Drag race: Ultimate Audi Quattro legends

August 09, 2022 by

What better way to celebrate 45 years of the iconic Audi five-cylinder turbocharged engine than by drag-racing five of the most famous Audis ever made? Rest assured, these old-timers won’t be going easy…

Kicking off this four-wheel-drive, five-cylinder fast-car-fest is the original Audi Quattro. The 20-valve example Mat’s driving comes with 2.2-litre engine producing 220hp and 309Nm of torque. It weighs just under 1.4 tonnes and, like all five cars here, drives all four wheels through a manual gearbox and Audi’s signature quattro all-wheel-drive system.

That might seem a bit tame by today’s standards but don’t worry. Next up we have something rather more extreme – an S1 Group B rally car. No, not a replica – this is the actual car driven by Stig Blomqvist and Walter Röhrl and comes fitted with a 2.1-litre engine that cranks out 500hp and 480Nm of torque.

This oomph only has to shift a mere 1.1 tonnes, and its colossal shove is magnified by a rally-spec six-speed gearbox configured with short-ratio gears for maximum acceleration.

Next up is a halfway-house car that bridges the gap between the road-spec Quattro and the insane rally-spec S1; it’s the Sport Quattro. This uses the same basic 2.1-litre petrol engine as the S1, but it has to make do with ‘just’ 306hp and 350Nm of torque. It splits the other two cars on weight, too – tipping the scales at just under 1.3 tonnes.

For the next car we have to fast forward to the 1990s. The RS2 might not look much like an O.G. Quattro, but it shares that car’s five-cylinder, four-wheel-drive configuration. Its 2.2-litre engine produces 315hp and 409hp, making it the most powerful road car we’ve met so far.

Don’t bet the farm on the RS2 just yet, though – being an Avant means it has a rather more generous backside than any other car in this drag. In total, this big-booted estate car weighs just under 1.6 tonnes, which could severely hamper its quarter-mile time…

Finally, we come to the S2 Coupe. This has similar underpinnings to the RS2, and weighs about 100kg less, but it plays second fiddle when it comes to power and torque (it is an ‘S’ model after all…). It musters up just 230hp and 350Nm of torque – only slightly more than the original Quattro from a decade earlier.

Are you ready to pick a winner after digesting all those stats? Well, watch the video to find out if you got it right.

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