Thursday, June 30, 2011

Audi Quattro

There aren’t many true landmark vehicles in the history of the car, but the Audi Quattro has a strong claim to be one of them. It introduced four wheel drive to road cars, and provided a way of harnessing very high levels of power to make high performance driving in all weathers and on all types of road more than enough excellent fists to make it a real contender for landmark vehicle status. The outcome of such innovation was a car that was both easier to drive and quicker point to point than a traditional supercar. It was also a huge success on the rally circuit. Not surprisingly, other manufactures could be seen making a very hasty and undignified rush to copy the format. The Quattro was based on the two door coupe version of the 80 saloon, and borrowed its transmission form the VW lltis military vehicle. Initially it was powered by a turbocharged 2.1 liter five cylinder engine, and divided the 200 bhp on tap equally between the front and rear wheels. Inside, the driver was provided information by the then futuristic digital instruments, adding a touch of science fiction innovation to the classically high standards of engineering and build quality that the ground breaking Quattro represented.

The Quattro concept was refined over the best part of decade, culminating in the 20V version. This had a new 2.3 liter turbocharged 20V engine, and the derivation had a ‘Torsen’ differential, the term is an acronym for torque Sensing, which could automatically send more power to the wheels to provide the most grip. It is still hailed as one of all time motoring greats, and its replacement, the S2 coupe could never deliver the Quattro raw edge thrills.

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