Audi Sport Quattro
The 2.1-litre engine in the Sport Quattro produces 307bhp and shoots it to 60mph in 4.8 seconds. Not bad for 1984, or now for that matter
Meet the most extreme roadgoing version of the original Quattro! The Sport was rare, fast and highly sought after. Like other hi-tech models of the Eighties, it was a by-product of the need to homologate a competition car for Group B rallying, which called for 200 road examples to be produced.
It features a 307bhp 2.1-litre 20-valve engine, with an aluminium alloy block. To save weight, it has composite body panels, flared wheelarches and a 320mm shorter wheelbase. This renders the rear seats useless, but in 1984 the lucky few who bought a Sport cared little for practicality, as it is an out-and-out performance machine.
To some observers its big overhangs and more upright windscreen didn’t look that sporty, but with a 0-60mph time of only 4.8 seconds, it was quicker than a Lamborghini Countach of the same era. Twenty-five years after its launch, the Sport still feels incredibly fast. There’s lots of turbo lag, but once above 3,000rpm, the massive KKK turbocharger starts to have an effect and forward thrust is mighty. In 1984, this kind of performance meant only serious supercars could live with the Sport Quattro.
With its short wheelbase, serious power output and firm damping, the Sport is thrilling and challenging in equal measure. However, strong brakes – with advanced ABS – meant that it was more driver-friendly than rivals from the mid-Eighties.
At £50,000 the Sport was extremely expensive, especially as it lacked the visual beauty of a Ferrari and Lamborghini. But with only 214 ever made – just 164 reached paying customers, the rest were used as prototypes and competition cars – it was exclusive.
The car in our pictures is chassis number 141. It was originally sold in Switzerland and has covered only 32,000 miles since. Now an expensive collectors’ item, it’s worth in the region of £70,000 and remains the ultimate example of the Quattro. It wasn’t until the stunning R8 arrived in 2007 that Audi produced another car to match the impact of the Sport Quattro.
WHY: Faster than a Lamborghini and ultra exclusive, the Sport Quattro ticks all the boxes
In this review
- 1IntroductionAudi's new RS5 has been launched on the 30th anniversary of Audi's quattro system. Here we hit the race track in 11 of the best four-wheel-drive cars has ever made...
- 2Audi UR QuattroOne of the first passenger cars to feature four wheel drive, the UR Quattro's engine, looks and handling propelled it to legendary status
- 3Audi Rally QuattroAfter transforming rallying for good, the Rally Quattro went on to win just about everything - with up to 600bhp under the bonnet
- 4Audi Sport Quattro - currently readingThe 2.1-litre engine in the Sport Quattro produces 307bhp and shoots it to 60mph in 4.8 seconds. Not bad for 1984, or now for that matter
- 5Audi S2 CoupeSmoother S2 was a major departure from original Quattro.
- 6Audi RS2 AvantPorsche and Audi joined forces and engineered the 315bhp RS2 Avant. Less than 3000 were made and even fewer were RHD.
- 7Audi A4 Touring CarFielding an all-wheel drive Audi in the BTCC gave it the notoriety it deserved. It also got 4WD cars banned from entering ever again.
- 8Audi TT SportThe lighter, tuned TT Sport turned the already great TT into a proper drivers' car
- 9Audi RS4 AvantA spiritual successor to the Porsche-tuned RS2, the RS4 Avant blends supercar power with estate practicality
- 10Audi RS6The most powerful production Audi ever belongs in this list for that reason alone
- 11Audi TTSExtra power, sharper steering and better dynamics add extra thrills to the already superb TT
- 12Audi R8Fantastic handling, outstanding performance and looks that stop traffic, the R8 is an outstanding car