30 years of Audi's quattro

Audi has fired up the quattro birthday candles this month to commemorate the 30 anniversary of the pioneering Audi all-wheel-drive system that transferred from rally stage to road to redefine handling capabilities in passenger cars.

Audi has fired up the quattro birthday candles this month to commemorate the 30 anniversary of the pioneering Audi all-wheel-drive system that transferred from rally stage to road to redefine handling capabilities in passenger cars.

Since March 1980, when Dr Ferdinand Piech formally unveiled the now legendary 'original quattro' coup� at an ice rink near the Geneva Motor Show venue, more than three million Audi models worldwide have been equipped with the renowned permanent all-wheel-drive technology.

In 2010, the significant advantages in all-weather grip, control and composure delivered by quattro are available in more than 240 models across the UK Audi range, many of these featuring the latest of numerous evolutions of the system incorporating asymmetric 40/60pc front/rear torque distribution to provide rear-biased handling characteristics without the potential rear-drive pitfalls.

The quattro models that are a feature of almost all ranges within the Audi portfolio all stem from 1980's remarkable 'Ur' quattro. Featuring a 2.2-litre turbocharged and intercooled five-cylinder engine, it delivered up to 200PS and could sprint from 0 to 62mph in 7.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 137mph.


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It is rare that one car can be said to have changed the face of motorsport but there can be no doubt that the Audi quattro did so. Initially it had a profound effect on the world of international rallying but also made a sizeable impact on circuit racing in America during the late 1980s. That success laid the foundations for an incredible decade in which quattro dominated on motor racing circuits throughout the world.

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