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The BBC's hit detective show, Life on Mars, has spawned a sequel called Ashes to Ashes. While the former was set in 1973 and featured a nifty Ford Cortina, Ashes follows Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Gene Hunt (the supervisor of Mars' lead character) to the early 80s, and the hero car is now a vintage Audi Quattro. Naturally, British fans' interest in the sweet Audi coupe is up, and incidentally, the TV car is very similar to a car that Audi UK keeps under lock and key. That car is the final RHD Audi Quattro to ever roll off the production line. It is a pristine, zero-mileage example that is kept in a secret, climate-controlled location. It's only removed for show duty and is returned to its hidey-hole immediately thereafter. Audi UK is emphatic about one thing: it will never, ever be sold. So have a look, friends. The car above is probably the most perfect Quattro in existence, and it is unattainable. Press release after the jump.

[Source: Audi UK]

PRESS RELEASE:
THE FAMOUS CAR AUDI IS KEEPING A BIG SECRET

Priceless original last-of-the-line Audi quattro is stored in secret UK location

Fame has returned to the sought-after original Audi quattro thanks to its starring role in the new BBC TV drama series 'Ashes to Ashes', set in 1980. The most priceless example of the legendary sports car that pioneered four-wheel-drive for production road cars is Audi UK's own unregistered car with zero miles, and will never be put up for sale.

So rare is this car - the last right-hand-drive quattro sports car ever made - that Audi is forced to keep it in a secret location and stored in a sealed, dehumidified environment. Similar to the TV star example seen nationally each week from February 7th, the as- new, just as it left the line Audi-owned example even shares the same bright red paint colour.

An untouched and as new car could actually be worth an unlimited sum to an enthusiast Audi collector. "We would never be able to replace this car and its value to the brand is inestimable" said Jeremy Hicks Director of Audi UK. "Whenever we have exhibited it, we have received a succession of surprisingly high offers, but sadly this particular car, the quattro that started it all for the company in the early eighties, will never be for sale".

In the final twist to the tale experts have spotted that the specimen of the model featured in the TV drama is actually a 1984 model year quattro identified by its single headlamp binnacles which , say the pundits, was not yet on sale in 1980. At that time the first quattro launch in March 1980 features twin headlamp lenses on each side.

"The unprecedented exposure from the TV show has thrown the spotlight back onto the original quattro for the first time since production ceased almost twenty years ago. We are seeing renewed interest in our classic cars and we fully expect demand for the first Audi quattro to rise dramatically this year," concluded Mr Hicks.

Audi has just launched the latest manifestation of the quattro line with the 580PS RS 6 quattro Avant priced from £77,625 on the road. Capable of up to 174mph, the RS6 - the most powerful road Audi ever made - arrives with its first UK customers in May.

Intriguingly, Audi has always spelt 'quattro' with a lower case Q.

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