Published on July 15th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Audi quattro coupe was the GT of the 1980s
Audi in the early to mid 1960’s was led by a small number of engineers including Ferdinand Porsche’s grandson and they wanted to develop a light, efficient, performance-minded car with a permanent four-wheel-drive system.
These engineers used an Audi 80 as a test-bed for their ideas. Having fitted this car with a preproduction 200 (5000 Turbo) five-cylinder engine, they installed the Iltis’s four-wheel-drive transmission with a hollow output main shaft which drove a center differential, a modified VW Polo unit, located at the rear of the transmission but within the same gear box; drive to the front wheels came via a solid shaft, running in that hollow shaft, and rear drive came from the center differential to the wheels via a split prop shaft. The center and rear differentials could be locked from within the car in low-traction conditions. Independent suspension of the rear wheels came from a parts bin front MacPherson strut suspension, installed backwards. This prototype vehicle demonstrated its ample abilities to the Volkswagen board, and the quattro project became official in 1977.
The front-wheel-drive Audi Coupe, which combined the five-cylinder engine and five-speed gearbox from the Audi 100 with the smaller platform of the Audi 80. This car, introduced in Europe in 1980, was the vehicle in which Audi’s quattro–lower case “q,” when referring to the four-wheel-drive system–would make its appearance.
Limited production of the Quattro coupe began in late 1980 in Audi’s Ingolstadt plant. Virtually hand-built, each Quattro took roughly seven days to assemble. These cars were powered by 200hp, turbocharged and intercooled 2,144cc five-cylinder engine and were fitted with flared fenders covering 15×6-inch alloys and four-wheel disc brakes. A huge 23.8-gallon fuel tank and full four-person seating made the car a true Gran Turismo, able to carry four people and their luggage over long distances at speed, now securely in any weather conditions.
Today there are maybe 5-6 surviving cars in Malaysia and we have heard some others have seen graveyard duty.