Audi Quattro’s 40th anniversary at Autoworld
Autoworld honours the 40th birthday of Audi Quattro with a special exhibition that ends on 7 October. Spoiler alert! :)
The Belgian national car museum brought together a dozen unique specimen to commemorate the sensation introduced at the 1980 Geneva Motor Show.
Some truly impressive race cars there
As usual, the exhibition is reinforced with a few modern cars, courtesy of Audi’s Belgian footprint, but the frankly jaw-dropping exhibits are true museum masterpieces with impressive racing histories. The list includes iconic vehicles from the model range and racing legends with authentic liveries, in all sizes…
The diverse list includes cars like the GR4 Rally from 1980, a 1983 Rally Gr B, a 1982 Ur Quattro, the 200 Quattro TransAM race car 1988, the 1993 RS2 and the Quattro Sport from 1985.
The first podium enlists 6 road-legal cars, starting with a 1983 Ur-Quattro (the original series built between 1980 -1987). I believe, the idea was to showcase a car with a similar setup than the premier car at the Geneva car show.
Next up is a Treser Quattro Roadster from 1984. Personally, this is the first time that I see such strangeling. A guy called Walter Treser built some 40 of these roadsters with electric hard-top.
He was a noted racing team manager and later head of special vehicles division at Audi, to establish his own coachbuilder company eternalising his name.
The podium continues with a rare Audi 200 Turbo Quattro from 1984 and then a red homologation Sport Quattro with a short wheelbase. Only 214 were built to secure the racing programme.
The silver coupé is an Audi Coupé Quattro 20V from 1989, paired with an iconic blue station wagon from the ‘90s, an Audi RS2 from 1994.
The fastest Audi of that epoch could reach a top speed of 260 km/h. Its 2.2 turbo engine was tuned by Porsche who was also responsible for the assembly at the Porsche factory in Zuffenhausen.
The podium finished with a black V8, a predecessor to the current A8, also with Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
The next podium features a Quattro, I mean quartet of race cars, starting with an impressive racing limo. The 1988 Audi 200 Quattro Trans-Am, familiar from an Audi stage at Techno Classica.
With this entry, Audi aimed to prove the advantages of the Quattro system on asphalt with its participation in the American Trans-Am races in 1988.
The race version of the Audi 200 has the 2,1-litre five-cylinder turbo that delivers 510 hp at 6.000 RPMs.
Dashboard on a "need to know" basis... :)
Despite the intense American competition, the Audi team with pilots Hurley Haywood, Walter Röhrl and Hans-Joachim Stuck managed to secure victory over 8 out of 13 races, winning the constructor title.
Arguably my favourite of the exhibition is the 1987 Audi Sport Quattro S1 Pikes Peak monster. This Group B car was so raw and lethal that it was immediately banned from the World Rally Championship.
As a memento to this outstanding technological achievement, Walter Röhrl drove his frustration up the Pikes Peak and came down with a new absolute record.
Spoiler alert! :)
The last two race cars of the quartet are from Belgium. One is a V8 that was Belgian Procar Champion in ’91, ‘92 and ’93. The last one is a 1994 Audi 80 Quattro Procar, piloted by Philippe Adams in 1994, and a year later a second car was prepared for Vincent Vosse.
The thematic corner in the back of the main hall exhibits race cars with two special installations. The naked drivetrain was displayed for the first time at the Audi stand of the IAA in 1983 and used at several other international shows in the following years.
The second installation is a race car with famous drivers and on an authentic race transport truck. This latter is a Volkswagen LT, that was actually used by Audi Sport in that period.
The car is a 1981 Audi Quattro Gr4 – type A1, in which Michèle Mouton competed in 3 rallies in her 1st year with Audi.
M. Mouton and F. Pons... GIRL POWER!!!
The showcased BP livery was courtesy of Ms Mouton’s personal sponsor, as it was used for rallies counting for the French championship. The name of the navigator ( F. Pons) might also be familiar, as she had an extensive career as co-driver, scoring dozens of victories also navigating Ari Vatanen and Piero Liatti.
The podium features another quartet of Quattros. The simplest one was an 80 Quattro Group A from 1983, driven by the real Stig (Blomquist, that is 🙂 ).
Next to the Gr A, the one with the heaviest spoilers is Group 4 car driven by Hannu Mikkola in 1981.
The next car is an infamous Group B car, piloted by Walter Röhrl in 1985.
The last car of this thematic is an Audi Quattro S1 driven by Michèle Mouton, winning the Pikes Peak hill climb in 1985.
This car was based on her world rally championship car, the short wheelbase Audi S1 Group B, whereby the engineers squeezed out an extra 70 hp (608 hp in total ).
With her time of 11: 25.39, Michèle Mouton was not only the fastest overall in 1985, but she also set a record which, to this day, remains unmatched by female riders.
I also attach a few impressions from the permanent exhibition...
Can you guess all three? One of them is actually road legal production car...
this time with details on the Pegaso ENESA coupé. This car was even harder to photograph than to drive. : )
Pegaso was a Spanish company noted for its trucks and motor coaches, but also produced sports cars for a short but memorable period of seven years. Pegaso’s chief technical manager was Wifredo Ricart who earned a reputation as chief engineer at Alfa Romeo. For more on the brand, I recommend having a peek at Autoworld’s brilliant Pegaso exhibition featuring over a dozen rare exotics.
The Pegaso Z-102 was the most renowned sports car of the brand, available in coupé and cabriolet version, with individual bodyworks furnished by coachbuilders. The model was introduced in 1951 and remained in production until 1958 with a total production of about 80 cars.
The white ENESA Pedralbes roadster was conceived as a race car (with a cool head restraint) named after the Pedralbes Race Track of Spain.
As mentioned earlier, today is the last day of the Quattro exhibition, in a few weeks, Autoworld will inaugurate the next exhibition honouring the 100th anniversary of Mazda.
FOR AN OVERVIEW OF ALL CAR MUSEUMS I EVER VISITED, CHECK OUT THE INTERACTIVE MAP