of car the Quattro was more
special than other parts bin cars because every Quattro was made by hand
which is why the car was a little expensive back then because of it's
hand quality craftsmanship which is something a lot of car enthusiast
including myself love because we would know for sure it was built to
last so long as you took care of it keeping it regulary washed and
shooting any birds that try to shit on it, wrap it in bubble wrap so
junky cars don't hurt it or scratch it's paint, horribly mug anyone that
tries to break into it and steal it or vandalise it and, practically
check it's oil everyday to make sure there's not even the slightest hint
of blackness in the oil because you love it that much that you would
treat it like it was your own son or daughter and let your own family
starve to death-...I'm sorry guys sometimes I can be a little too
overobsessed of my cars even though all of them are just toy models and
only one of them is actually a real life drivable classic which I intend
to keep until the day I die and would practically want to die in it
because I love it soo much, you know how it is when you have an
obsessive passion for cars like I do X3.
continuing on now with the review the Quattro's were hand built by a
team of 20 people who worked 8 hours a day to build them and would take
an entire week to build and only 3 Quattros came off the off the
assebmly line per day.
Piech keeping hold of his intentions to race the Quattro in competition
setup a new factory racing team called Audi Sport and starting in 1980
the team took a special rally competition prepped Quattro and enter it
into the World Rally Championship series and raced it in many World
Rally Championship events and it made it's debut on the rally circuit as
the first ever turbocharged rally car making 300 horsepower, while Audi
didn't meet the homoligation rules setup by the FIA requiring
manufacturers to build 400 cars of whatever model they were wanting to
race they were still allowed to race it anyways but as a non competitive
rally car entry meaning that it was allowed to race purely for fun,
rally car driver Hannu Mikola who was also a development driver for Audi
if I remeber correctly rallied the Quattro in the Amgarbe Rally in 1980
and if it had been eligable for competition use he would've won that
rally by a half hour or quicker but inspite of the setback the Quattro
has proven it's worth in the rally circuit and excited many fans.
but the critics thought differently, stating that the Quattro was too
heavy (uumm wait a second you're saying a 2900 pound all wheel drive car
like the Quattro is just too heavy?), and too mechanically complex to be
very successful (hey I call bullshit on that noise, nothing's
impossible, just like when I tried to jump my bicylcle off a makeshift
ramp that I built when I a kid even though it was dangerous and flimsy
but I didn't care I thought it was possible and I somehow did it without
hurting myself, well except for maybe younger brother who tried the ramp
and accidentally flipped his bicycle over but he was okay :3) but they
gave the car a chance, in 1981 Audi now officially entered two Quattros
in 8 W.R.C rallies as official W.R.C competition entrants after they
were finally able to meet the homoligation standards, out of all 8
events the Quattro comepted in they won 3 out of the 8, Hannu Mikola
drove one of the Quattros to it's first victory in the 1981 Swedish
Rally and that was only the Quattro's second event, later French Rally
Champion Michele Moutan drove a Quattro to victory in a rally in San
Remo and became the first female driver to win a W.R.C rally, but after
that victory another driver to take his turn in a Quattro was Stig
Blomqvist (no not The Stig from Top Gear this guy's name really is Stig)
he joined the Audi team in 1982 and Michele led the team to second,
third, and fourth place podium finishes in the driver's championship and
they helped Audi win it's first manufacturer's title in 1982.
1983 Audi tossed it's hat into the ring of the W.R.C's legendary Group B
rally category a golden chapter in rally history when the FIA pretty
much wondered "you know I wonder what would happen if we just wipe the
slate clean and tossed all the rules out into the garbage" and
manufacturers who competed in Group B in cluding Audi just went wild
with their cars, developing the crap out of them squeezing out crazy
amounts of horsepower and torque, it was a time when the only limit to
how you can build a rally car was your imagination and it kicked ass!
Audi's Group B entrants were the 1983 Quattro A1 and A2, these dominated
the series in 83 and Hannu Mikola in the end won the driver's
championship and once again they dominated the competition 1984 with
Stig Blomqvist winning the driver's championship and Audi winning their
second manufacturer's title.
while the Quattros were winning on the rally circuit sales of the road
car versions in 1985 have practically overwhelmed expectations and
therefore Audi decided that they would put Quattro all wheel drive in
every model they make, impressed yet? I know I am and that's something
that should give Audi fans something to be excited about.
back on the rally circuit manufacturers and teams were engaged in an all
out horsepower race to build the fastest and most powerful rally cars
they could develop for Group B competition.
Audi had no intentions of becoming the little guy on the circuit so in
1985 they homoligated 224 Quattro Sport S1 models with a new minor face
lift on the body plus they were still more expensive costing over
DM200,000 Deutsch marks, four times more than a regular production
Quattro, after researching as best as I could to find out what that
translates to in U.S dollars it means the 1985 Quattro Sport S1 back
when it was brand new and if it were sold in the U.S would've cost
$116,242.21, that is a crazy amount of money to pay but if you were
crazy obsessed Quattro fan back then and had the money you probably
would buy it anyways and I wouldn't blame you for that because between
you and me I wouldn't care how much it cost I'd buy it anyways knowing
it would be a collector's item in the future.
as for the rally competition version the engine was beefed up with a
larger turbo and further body modifications included reinforced kevlar
body panels and the wheelbase was shortened by 12.6 inches to make it
more maneuverable on the rally stages and these modifications were
shared with the road car versions.
the production model of this car had 300 horsepower while the Group B
rally spec model made nearly a whopping 500 horsepower, but by the end
of 1985 and by 1986 rally teams and manufacturers were pushing the
limits of what could safely be driven on the rally circuit.
a series of fatal accidents in Group B horrified the public, I don't
have an official number on how many spectators were killed nor an
official number of how many drivers and co drivers were killed but if I
were to make an estimate of how many tragic deaths there were in Group B
I put it at close to over a dozen most of those deaths being spectators
and a few of them being drivers, the deaths in Group B were starting to
raise some controversy with the FIA as officials were growing concerned
about the safety of the sport, I would'nt even leave out the possibility
that they might've been facing pressure back then to do something to
make rallying safer for not only the driver's but the spectators too.
but by 1985 the cars were becoming too fast to rally and the deaths were
only becoming more frequent as the cars got faster, some enthusiast were
stating that back then by 1986 Group B rally cars were starting to reach
close to upwards of 700 horsepower an incredible amount of power for
rallying.
by then Audi was starting to question their involvement with their
factory team in rally unless changes are made for improved safety so
they backed up and some of the Quattro's rally glory faded a little bit
in 1985 because of it winning only one rally, that's it just one but
Blomqvest and another driver Walter Rohrl on the other hand did managed
to gain a 2nd and 3rd place finish in te manufacturer's championship
afterwards in 1986 after one last run in Group B with yet again a more
powerful Quattro S1 with 500 horsepower and improvements such as a
larger spoiler for more downforce and a recirculating airflow system
that helped keep the turbo constantly spooled and imporve throttle
response, powershift gearbox and reduced weight to 2,400 pounds with an
incredible 3.1 second 0 to 60 time Audi pulled out of the Group B series
entirely and Group B was no more in 1986 after a fatal accident in the
Corsica Rally that took the life of young 29 year old Lancia rally team
driver Henri Toivonen which ultimmately was the deathnail of Group B,
meanwhile on the market side of things Audi for a little while was
marketing the Quattro in North America in fact they started marketing
the car in America long ago back in 1983 but back then the American
goverment being complete assholes with tendency to rape a nice car's
looks with ugly looking safety features and weakening performance had
Audi fit the car with larger front impact bumpers and a smaller amount
of turbo boost which resulted in a drop horsepower from 220 to 160
(thanks a fucking heap Uncle Sam), however the Quattro only stayed in
the North American market until 1987, afterwards Audi pulled the car out
of North America and only marketed in Europe where the Quattro was
improved with wider tires and wheels, ABS, improved handeling, and more
horsepower by swapping out the 2.1 liter engine and replacing it with a
larger 2.2 liter turbocharged inline 5 called the MB with 20 valves for
the Sport version before being eventually passed to the production of
the Quattro and being renamed the RR wich made 220 horsepower, this car
could do a 6 second 0-60 time.
inspite of some minor changes with a new grille, badges, new headlights,
and other little details the Quattro still looked virtually the same as
it did when it first debuted back in 1980 right up until it's final year
of production in 1991 and for that entire production span a little less
than 12,000 Quattros or UrQuattros as they were called were produced,
making the Quattro a sought after collector's item today.
while Group B was facing the begginning of an impending end Audi focused
their sights on another event in 1985, Audi decided to compete in the
Pikes Peak hillclimb and prepared a special Quattro specifically built
for the event, the engine was beefed up again with more horsepower
upping it to nearly 600 horsepower.
American rally champion John Buffum was the first to try the Audi
Quattro on Pikes Peak, he describes his experience with the Quattro very
very fast, and able to get way more power down on the ground and climb
Pikes Peak faster than of the rear wheel drive sprinters that compete in
the event annually, there's no record of him taking victory at pikes
peak, however Michele Mouton becomes the first driver to win at Pikes
Peak with the Quattro shattering an old hill climb record by 13 seconds
while trumping 60 conventional racing machines in the process, then in
1986 Bobby Unser takes a shot at the hill climb record with a modified
and improved Audi Quattro and sets the fastest time yet at Pikes Peak
(i've still to find that recorded time for this review but for some
reason it's hard to find), Walter Rohrl a year later tries his hand at
the record in the Quattro but being rally driver and never running a
hillclimb run at Pikes Peak before, he was having trouble with the climb
and was tearing up the car trying to drive it like a rally car rather
than a hillclimb car, suddenly after some much needed coaching from
Bobby Unser, Walter Rohrl went on an uphill charge with the Quattro and
set a new record on Pikes Peak shattering Bobby's record by 22 seconds.
the Quattro enjoyed a nearly 10 year long run in motorsports up until
their departure from rally competition at the end of 1986 and being
replaced by the 200 Quattro four door saloon and enjoyed some record
breaking runs at Pikes Peak but by the end of 1987 Audi completely
withdrew from rallying and focus their efforts on another venue of motor
racing this time on the road courses and closed street circuits of the
Trans Am series and with a new car that will put Quattro all wheel drive
to use on pavement, I'll be telling the story of that chapter in the
Quattro story which seems to be pretty long story but I'll try my best
to tell the stroy with as much detail as I can but for now that's it for
part one and my first automobile review and I hope you guys enjoyed it
and feel free to leave a comment below and give my page a watch here on
FurAffinity and as well as on Twitter and Weasyl too, there will be plenty
more to come in what I hope will be long lasting series, until then I'll
see you guys for part 2 on the next AutoSkunkReview. :3

(photo was shot by me, I finally figured out how to use my camera and transfer pictures on my computer)

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