1989 Audi Quattro 20v.
The Audi Quattro was first shown at the 1980 Geneva Motor Show on March 3rd.
Even its unveiling was a special event: This Audi was not debuted in the exhibition halls of the Geneva Auto Show, but rather in a nearby ice rink. The car which Audi presented to the public on March 3, 1980 was not exactly a work of beauty, but rather a vehicle full of character.
This coupe exhibited Audi’s design language at that time in its purest form: boxy, cubical, rectilinear. Its fenders were slightly flared; its low greenhouse terminated in two horizontal C-posts. Spoilers at the vertical nose and at the high tail end improved the downforce. The “Ur-quattro” – as it is called today – radiated authenticity, power and authority; or, as people said then, “it really hugged the ground.”
The Audi quattro, which remained in the Audi portfolio until 1991, proved to be not only one of the most important models in Audi’s history, but also an automotive milestone. The Ur-quattro made all-wheel drive palatable and created new horizons in the physics of driving. Its five-cylinder turbocharged engine delivered 147 kW (200 hp) from 2.1 liters of displacement as well as dynamic power for drifting and sprinting.
The Sport quattro, the homologation version designed in 1984 for the Rally World Championship, had even more power. Thanks to its four-valve technology and aluminum crankcase, the five-cylinder engine delivered 265 kW (306 hp). Among the visual features of this limited-edition coupe with a shortened wheelbase were the angular, flared fenders. These can be found even today on the RS 6 and the RS 6 Avant.
“According to the state of knowledge in those days, a boxy design was good for aerodynamics,” says Stefan Sielaff. “Audi made this its core focus for several years. The Ur-quattro was not an elegant car. It was conceived and designed to be strictly functional – and precisely that led to its unique emotional appeal.”
The word quattro is derived from the Italian word for "four". The name has also been used by Audi to refer to the quattro four-wheel drive system, or any four-wheel drive version of an Audi model. To avoid confusion, the original Quattro model is also commonly referred to as the Ur-Quattro - the "Ur-" prefix is a German augmentative used, in this case, to mean "original" and is also applied to the first generation Audi S4 and Audi S6 models, as in "Ur-S4" and "Ur-S6".
The idea for a high four-wheel drive car was proposed by Audi's chassis engineer, Jörg Bensinger, in 1977.
Audi released the original Quattro to European customers in late 1980, making it both the first car to feature Audi's quattro permanent four-wheel drive system (hence its name), and the first to mate four wheel drive with a turbocharged engine.
North American market.
Sales of the Quattro in North America began with the 1983 model year, which were constructed concurrently, and were of the same design as, the European 1982 models (they did not include the minor cosmetic changes of the European 1983 model) and continued through 1986.
Total sales in the USA were 664.
Canadian market received cars that were identical to the US cars with exception of the speedometer, which was metric like the early Euro cars. Official sales figures for Canada were 99.
(Images: Audi. text source: Wikipedia)
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