A duo of phenomenally fast 1980s Audi Quattros are offered at Bonhams
inaugural Members Meeting Sale, taking place 21 March at Goodwood, Chichester.
One of the most influential motoring designs of recent decades, the Audi Quattro brought four-wheel-drive into the motoring mainstream it was the first rally car to take advantage of a change in competition car ruling, allowing four-wheel-drive cars onto the racetrack for the first time in competition history.
Introduced in 1980, the Quattro was based on the outwardly similar coupés bodyshell but used a different floor plan to accommodate its four-wheel-drive transmission and independent rear suspension. The engine was a development of the five-cylinder, 2.1-litre, single-overhead-camshaft unit first seen in the 200 Saloon. It produced 200bhp on the road, with significantly more power available when tuned for competition.
James Knight, Bonhams Group Motoring Director, said: It really was a game-changer in the world of high-performance road cars. Outstanding both on the road and in competitive rallying, the model won the Manufacturers Championship for Audi in 1982 and 1984, plus the Drivers Championship in 1983 and 1984.
With four-wheel-drive and turbocharged engines pumping out a phenomenal 200bhp, these Group B Rally cars epitomised the hedonistic excesses of the 1980s. They swiftly became too fast and dangerous, and so it was no surprise the regulations were eventually changed to slow the cars down. I doubt well see anything similar again.
The first of the two cars offered, a 1985 Audi Quattro Sport SWB Coupé, is understood to be one of the original six cars delivered to the UK. Estimated at £220,000-280,000, the car is a superb example of the Quattro Sport, in excellent condition, and featuring a striking colour scheme of red, white and black, befitting of the models rallying pedigree.
Completing the duo is the ex-works, Hannu Mikkola/Arne Hertz 1982 Audi Quattro A1 Group B Rally Car, estimated at £240,000-280,000.
Audis win in 1983, when Hannu Mikkola took his first World Drivers Championship, was achieved despite a rule change that placed the Quattro at a notional disadvantage. This well restored Group B Quattro is one of the works cars that helped Mikkola achieve that well-deserved success after so many years of rallying.
Mikkola later used the car in the 1982 Monte Carlo Rally, finishing 2nd, and later that year in the Swedish Rally, finishing 16th. The car was then retained for training duties well into the 1983 season, before being converted by Audi to Group B specification and sold.