HomePick of the DayRally star 1986 Audi Sport Quattro short-wheelbase coupe

Rally star 1986 Audi Sport Quattro short-wheelbase coupe


Developed for FIA Group B rally racing, the Audi Quattro was key to the dominance of all-wheel drive for the back-road motorsport.   Just 224 homologation specials were produced for the road by Audi, extreme in every respect with their shortened-wheelbase profiles, lightweight Kevlar body panels and 302-horsepower turbocharged engines.

The Quattro today is an unmitigated star among ‘80s collector cars, a rare highlight of the decade, the likes of which were never repeated.

Audi cut out 12 inches of wheelbase for the Sport Quattro

The Pick of the Day is a 1986 Audi Sport Quattro coupe painted Tomato Red, as were more than half of the road-going versions.  The odometer shows just over 34,000 miles.

“The most collectible and most exciting Audi of all time,” states the Scotts Valley, California, restoration company advertising the Audi on ClassicCars.com.  “Extremely original and well-maintained example, three-owner car.”

The Sport Quattro is akin to the more-civilized Audi coupe, with 12 inches cut out of its wheelbase and its longitudinal inline-5-cylinder engine boosted aggressively with a turbocharger. The look of the car is either exciting or ungainly, depending on your perspective, but it is most obviously a purposeful race car for the street.

The 5-cylinder engine is boosted to 302 horsepower

As such, the Sport Quattro gained a reputation as being a handful to drive for the inexperienced or less-proficient, eager to oversteer and swap ends and with a fierce dose of turbo lag that could catch the unwary and send them careening into a lamppost.

But for those with the understanding and kn0w-how, the race-tuned Audi can be an absolute romp.  The transmission is a 5-speed manual, the suspension is all independent and the brakes are four-wheel disc.

The competition-style seats are by Recaro

This Sport Quattro was brought to the US in 1986 as a promotion for the Pikes Peak race, the seller says, and then federalized for road use.  “Extensive mechanical servicing” has been carried out by the seller, the ad says, and the Audi is ready to drive.  Carefully.

The seller does not list an asking price for this rare and special car, but the average price quoted in the Hagerty value guide is $335,000 for an average car, rising to $470,000 for one in concours condition.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


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