The word ‘quattro’, chosen by Audi for its pioneering high-performance four-wheel-drive cars, immediately captures glamour and excitement in the minds of all motorsport enthusiasts. This book, written by a leading journalist and quattro devotee, explores 24 years of factory-prepared and factory-supported quattros in motorsport, from 1980 to 2004. It is a tale that extends from rough rally stages to race tracks, from pine-fringed ice trails in the depths of European winters to the shimmering heat haze and melting asphalt of Texas street racing. Along the way, it explains how quattros collected four world rally championships, five American driver/manufacturer crowns and a single-year haul of seven international touring car titles, plus numerous other honours.
With the five-cylinder turbocharged quattro in its original form, rallying in the early years yielded numerous wins, most of all in 1982 when seven victories in 11 world championship rallies brought the first title.
With the short-wheelbase Sport added to Audi’s armoury, 1984 became an all-action, all-conquering rallying season with two more world titles won, for drivers (Stig Blomqvist) and manufacturers.
Three stunning Pike’s Peak wins were achieved in America in successive years, for Michele Mouton (1985), Bobby Unser (1986) and Walter Röhrl (1987).
Starting with double championships for the 200 quattro in TransAm (1988) and the 90 quattro in IMSA (1989), racing success unfolded in America. Exuberant Hans Stuck was the star driver, but consistent team-mate Hurley Haywood captured that 1988 title.
Touring car campaigns during the 1990s brought huge success, starting with fearsome V8 quattro ‘racing limos’ in Germany. Global achievements followed with A4 quattros in many national Super Touring series throughout Europe and in Australia, including Frank Biela’s 1996 title-winning campaign in Britain.
Audi continued to win on track in the new millennium as race versions of the S4 and RS6 captured five SCCA GT Championship titles in America.