FIRE UP THE QUATTRO
But which one? Rally-bred original, stripped-down TT and dog-friendly estate all wear Audi’s all-wheel-drive badge with pride
BEFORE QUATTRO, AUDI produced sensible frontwheel-drive family cars. Then came Audi’s first all-wheel-drive model, now known as the Ur-Quattro – from the German for the original, the granddaddy. Suddenly those once-staid four rings became synonymous with crushing performance, with technological superiority, with the flame-spitting excitement of Group B rallying. Like the Lancia Delta Integrale and Subaru Impreza that followed, the Audi Quattro became the relatively affordable dream car of its day.
The rallying roots might seem dim and distant, the technology much altered, but the success story continues: Audi has just celebrated the eight millionth car using quattro technology.
This month’s Icon Buyer celebrates the evolution of quattro. There’s the seminal Ur-Quattro with its longitudinal five-cylinder engine and locking centre diff; the Mk1 TT Sport Quattro, a nailed-on future classic with its totally different Haldex allwheel-drive system; and, finally, the A6 Allroad Quattro, the model that prefigured the SUV boom and used the Torsen system to shuffle torque back and forth.
Each puts its own twist on the hardware, with a big spread of budgets. Which one rings your bell?