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autoviva2010-03-09 12:11:30

Audi quattro celebrates the 30th anniversary in Geneva

Audi quattro celebrates the 30th anniversary in Geneva

At this year’s Geneva Motor Show Audi is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the launch of the first quattro model. On March 3, 1980 the spotlights at Geneva focused on a new technology that would start a winning streak in motor sport and on ordinary roads. The success keeps going as Audi unwraps the next generation of this technology.

The project started in 1977 with the name “Development Order 262” and had Director Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, Project Manager Walter Treser and Jörg Bensinger , Head of the Chassis Testing, as masterminds. The A1 prototype was first used on a modified first-generation Audi 80 with a slightly elongated wheelbase and the five-cylinder turbo engine.

The all-wheel drive being permanent and functioning without a separate transfer case, and propshaft at the front were the two priority objectives of Audi’s engineers.

Franz Tengler, Head of Department in Transmission Design was responsible for the idea behind the quattro technology. The hollow shaft permitted all-wheel drive that was virtually tension-free, light, compact and efficient and that could not only be used for slow all-terrain vehicles and trucks, but also for sporty, fast passenger cars, and furthermore for volume-produced models.

The first Audi quattro, a car derived from the Audi 80 Coupé, was officially unveiled on March 3, 1980, a white-painted two-door car that stood in the middle of an indoor skating rink close to the Geneva showground.

The Audi quattro was powered by a five-cylinder turbo engine with a displacement of 2,144 cm3 and a boost that delivered 147 kW (200 hp) and 285 Nm (210.21 lb-ft) of torque. It accelerated from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.1 seconds, reaching a top speed of 220 km/h.

The Audi quattro was in production between 1980 and 1991, with 11,452 units being built within this period of time. The new drive concept and its extremely dynamic performance captivated the public from the very first day and Audi had difficulty keeping up with demand.

In the 30 years since the presentation of the first Audi quattro the four rings brand has built 3,296,917 cars with permanent all-wheel drive. Audi’s current model range includes 126 quattro versions, with the Q5, Q7, R8, A4 allroad quattro, A6 allroad quattro and all S and RS models being supplied exclusively with all-wheel drive.

Besides celebrating the 30th anniversary of the quattro, at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the company is also presenting a next step in the technology – quattro drive with crown gear center differential and torque vectoring. According to the brand it is more efficient, precise and high-performance than the previous concept and will be making its debut with the Audi RS 5.

Straight 5
131 cu in
Top Speed
137 mph
5, Manual
Maximum power
203 hp @ 5500 rpm
Fixed-head coupé
Fuel consumption (combined)
annual ownership cost
$ 1.144




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