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.

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.

Ken Block Hoons RS e-tron GT, Teases ‘Electrickhana’ Video

Ken Block Electrikhana

A new gymkhana-style video from Ken Block is in the works. But first, we get to watch him drive Audis old and new.

Last week, I wrote about how Ken Block’s new partnership with Audi means lots of cool videos are on the way — and the relationship is already paying dividends. According to the clip released this week, the first big project between Ingolstadt and Block will be a video titled Electrickhana, which unless I’m completely delusional, will be a gymkhana-style video using Audi’s latest all-electric hardware, like the RS Q e-tron. But that doesn’t mean we’ll have to wait to see Block flogging some Audis.

Here, we get to see the American rally driver get behind the wheel of the iconic Sport Quattro, and even for someone as accomplished as Block, it’s clear that’s a big deal for him. He’s previously said that watching that car dominate the competition was one of the reasons he became interested in motorsport in the first place, so getting to drive a literal museum piece is about as cool as it gets. Honestly? I’m surprised that we get to see him driving a gas-powered Audi at all, given that his day job is racing for Subaru. Sponsors can get prickly about that kind of thing, you know.

That said, as cool as the old rally machine weapon is, Block babies it a bit — and watching him rip around in the e-tron is more fun. He’s obviously having a blast, and even this little taste proves that if Audi was looking for an ambassador to convince people that going electric doesn’t mean swearing off driving pleasure? It did a great job. Given how choreographed Block’s previous videos were, I’m expecting greatness when Electrickhana drops, and I’m sure that it’ll break the internet.

The behind the scenes stuff is sure to be fascinating too, and I’m looking forward to learning about how the electric vehicles will have to be modified to accommodate Block’s precision, slide-happy style. I’m particularly curious as to how many of the driver aids mere mortals — like yours truly — will be able to defeat on the production models. Not because I think I’d be better without them, of course, but because doing donuts in a closed-off parking lot is one of life’s great joys. Keep your fingers crossed for a rowdy “drift mode” setting…

Photos: Audi

Click HERE to join the AudiWorld forums!

RS e-tron GT vs AMG E 63 S in EPIC Electric vs Gas Battle!

Audi RS e-tron GT vs Mercedes-AMG E 63 S

RS e-tron GT proves its worth against AMG, proves electric vehicles can have style, performance on par or better than ICE machines.

There’s no doubt the New ’20s will likely be the last time ICE machines have the higher ground in all aspects of motoring. As more automakers enter the roadway to electrification, new EVs continue to improve their standing away from egomaniacs and their playthings. Audi is among them with their e-tron family, including its high-performance RS e-tron GT fastback sedan.

How far has the electric road come along over the past few years? Why not see by pitting the RS e-tron GT against one of the old guard. Carwow‘s Mat Watson and Yianni Charalambous (a.k.a. Yiannimize) turned up on the runway for a good battle between the Audi and the gas-powered AMG E 63 S. Can the EV hold its own against a V8?

Audi RS e-tron GT vs Mercedes-AMG E 63 S

“I’m sitting in a Mercedes E 63 AMG,” said Watson. “Next to me is an Audi RS e-tron GT. This may seem like a bit of an odd match-up, but I’m going to explain why I’m doing it. You see, [the Audi] is now the most powerful RS model you can buy. Yet, every time I’ve raced an RS car against this E 63, the Mercedes has come out on top. So can that new, electric-powered RS car regain some honor for Audi?”

Of course, it’s not just about regaining honor for Audi. It’s a demonstration of how far EVs have come along in just a few short years as being as good, if not better than, their ICE counterparts. Though manufacturers like Toyota and Porsche have either put their weight behind alternatives like hydrogen and synthetic gasoline (the latter which could keep ICE machines on the road for a long time to come, per Donut Media), there’s no doubt the EV is not only here to stay, it’s here to overthrow the old order.

Audi RS e-tron GT vs Mercedes-AMG E 63 S

“I think this [Audi] looks great,” said Charalambous. “I really, really like this a lot. I’ll be honest with you, when I saw the lineup, I was so surprised you gave me this car. I personally don’t think you got a chance. But, I could be underestimating that vehicle.”

Right off the bat, Charalambous proves the RS e-tron GT is the wave of the future. In the drag race, he uses his perfect launch to leave Watson in dust by around two car lengths. After all, his Audi’s pair of electric motors deliver their combined 620 ft-lb of torque all at once. Meanwhile, the AMG’s torque takes a while to come up, just as the Audi’s 630 ponies have long already gotten the job done.

Audi RS e-tron GT vs Mercedes-AMG E 63 S

That instant torque shows up even harder on the roll races. On the first with both cars in their respective comfort modes, the RS e-tron GT immediately pulls away, crossing the mile-mark by four car lengths. In their performance modes, though, the duo cross the same line in a dead heat. However, it did take the AMG a while to reach the Audi.

Audi RS e-tron GT vs Mercedes-AMG E 63 S

“For a car that’s so fast,” said Charalambous, “it doesn’t brake well. I assume you got no ceramics on this?”

Despite the AMG winning the brake test, it did so by about a third of a car. Part of this could be due to the RS e-tron GT’s battery pack contributing to the overall 2.3 tons it weighs. It also, as Charalambous believes, could be due to the lack of the right sort of brakes for such a machine.

However, the weight issue could resolve itself once the infrastructure is in place. As Audi CEO Markus Duesmann told Roadshow in February, the long-range packs of today could shrink amid a denser infrastructure. In turn, charging times also shrink, placing EVs finally on par with fueling times for ICE machines. And, of course, shorter stopping distances for brake tests like the ones carwow performs due to less weight overall.

In short, races like these demonstrate where the EV lines up with ICEs. Looks like the latter has finally met its match, and its fate.

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.

RS e-tron GT vs R8: Future vs Past Battle on the Runway

Audi R8 vs Audi RS e-tron GT

One presents power through electrons. The other boasts a V10-fueled roar. Both the RS e-tron GT and R8 represent Audi at its best.

Like more than a few manufacturers, Audi stands at the crossroads. Behind it, high-performance, gasoline-fueled wonders like the R8, RS 2 and the ur-Quattro. Ahead, an electric path forged by the e-tron family, including the new champion of the cause, the RS e-tron GT. Each path represents Ingolstadt at its best.

Thus, there’s but one question: which of those paths would take the gold in a series of drags, rolls and immediate stops? Carwow‘s Mat Watson sets about to find this out by pairing the best of the best against each other, in the forms of the RS e-tron GT and the R8.

Audi RS e-tron GT

“I’m sitting in the new Audi RS e-tron GT,” said Watson, “which is now the most powerful Audi you can buy. It’s even more powerful than an R8, believe it or not […] It’s got two electric motors; together, they provide 646 horsepower when you’re launching it. They also deliver [612 lb-ft] of torque. It’s got a two-stage automatic gearbox. It’s got a launch stage and a high-speed stage for the gearbox, so you can be quick off the line and do decent, sustained high speed.”

Alas, the RS e-tron GT also weighs more than the R8, coming in at 5,174 pounds versus the R8’s 3,616 pounds. However, the R8 is outgunned on power (620 horses and 384 lb-ft of torque) and price ($178,000 USD vs the electric Audi’s $157,000 USD). That said, the R8 still makes lovely noises through the 5.2-liter V10, while the RS e-tron GT must make due with random screaming noises from the editor.

Audi R8 vs Audi RS e-tron GT

“The big question here is this is the most powerful Audi now, but is it the quickest,” asks Watson. “This is gonna be so exciting.”

The answer is a resounding yes. On the first drag, Watson quickly pulls away to take the win. However, the R8 driver says that happened due to the R8 bogging down after a successful launch. The second and third drags are also won by Watson and the RS e-tron GT thanks to the R8 short-shifting. Yet, the third drag was the closest it got to the EV.

Audi R8 vs Audi RS e-tron GT

“Now, we have a rolling race from 50 miles an hour,” said Watson, “with the cars in their normal comfy setting. I’m actually going in Efficiency mode, and I’m gonna be very not very efficient, actually.”

Three rolling races, two driving modes, and one errant bunny later, the R8 beat the RS e-tron GT. Plus, it stopped from 70 mph a half-car before the EV. Those wins likely came from the weight advantage the R8 has over the new kid. Overall, the V10 still has it, though it’s only a matter of time before the e-tron fully surpasses its ancestors.

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.

10 Facts Facts You NEED to Know: 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT

2022 Audi RS e-tron GTRS e-tron GT.

It’s not Audi’s first rodeo with EVs, as Ingolstadt already entered the game with the e-tron crossover back in 2018. Yet, the grand touring version is perfect for those looking for a slick sedan, with the RS e-tron GT taking things up to 11. Here are 10 facts about this newest conqueror of the cult.

10. It Shares a Platform with the Porsche Taycan

2022 Audi RS e-tron GTRS e-tron GT. Specifically, the platform, electric motors and battery pack. Forty percent of the parts the Audi uses come from Stuttgart’s tidy parts bin. Yet, there are enough tweaks here and there to give Audi fans the Audi driving experience they know and love.

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.

Aside from her contributions to Audi World, Aubernon can be found all through the IB Auto Group family, including 6 Speed Online, LS1Tech, and Team Speed. She also has her own independent automotive blog, Aubernon Highway.

Aubernon can be reached through her public Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts. She is wary of those she doesn’t already know, though; thus, she may not respond to messages sent.

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