The World of Rare and Quite Wonderful Audi Cars
Slideshow: Check out some of Audi's best-kept secrets and think about which one you'd buy if you had the chance.
1980 Group S Rally Prototype
This car doesn’t exist, the pictures aren’t real and it's all a lie. Well, in 1980 that's exactly what Audi wanted you to think anyway. The Group S Prototype was a mad experiment which engineers worked on in secret, trying to produce a well balanced, 1000 horsepower, rally machine. The car was kept a company secret for many years, during development and undergoing clandestine test drives by the legendary Walter Rohrl, before eventually being discovered by the public. Several were made during development, but the last remaining model is currently stored at Audi’s secret shed.
1914 14/35 Type C "Alpine Victor"
Don’t let the name fool you, this wasn’t built by the Audi we currently know, but the original pre-war version of the company. This car was designed and built by August Horch, who in his legacy was able to create the world’s first "Audi" race car. The Alpine Victor sported a 35 horsepower engine that powered the car to victory in the treacherous Austrian Alpine Rally, taking the gold for three years straight between 1912 and 1914. This original Audi company stopped making cars at the start of the war, and only started again in 1965.
1968 80 Variant
If you saw this car parked in the street, chances are, you'd gloss right over it because there really isn't anything very special about these wagons. They're fairly large, handle like a boat out on the ice and are pretty mundane looking rides. The Audi 80 Variant was produced from 1967 - 1969, it featured a 79 horsepower engine and standard 3-door wagon design. They make this list because of the fact that there are approximately 10 of these remaining in the world today, according to expert estimates and vehicle registrations.
1987 Sport Quattro S1
Now recognized as one of the innovators of late 20th-century motorsport, the 1987 Sport Quattro S1 was a mad science experiment produced by Audi for rally competition. It featured a turbocharged 2.1L inline 5-cylinder engine with 306 horsepower and 258 lb-ft torque. Its power was evenly transferred to all four wheels through Audi’s patented Quattro design. The interior was outfitted with custom racing seats, while the entire chassis featured a 661-pound weight reduction, and a foot chopped out of the wheelbase for quicker handling. As with most of the production cars on this list, it was part of a limited production run, with only 223 models ever being made in order to homologate it for racing.
2001 TT 2.7T B5 RS
The Audi TT coupe is a popular small sports car, based on the VW Golf platform, and sold in large numbers. However, this example is different, in that it was a factory attempt to make a supercar fast version of the TT by marrying it to the A4 chassis. This Mk1 Audi TT RS Prototype utilized an RS4 chassis, chopped, and fit under a TT body in order to fit a longitudinally mounted 2.7L V6 engine instead of the transverse 1.8 L turbocharged four-cylinder in production models. Most of the RS4 chassis were used, including the Torsen-based quattro system. This TT produced 380 horsepower, hit 0 to 62 mph in 4.8 seconds and had a top speed of 183 mph. Sadly, due to the amount of engineering involved, the car never made it to production, and only one was ever produced.
2011 R8 GT V10
Audi enjoys special editions and limited production runs, and this 2011 Audi R8 GT is a prime example, with only 333 models ever produced. The GT was built to introduce race related features onto the street model. It featured a V10 motor with 560 horsepower and 398 pound-feet torque, paired with an R-Tronic automated manual transmission. custom driver-adjustable suspension was added, and the exterior featured several carbon fiber pieces, such as the spoiler and deck lid. The entire car received at 220-pound weight reduction and was capable of producing of 0 - 60 time of 3.1 seconds. Unfortunately, the series was bought out even before they were put into production, but if you're lucky you may see one pop up at auction eventually.
2012 A1 quattro
For years engineers have focused on the power-to-weight ratio of almost all vehicles. Race cars are built with carbon fiber body panels and lighter windshields, while smaller cars get packed with big engines or massive turbos. This A1 quattro is no different, and uses the chassis of their smallest economy car grocery-getter, turned into a fast, nimble and economical mini-monster. This A1 variant has a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that makes 252 horsepower to the wheels, and all four wheels too. It has a max speed of 152 mph and can hit 0-62 mph in 5.7 seconds. Unfortunately, Audi decided to only make 333 of them, all of which have already been accounted for. Sigh.
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