Named for the vaunted all-wheel drive system that has become one of the company's trademarks, the Audi Quattro debuted in 1980 as the first four-wheel drive car to be powered by a turbocharged engine. The idea for the Quattro came about a few years prior to its release, when Audi engineer Jorg Bensinger discovered that the VW Iltis, a German military vehicle, outperformed most other models in inclement road conditions, regardless of engine power. Soon after, development began on the Audi 80 that would showcase the kind of chassis necessary to produce the same results.
The Audi Quattro was initially equipped with a 2.1L inline five-cylinder engine bolstered by a turbocharger and intercooler. It was capable of around 200 horsepower and 210 pounds-per-foot of torque. Top speed was at approximately 137 miles per hour. The engine configuration was updated to 2.2L with horsepower remaining the same (however, overall torque was lowered). 1989 brought a 2.2L 20-valve DOHC engine that upped the horsepower to 217 and the top speed to 143 mph. By now, the Quattro had established itself as a top-performer in its class, earning a reputation as a sporty yet luxurious sedan that packed a punch. During the period, there weren't many changes to the Audi Quattro parts, however, North American versions of the model were fitted with larger bumpers and did not feature ABS brakes (whereas European Quattros did).
As for the looks, the Audi Quattro did not evolve all that much throughout its run. It originally displayed four headlamps (low/high beams) and a front-end grille. In 1983 single lenses replaced the four headlight housings but it wasn't until 1985 when any notable alterations to the Audi Quattro parts took place. The grille was updated, as were the headlights and trim. Audi Quattro badges were also changed. Inside the car, leather upholstery was placed throughout the cabin, including the center console, rear seats, door arm rests, and glove compartments. A successful rally car, the Audi Quattro enjoyed a rich history of racing. Based in part on the road-worthy Quattro, the model took home several checkered flags, such as the Swedish Rally and Rally Portugal, respectively. Michele Mouton became the first female to take home a world championship while driving an Audi Quattro on the circuit.
The Audi Quattro is recognized for its sporty performance and all-wheel drive influence. From the most competitive racetracks in Europe to the easy-cruising streets of North America, the Quattro gets attention because of its versatile brand of drivability and upscale style. A legendary sedan still respected after all these years, this is one ride that drivers take personally. CARiD brings the top Audi Quattro accessories to the table that will help YOU show others just how much you care about your car.
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