• Feb 14, 2010
The first Audi Quattro unveiled in Geneva in 1980 – Click above for high-res image

Audi's Quattro system is 30 this year, introduced on the Ur-Quattro at the 1980 Geneva Motor Show. To celebrate, Audi has a full year of activities planned, including a special exhibition at the Audi Forum Ingolstadt, a place at the Techno Classica in Essen, and Audi Tradition hauling momentous examples of Quattro to shows around Europe.

It's interesting to ponder where Audi would have gone without Quattro. In America the tech and halo associations that emanated from the marque's Group B rally eating monsters helped it go from being perceived as a maker of really nice VWs to a luxury line with a unique, finessed brawn. We do wonder, though, what the original Quattro would say to a TT... Follow the jump for Audi's press release and a glimpse of where you can find vintage Audis and Auto Unions throughout the year.



[Source: Audi]

PRESS RELEASE

Audi Tradition celebrates the 30th anniversary of quattro
- Special exhibition at the Audi museum mobile
- Attendance at the world's largest classic car show, the Techno Classica in Essen
- Extensive historical programme for 2010

INGOLSTADT, Germany, Feb 12, 2010 - This year Audi once again has many historically significant events to celebrate, with one especially important anniversary: 30 years of quattro. At the world's largest classic car show, the Techno Classica in Essen, Germany (April 7 – 11), Audi Tradition will therefore be exhibiting four Audi quattro models of outstanding interest. And at the museum mobile in the Audi Forum Ingolstadt, there will be a special exhibition from April 28 to July 31 devoted to "30 Years of quattro". This year Audi Tradition is taking its motor-vehicle treasures to an unusually large number of events.

Audi Tradition will for instance be at the Grand Prix Historique in Monaco (May 1 and 2), an event in which it participated for the first time two years ago. On this occasion, two Auto Union Silver Arrow racing cars will be seen in action on this most classic of all Formula One racing circuits: the Auto Union Type C dating from 1936 and the Auto Union Type D with twin-supercharger engine (1939). Audi Tradition is also returning to the "Schottenring Classic Grand Prix" on August 14 and 15, an event for motorcycles only, recalling the earlier heyday of DKW and NSU bikes – models that wrote history in world championship events in their time.

Audi Tradition will be present for the first time at the Classic Days held on July 30 and August 1 at Schloss Dyck (Dyck Castle) in Jüchen near Düsseldorf. Here too an Auto Union Grand Prix racing car will be seen in action, and also the Audi 200 Trans Am dating from 1988. Another premiere will be the Metz Rally in Stein near Nuremberg (April 23 and 24), where a 1979 Audi 80 Rallye is to be entered. Audi Tradition will also be in attendance at a new exhibition: "Klassikwelt Bodensee" (Lake Constance Classic World) from June 3 to 6 in Friedrichshafen. The topic here will be the "Electric Car Heritage" of AUDI AG – electrically propelled vehicles going back as far as the 1920s.

And of course Audi Tradition will be running its vehicles again at the world's largest historic car event, the Goodwood Festival of Speed (July 2 to 4) in England. Every year the Earl of March extends a most welcome invitation to the historic motor-sport elite. The 1939 Auto Union Type D Grand Prix racing car with its twin-supercharger engine will be among the treasures from Audi Tradition's collection to roar up the hill in the park of his country house.

Nor will Audi Tradition fail to participate in this year's classic oldtimer rallies such as the Silvretta Classic (July 8 to 11), the Ennstal Classic (July 14 to 17) and the Gran Premio Nuvolari (September 16 to 19). Events at which the brand with the four-ring emblem is the main sponsor are the Danube Classic in Ingolstadt (June 24 to 26), the Heidelberg Historic (July 15 to 17) and the Eifel Classic Rally at the Nurburg Ring (September 30 to October 2).

The 30th anniversary of quattro is accompanied in 2010 by a second major jubilee year: 125 years of the Wanderer company. Based in Chemnitz, Wanderer was represented by one of the four rings in the company logo, and built cars and motorcycles until the outbreak of the Second World War. To commemorate this anniversary, Audi Tradition will be taking part in the "125 Years of Wanderer" meeting from September 2 to 5 in Leipzig and Chemnitz.


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  • 26 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, I thought the Ur quattro looked great in any color, I guess I was wrong. Get a coat of red or blank on that baby, stat!
        wilbah
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well.. there were no mono-chrome rides back then... in all seriousness this car in Audi White, looked as good (if not better) than any new Audi today dressed in corporate silver.

        No shite, (and without sounding preachy), there were no other cars in the 80's dressed in a triple white.. it was a bold move that changed things alot for Audi especially coming off brake engine
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's really nice to see Audi celebrating the 30th birthday of the UrQ. However, as an ex-owner of an UrQ (1983 model), I find it really disingenuous. Whereas BMW has a SERIOUS support system for owners of their older cars (ie, it's possible to buy parts for a 2002ti from BMW), Audi purged their stock of old parts a few years ago. For years Audi has pretty much ignored the UrQ AND the pleas of owners for help with getting parts. We didn't want them for free. We'd pay for them. We just wanted PARTS to keep the cars running.

      But, hey. Audi has some pristine examples they can trot out at shows and events, so they don't have to worry about parts.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "You do realize you made a comparison about a 2002 BMW, which is less than 10 years old, versus a car that is almost 30 years old"

        EPIC FAIL

        ;-)
        • 4 Years Ago
        You do realize you made a comparison about a 2002 BMW, which is less than 10 years old, versus a car that is almost 30 years old. Do you really expect dealers to hold on to parts for 30 years? Going by that logic, the Big2.5 should still be stocking parts for their muscle cars from the 60's given their popularity.

        I can still get parts for my 99 Passat from a dealer, I'm almost certain (and the aftermarket is certainly sufficient). Dealers can't hold on to parts forever though. That's what the aftermarket is for.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Andrew

        I'm probably being trolled, but the 2002ti is a model of BMW, first released in 1973.
        • 4 Years Ago
        aye thats the only thing that stopped me from buying a sweet sweet urq in the baltimore area :(
        • 4 Years Ago
        Andrew, maybe you should take up knitting or something.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Finally, an anniversary and celebration worth having! If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Audi should be flattered indeed. After rocking the automotive world in 1980 with the original quattro (always spelled with a lower case "q", by the way) street car, they went on to rallying and roadracing fame. It was a game-changer for rallying, to be sure, and quattros and the like were either banned or severely regulated in many other motorsports venues.
      The impact and lineage is clear. Every modern day AWD car, whether it's a grocery getter Subaru, an Evo, a WRC car, or a Veyron owes it's commercial/marketing success to Audi and their quattro.
      Back when the original quattro was released, Ferdinand Piech described the difference beyween traditonal 4WD and quattro AWD. He said something like, "4WD is like a man walking on ice. He slips and falls, then gets around on all four. All wheel drive is like a wild animal that is always on four legs and is fast all the time". So true.
      Enjoy the celebration, Audi. You've earned it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "We do wonder, though, what the original Quattro would say to a TT..."

      It's too awesome to talk. If it opened its mouth, blaring Iron Maiden would come out.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Ur4 would say "Wait... what do you mean transverse mounted engine?"
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hey AB (and everybody else) — sometime along the line, Audi changed it to quattro® (small 'q').
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, I think it was that way from the beginning. I specifically remember the 1984 4000S quattro having the lower case "q" for all the car's badging. Also, older quattros had a really cool rear window defroster wth "quattro" incorporated INTO the electric defroster lines! On the grilles, then as now, a chrome quattro badge resides in the lower right corner using the same script as they did in the early eighties. The trunk lid also has some sort of quattro badge, usually on the right rear. Only a few models that HAD quattro did NOT have this exterior badging. I like their consistency in labeling this aspect of their cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Can anyone else not see the large sized photos? That dashboard is amazing but I can never see a damn thing full size on this site anymore.
        • 4 Years Ago
        okay now it works
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, looks like they're displaying it in the Battlestar Galactica's hangar... They really *were* our predecessors!
      • 4 Years Ago
      VIVA LANCIA.
        • 4 Years Ago
        VIVA LANCIA DELTA INTEGALE HF..........VIVA GROUP B.......
      • 4 Years Ago
      "We do wonder, though, what the original Quattro would say to a TT..."

      Quattro: I'M YOUR FATHER
      TT: ;-; *bows down*
      • 4 Years Ago
      Coolest Rallye car, always wanted one of the short wheelbase ones.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why the hell would you block such a beautiful cars with a giant pot of flowers?
        • 4 Years Ago
        This is the '80s, not a lot made sense back then. Oh yeah, I-5 turbo FTMFW
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