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Audi Quattro

Audi Quattro Published: 16th Aug 2017 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Audi Quattro
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Quattro 4x4 stability - Normal Audi ease of running - Still good value - Assured classic status

They say that motorsport improves the breed and the Quattro is another case in point. Originally it was designated purely as a low volume hybrid for competition use – rallying mainly – yet such was the car’s impact that it not only became a showroom model but also spawned a family of quattros that still not only exist but thrive to this day.

Driving

The Quattro remains one of the most practical performance cars ever made. A lusty if lumpy five-pot delivers supercarlike pace albeit all suffer from turbo lag, which is much worse on the original. The car’s cross-country prowess was – and still is – pretty outstanding despite having over 60 per cent of the car’s weight over the front wheels; later cars boasting the Torsen differential instead of the original fixed 50/50 transmission split, are much better and certainly their anti-lock brakes are preferable as the original gripped better than it braked!

This rather anonymous Audi is roomier than most other 2+2s and the cabin, while not a thing of luxury or beauty, is Golf-like durable and comfortable.

Best models

There’s Quattros and there are quattros. The most desired and classical are the original ‘Uber’ square cut 200bhp turbo coupés, more so if they are the initial cars exported to the UK and left-hand drive. Officially there are 163 LHD UK registered cars. The first chassis number for RHD model was 85DA900556.

However, the later the car the better it became, plus the transmission diff locks were upgraded, too. The 20V is a vast improvement over the original as values show – if you want an earlier car then 1983 cars are the one to aim for with a revised rear end geometry. The SWB Sport Quattro are rally-bred road cars and fakes are not unknown so always deal with a specialist.

The Quattro’s replacement, the S2 isn’t a bad car and in top tune used the same engine plus, in some instances, a six-speed gearbox as well as the same Torsen diff set up. They understandably lack the character and charisma of the original, but are more usable, and can be very cheap, from a few grand and you have the choice of a saloon, coupé, cabriolet and Avant estates.

Values

You’d think that Quattros would be valued like gold bars and while the top Sport models can certainly command Aston DB like sums, the more common versions cost about the same as an MGB or TR6, say £20,000 for a original, standard, top-notch example although the much acclaimed 20V models can be double this with ‘quattros’ with a small ‘q ‘around £5000. A budget of ten grand should get you a decent pre-’89 cars although will require some tic to bring it back into shape and parts are becoming rare and pricey; this is a car that you should buy the best you can from the outset.

Buying advice

As with all rare performance cars, an independent check by a specialist is money well spent, as is a HPI check. If there are original factory stickers on the underside of the bonnet the car is probably genuine, as these decals haven’t been available for years. And check the V5; too many owners in short succession points to a bad car. The steering should be sharp, with plenty of feel. If not, it’s probably because the wheels are out of alignment.

Quattros were more or less hand made but pre-85 weren’t galvanised so rust more; sill, doors and wheelarches are common areas to go. Engine rebuilds are costly, most troublesome is the 10 valve 2.2; the MB is far easier on mind and wallet. A ticking when hot can be due to failing exhaust manifolds (common) which are now unobtainable.

Transmissions are strong but ’box can lose synchro. Clutches last up to 150,000 miles unless really abused. Diff locks are permanent so activate switch and ensure dash light illuminates. If they are seized, don’t worry as it’s fairly easy to rectify. Like all Audis and VWs check the suspension for worn bushes although the rear subframe on 20V cars can crack if car is regularly thrashed. So has it already been replaced with 80/90 saloon one?



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