This legendary Audi quattro S1 E2 is one of the few in private hands, and it has an amazing pedigree.
The Group B era is widely regarded as one of the most exciting times in the history of rally. And if there’s one vehicle that’s synonymous with this wild, dangerous period, it’s the Audi Sport quattro S1 E2. This is the machine that proved that all-wheel drive was the future of the sport, and its arrival on the scene proved to be a pivotal moment for both rally teams and Audi itself.
In the years since, the legendary status of the S1 E2 has meant there’s been no shortage of clones and tribute cars. But opportunities to buy an actual weapons-grade example are few and far between. So if you’re the kind of gearhead who can’t see the bottom of your pockets? Prepare to be happy — because a 1985 Audi Sport quattro S1 E2 has come up for sale.
This example is one of the few in private hands, and was driven by Finnish rally champion Hannu Mikkola during the 1985 Lombard RAC Rally. Under the hood, it’s packing the familiar straight five engine, along with a massive — and unfortunately named — turbocharger which stoked output to 550 horsepower. That was an astronomical figure for the time, and allowed the S1 E2 to shoot from zero to 100 mph in just 8.9 seconds.
After the car’s competition days were done, it was purchased by Audi collector Michael Gabel, who wasn’t content to let it sit on display. Instead, Gabel added some refinements — like glass windows — and actually drove the car on the street. So if you’ve ever wondered how cool it is to be a wealthy gearhead who doesn’t care about pedestrian accessories like license plates? The answer is very, very cool.
Since Ingolstadt only built 20 S1 E2s, and five of them have crossed the bridge to Valhalla, that makes this example incredibly desirable. At this point, there are no estimates on the RM Sotheby’s site, so we’ll just have to see what it fetches when the hammer drops early next month. But one thing is for sure — this baby will likely crest the million-dollar mark almost as quick as it’ll hit 100 mph.
Photos: RM Sotheby’s