Past Legends Look Toward Future of Audi Quattro

Audi RS e-tron GT

With rally legends Stig Blomqvist and Fabrizia Pons, Audi DTM driver Nico Muller explores quattro’s past and future.

In 1980, Audi made a life-changing move for itself by introducing the quattro system to the world. No longer would all-wheel drive be the domain of trucks and agriculture. Now, passenger cars could use all corners to provide greater control on the road. Combined with high-performance, turbocharged engines, the new quattro carved a path for all cars to consider taking going forward.

In 2021, Audi’s quattro is now part of the electrification revolution in the overall auto industry. As a tribute, Audi’s YouTube channel enlisted their DTM driver, Nico Muller, to go back to where it all began: France’s Col de Turini. Of course, he wouldn’t be alone on this journey.

Audi Quattro

“Beginning of the Eighties, first ’82, you couldn’t believe the difference with two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive,” said rally legend Stig Blomqvist. “It was really nice, and the feeling was fantastic. I think Audi has done a good job before they started rallying because they wanted to show the rest of the world what four-wheel drive can do. Everybody was thinking, ‘Okay, it’s another Jeep system.’ But they soon find out it was a lot better than that.”

Blomqvist is one of a few to wield the might of the quattro in the Group B era. Through the ur-Quattro, Audi would not only rack up wins and records, but upend rallying forever with all four of its wheels. And what happens on race day translates to the showroom.

Audi RS e-tron GT

“In a combustion engine car, you have a single motor” said Audi Formula-E champion Lucas di Grassi. “You need a very complicated and sophisticated mechanical distribution with differentials and drive shafts to get this power and torque distributed in the four wheels.”

With the RS e-tron GT, computers and electric motors handle the job. Thus, performance is maximized. Blomqvist says the electric Audi outperforms his Group B terror. That’s certainly saying something.

Audi Quattro

“We had such a huge passion,” said rally legend Fabrizia Pons. “It didn’t matter at all how many nights we were not sleeping, and we were working, working, working. It’s important, the commitment. It’s important to know the car.”

Pons says her role as half of the first all-women rally duo with Michele Moulton didn’t hit her at first. Only years later did it occur to her how momentous and historic it was. She adds she’s always working toward the future, then and now, an attitude Audi knows well, especially with quattro.

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Cameron Aubernon’s path to automotive journalism began in the early New ’10s. Back then, a friend of hers thought she was an independent fashion blogger.

Aubernon wasn’t, so she became one, covering fashion in her own way for the next few years.

From there, she’s written for: Louisville.com/Louisville Magazine, Insider Louisville, The Voice-Tribune/The Voice, TOPS Louisville, Jeffersontown Magazine, Dispatches Europe, The Truth About Cars, Automotive News, Yahoo Autos, RideApart, Hagerty, and Street Trucks.

Aubernon also served as the editor-in-chief of a short-lived online society publication in Louisville, Kentucky, interned at the city’s NPR affiliate, WFPL-FM, and was the de facto publicist-in-residence for a communal art space near the University of Louisville.

Aubernon is a member of the International Motor Press Association, and the Washington Automotive Press Association.

Hannu Mikkola’s Record-Breaking Run in the Quattro S1 E2 is INSANE!

Hannu Mikkola - Audi Quattro S1 E2

Documentary looks back on late rally legend Hannu Mikkola’s record-setting run at the 1985 1000 Lakes Rally Finland in the Quattro S1 E2.

When one thinks of Audi and rallying, it’s usually of the Quattro upending the old order. Guided by the likes of Michele Moulton, Walter Rohl and Stig Blomqvist, the all-wheel-drive missile dug its wheels deep into the earth to take several wins in the Group B era.

Another name to make their mark with the Quattro? The late Hannu Mikkola, who left this world for Valhalla in late February 2021. A short documentary by amjayes2 recounts one of Mikkola’s greatest moment during the 1985 1000 Lakes Rally Finland, made possible by the Quattro S1 E2.

Hannu Mikkola - Audi Quattro S1 E2

“When I drove with the S1 in Ouninpohja,” said Mikkola, “I had some engine issues, and we had gone off losing some time. In a fury state of mind, I though, ‘Let’s drive this home stage as well as we can.’ That went so fast with these powerful cars, it felt like you weren’t sitting in the car anymore, as if you were outside of it all.”

Packing up to 500 horsepower with a top speed of 137 mph, the Quattro S1 E2 howled, roared and chirped with a fury befitting the demonic chaos of Group B. Before Mikkola could reach the summit at the Ouninpohja stage, though, he and co-pilot Arne Hertz needed to survive all the 1000 Lakes threw at them.

Hannu Mikkola - Audi Quattro S1 E2

“Engine wouldn’t start,” Mikkola told an interviewer in the middle of the second day of the rally. “The organizers washed the cars with the pressure washers, wetting the engine and the power distributor, resulting in not starting.”

After losing a rear wing to some young trees at the first stage of the first day, the engine issue also resulted in a 30-second penalty. The organizers tried to add another minute to the penalty, which would’ve made things more difficult. The extra minute would be withdrawn, though, leaving the rally itself to deal more of its own punishment upon the Quattro.

Hannu Mikkola - Audi Quattro S1 E2

“Driving in Ouninpohja demands a lot of courage and a big heart,” Mikkola would say years later. Two attempts through failing brakes and a big oil leak later, he set the stage record: 11 minutes, 35 seconds. His average speed? Around 80 mph.

Alas, the record would be Mikkola’s greatest triumph at Rally Finland. Following two more stage wins, he’d never again win another, retiring after the death of fellow legend Henri Toivonen at the 1986 Corsica Rally. Yet, for one brief moment in time, Mikkola and his Quattro left a mark upon the world that will never, ever be forgotten.

Click HERE to join the AudiWorld forums!

Cameron Aubernon’s path to automotive journalism began in the early New ’10s. Back then, a friend of hers thought she was an independent fashion blogger.

Aubernon wasn’t, so she became one, covering fashion in her own way for the next few years.

From there, she’s written for: Louisville.com/Louisville Magazine, Insider Louisville, The Voice-Tribune/The Voice, TOPS Louisville, Jeffersontown Magazine, Dispatches Europe, The Truth About Cars, Automotive News, Yahoo Autos, RideApart, Hagerty, and Street Trucks.

Aubernon also served as the editor-in-chief of a short-lived online society publication in Louisville, Kentucky, interned at the city’s NPR affiliate, WFPL-FM, and was the de facto publicist-in-residence for a communal art space near the University of Louisville.

Aubernon is a member of the International Motor Press Association, and the Washington Automotive Press Association.

700 HP Audi Quattro S1 E2 Sounds Like a VELOCIRAPTOR!

Mikkola Audi Quattro S1 E2

Once part of late Finnish rally driver Hannu Mikkola’s team, Quattro S1 E2 lived a successful second life in the British hill climb scene.

Though Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive helped place Ingolstadt in the spotlight back in the Eighties, it was the ur-Quattro itself that made the company a household name. It certainly arrived at the right time, too, right at the start of rallying’s Group B era. Once the Quattro placed all four of its wheels deep into the ground, it set a standard all competitors would follow to this day. And when those small engines made huge power through turbos, superchargers, and sometimes both, sending that power to all corners was a foregone conclusion.

What happens when those beasts leave the big stage, though? For one Quattro S1 E2, running up a few hills seemed to be in order. HillClimb Monsters recently unearthed rare footage of the Audi, run in the British hill climb scene by the late Tom Hammond.

Mikkola Audi Quattro S1 E2

“One of the most beloved HillClimb Monsters to ever compete in the UK,” HillClimb Monsters says, “this was Tom Hammond’s Audi Quattro S1 E2, an ex-Hannu Mikkola works unit, which the late Mr. Hammond campaigned for a number of years in the British HillClimb scene, beating plenty of ‘Closed Car’ Records at the time.”

The late Mikkola started his rallying career in various makes before jumping to Audi’s factory team in 1981. By 1983, he and co-driver Arne Hertz won the WRC World Championship, making Mikkola the oldest driver to win the crown to this day.

Mikkola Audi Quattro S1 E2

“With the 2.1L 5 Cylinder Turbo Engine producing upwards of 700Hp at its peak and weighing little over 1000Kg, it had the Pikes Peak Version bodywork fitted and certainly was a sight to behold,” Hillclimb Monsters said.

As for how Hammond acquired this Quattro, DriveTribe said he was shopping for a road-legal version in Germany when he spotted Mikkola’s ride. However it happened, Hammond returned to the U.K. “in style” with the Group B terror, and its tow vehicle.

Mikkola Audi Quattro S1 E2

It’s not often one sees a beast like this Quattro in public, let alone hear it. Let us all be thankful this footage exists to remind us how cool such Group B terrors truly were.

Photo: DriveTribe

Click HERE to join the AudiWorld forums!

Cameron Aubernon’s path to automotive journalism began in the early New ’10s. Back then, a friend of hers thought she was an independent fashion blogger.

Aubernon wasn’t, so she became one, covering fashion in her own way for the next few years.

From there, she’s written for: Louisville.com/Louisville Magazine, Insider Louisville, The Voice-Tribune/The Voice, TOPS Louisville, Jeffersontown Magazine, Dispatches Europe, The Truth About Cars, Automotive News, Yahoo Autos, RideApart, Hagerty, and Street Trucks.

Aubernon also served as the editor-in-chief of a short-lived online society publication in Louisville, Kentucky, interned at the city’s NPR affiliate, WFPL-FM, and was the de facto publicist-in-residence for a communal art space near the University of Louisville.

Aubernon is a member of the International Motor Press Association, and the Washington Automotive Press Association.

805 HP E-Legend EL1 is an Audi Quattro-Inspired Super EV

805 HP E-Legend EL1 is an Audi Quattro-Inspired Super EV

Powered by a 90kWh battery pack, the Quattro-inspired performance EV can accelerate from 0 to 62 MPH in just 2.8 seconds.

Audi Quattro was not just a motorsport legend but also an engineering masterpiece. The iconic four-wheel-drive sedan helped Audi earn its sporty credentials, and now German atelier E-Legend has unveiled a battery-powered reboot of the glorious rally racer. The German firm’s latest product is an ultra-exclusive high-performance EV which will get a limited-unit production run.

The company has revealed that only 30 examples of the E-Legend EL-1 will make it production, and each model will be hand-built. The car will be powered by a 90 kWh battery pack, which will send power to a tri-motor setup. According to company estimates, the EL1 will be capable of delivering a 280-mile all-electric range. In its most track-focused mode, the company reckons its high-performance EV will have enough power to lap the historic Nürburgring Nordschleife twice.

805 HP E-Legend EL1 is an Audi Quattro-Inspired Super EV

Coincidently, Tesla also employs a 90 kWh battery pack to power its Model S and Model X variants. E-legend claims that EL1’s powertrain will produce 805 HP (600 kilowatts) of maximum power and that the car will accelerate to 62 MPH from a complete standstill in just 2.8 seconds. The entire ensemble is expected to weigh just under 3704 lbs (1680 kgs), and the top speed of E-Legend EL1 is limited to around 158 MPH (approximately 255 kph).

A majority of E-Legend EL1’s specifications remain undisclosed at this point. For instance, the company has confirmed that EL1 will get a carbon fiber monocoque architecture, but the German brand has refrained from disclosing the origins of the said vehicle architecture. The same goes for the car’s powertrain, as the company has not revealed the origins of E-Legend EL1’s battery pack and electric motors.

The design of the original Audi Quattro has inspired several styling elements of the EL1, which include the vents that are found on the tip of the EV’s hood.  The car rides on a pair of 19-ich wheels upfront, and the rear axle gets 20-inch rims. E-Legend has also announced that it plans to introduce other rally-inspired models in the future, and customers can get their hands on a copy of EL1 for the price of 1.26 million (£914,400).

Image Source: E-Legend AG

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Transforming a Broken Auction Audi S4 into a 500HP Beast

Transforming a Broken Auction Audi S4 into a 500HP Beast

Here’s an in-depth look at how one can resolve a DSG transmission issue on an Audi S4 and walk away with a 500HP super sedan bargain.

Sam Crac is a YouTuber with a knack for buying cars sight-unseen at auctions. His latest conquest is a clean title Audi S4, which he procured earlier this month at an auction for 50% off because of a transmission issue. A three-part series on Crac’s YouTube channel offers an in-depth look at how one can resolve the said DSG transmission issue and walk away with a true bargain that can be modified into a 500HP track monster.

Crac was quick to share his expectations for the S4 even before the repairs were underway. “We could get lucky and fix this for a hundred bucks, but if not, we’re looking at a near $5000 transmission replacement making this Audi a true auction mystery,” said Crac.

Safe to say, we were hooked. After running a diagnostics test and replacing the original battery that was running low on charge, Crac managed to get rid of a majority of the codes. The YouTuber also deduced that the transmission issue was probably stemming from an electrical fault, as the gearbox did not make any noise while driving, which would indicate a mechanical issue.

Transforming a Broken Auction Audi S4 into a 500HP Beast

At this point, Crac fully committed to the cheapest possible solution, which involved replacing the Mechatronic circuits, after eliminating the possibility of worn clutch packs (estimated repair cost $2000), and failed Mechatronic unit (estimated repair cost $3000).

The Audi Mechatronic repair kit costs around $500, but installing it is a tedious process that involves removing the cross brace and transmission pan. True to Crac’s prediction, the simple Mechatronic circuit replacement fixed the transmission problem, but the YouTuber had more elaborate plans for his mystery Audi S4.

“We are definitely gonna tune this car. We’ve got to do some modifications,” said Crac. He further added, “To mod this car, you could do it in probably half the amount of time it took us to do that Mechatronics repair. A couple of pulleys, while we’re in there, we’ll do a tune-up, spark plugs, and things like that, and in a day, we’re going to gain darn close to 200 horsepower.”

In the third installment of this series, we see the mild-mannered auction-bought Audi S4 transform into a supercharged AWD beast. The transformation was complete after Crac installed a pair of new aftermarket pulleys and an Armytrix exhaust system. All that was left to be done was a quick engine and transmission tune, and Crac’s auction-bought Audi S4 was ready to make some noise.

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