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The Audi Quattro is a prominent figure in automotive history. First introduced in 1981, the Audi Quattro would revolutionize rally racing; and subsequently the trajectory of production car technology.
It was the first rally car to effectively and reliably use all-wheel drive and would go on to to be a benchmark for future cars fitted with such a drivetrain. This inaugural generation of the Quattro is often referred to as ‘Ur-Quattro’. The “Ur-” is a prefix derived from the German word for ‘original’, therefore denoting in its entirety, ‘The Original Quattro’.
Eventually, it would be replaced with the Audi Sport Quattro in 1984, after shortcomings of the aforementioned car – such as its relatively large weight and dimensions – became too apparent. Taking advantage of the lenient homologation requirements of the time, Audi engineers went full tilt in creating a successor to the Quattro, doing so after producing the required 200 Sport Quattro cars.
An updated version of the Audi Sport Quattro – given the ‘S1’ moniker – was introduced at the end of 1984. To meet homologation requirements for the improvements, Audi first had to produce an additional 20 examples per Group B regulations. After this was completed, Audi debuted the Sport Quattro S1 at the 1000 Lakes Rally in August 1985. The most notable changes could easily be spotted at a cursory glance, thanks to some very extroverted modifications which included huge overhangs and a massive rear wing.
The car also underwent some weight reduction by replacing a number of steel components with kevlar or aluminum, while some of the weight was redistributed towards the rear of the car by relocating the radiators, battery and other accessories. The car also featured a shorter wheelbase than the Quattro. The Audi Sport Quattro S1 also improved on the unique 2.1L inline-5 power plant which now produced a factory-stated 470-horsepower. However, the true power input was believed to be in excess of 500-horsepower since the turbocharger was complemented with a recirculating air system which also reduced turbo lag. The enhanced engine – in conjunction with the weight reduction and revised aerodynamics – propelled the car from 0–100 km/h in a staggering 3.1 seconds.