1985 Audi Sport Quattro
Single owner from 1986, two previous owners in total
The most extreme roadgoing version of the original Quattro
2.1-litre engine, 307 bhp and 0-60mph in 4.8 second
Faster than a Lamborghini and ultra-exclusive, the Sport Quattro ticks all the boxes
To meet World Rally Championship Group B homologation regulations, each manufacturer was required to build just 200 road-going examples of the car they wished to compete with.
This rule led to all manner of fire-breathing legends from manufacturers such as Audi, Lancia, Peugeot, Ford, Ferrari, Renault, Mitsubishi, Opel and MG! The Group B regulations opened the gates for engineers, whereas previously they had been limited to 2-wheel drive cars, Audi engineers were the first to take full advantage!
Audi revolutionised rallying with their full-time all-wheel-drive system, first appearing in the Audi 80 ‘quattro’ long-wheelbase in 1982. The word ‘quattro’ was derived from the Italian word for "four". The name was used by Audi to refer to the quattro four-wheel-drive system, or any four-wheel-drive version of an Audi model. Audi’s engineers were tasked with designing a new purpose-built weapon for the 1984 season under the secret directions of Ferdinand Piech. The most extreme road-going version of the original ‘quattro’ was born.
The Sport Quattro featured a wheelbase shortened by 320mm making the rear seats useless, but the lucky few who bought a Sport cared little for practicality, as it was an out-and-out performance machine.
Powered by a lighter, developed version of the five-cylinder engine, featuring a 20-valve cylinder head with Bosch electronic fuel injection, giving a power output of 307 bhp at 5,700 rpm! The Sport Quattro looked a purposeful machine, thanks to its extended wheel arches, wider wheels and steeper windscreen, at the request of drivers seeking less reflections from the dashboard instruments, and to save weight, it has composite body panels. The Sport Quattro also has a powerful braking system, with very advanced anti-lock brakes, a most welcome addition with this car’s top speed of 155 mph.
In total, Audi built 214 Sport Quattros, with only 164 of these being sold to customers for road use, the rest destined to compete across the world in various Rally Championships.
This Audi Sport Quattro, chassis WAUZZZ85ZEA905201, completed build on 1st March 1985 and was first serviced by Audi Ingolstadt on 24th July 1985. The car was then sold new to its first owner, Mr Gerard Brianti, a Monegasque, through his friend and dealer Gery Mestre.
One year later, 905201 was purchased by its second and most recent owner, Mr Jean-Pierre Richelmi, another Monegasque with a huge interest and passion for rallying. Having first competed with an Opel Kadett GT/E in 1981 at the Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo. Mr Richelmi clearly enjoyed the experience, continuing to compete in rallies regularly until 1995.
Early in its life this Sport Quattro had its original aluminium engine block replaced with a steel unit due to the original version’s tendency to crack. Audi even stopped producing the Aluminium blocks as they almost all failed. In November 1986, this Audi was serviced at Garage du Ste-Devote with mileage noted as 1,679 kms.
Mr Richelmi maintained ownership of this car until we were able to acquire it last year, having lovingly maintained and driven it just over 40,000 kilometres. Today a set of new Michelin TB15’s tyres have just been fitted, and the car has been fully serviced and inspected by a specialist. The Audi Sport Quattro is a landmark model, not only in Audi’s history, but also in World Rallying.