Audi Sport Quattro S1

In the early 1980s two things happened that led Audi to dominate rally racing competitions for the better part of the decade. First, FIA restrictions governing the types of cars that can enter rally competitions were loosened significantly for a new class of cars called Group B. The other game changer was Audi’s introduction of the Sport Quattro S1 to the World Rally Championship. In the late Seventies rear wheel drive cars were the norm in rally racing, but when Audi introduced its Quattro all-wheel-drive rally racing was forever changed. The cars were so fast and so powerful that a series of fatal accidents led to Group B’s downfall after only four years.

These highlight videos from the early 1980s show the amazing capabilities and power of the Quattro S1. Many rally racing fans regard Group B as the most spectacular era of rally competition. Nothing has ever been seen like it – before or since. If you watch the video directly below you will notice the insane crowds nearly avoiding death by a speeding race car. Eventually the manufacturers forced the FIA to better deal with the crowds, but back then it was like the wild west. Truly amazing motorsports.

Audi Sport Quattro S1 at Pike's Peak in 1987

Comments on “Audi Sport Quattro S1

    Brett on April 4, 2010 11:51 PM:

    The greatest rally car of all time.

    JD on April 5, 2010 12:00 AM:

    As a kid I wanted this more than anything, but they just stopped producing it.

    Edward on April 5, 2010 12:08 AM:

    Alright, lets fire up the Quattro

    Lineage of Influence on April 5, 2010 9:02 AM:

    Ah, the legend that is the Quattro. I remember seeing an A1 (UrQuattro) as a kid and being obsessed with them. The S1 is the absolute daddy of the lot though, a monster of a car.

    We’ve got a company in the UK that will take the standard road going Quattro’s and converts them into the A2 short sport versions, I’ve always fancied doing that, maybe one day… Great post!

    Greg D. on April 5, 2010 9:27 AM:

    When rally racing was truly rally racing – not Red Bull and X-Games.

    R. Benjamin B. on April 5, 2010 11:39 AM:

    Love the Group B class- incredible. I did a piece on it a while back at:


    Thornproof on April 5, 2010 11:41 AM:

    A true classic. One of the few cars that is clearly identifiable with a very specific time and place!


    JLoop on April 5, 2010 2:13 PM:

    @Brett: Errr, I’d go with the Lancia Stratos. Or the Delta Integrale. No, the Ford RS200. One of the best, sure, but not the best.

    And Greg D.: Have you not heard of the WRC? Guy by the name of Sebastian Loeb? How about the IRC? Rallying only sucks in one place: the U.S.

    Michael on April 5, 2010 2:20 PM:

    The fans are jumping out of the way like it’s the Tour de France… but that’s a 2,600 lb vehicle hurtling towards them.

    Loved the A1/A2 series. These are absolute classics.

    Bradc on April 5, 2010 6:28 PM:

    And what about the late great Colin McRae (more famously part of Subaru..literally made “modern rally” what it is today, post Audi early 80’s..

    Zinman on April 6, 2010 7:05 PM:

    Something about that shape, that reputation and the glory of turbo power and AWD! My first car was a wannabe Ur-Quattro, a 1984 Audi Coupe GT. That was a surprisingly good, cheap car! My 1997 A4 Quattro, not so much…..

    Fjorder on April 7, 2010 8:55 AM:

    good call, JLoop on two points: The Lancia Stratos (in my opinion as well) is just above the Audis as most legendary rally car. And the WRC is an incredible series—Loeb and his co-racers are among the world’s best drivers.

    Foster on April 12, 2010 7:36 PM:

    group b cars are amazing. my favorite is the ford rs200. lotus made the suspension cosworth made the engine.

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