The Audi Quattro was the first rally car to take advantage of the then-recently changed rules which allowed the use of four-wheel drive incompetition racing. It won competition after competition for the next two years. To commemorate the success of the original vehicle, all subsequent Audis with their trademark quattro four-wheel-drive system
The North American Quatros were constructed concurrently and were of the same design as the European 1982 models (they did not include the minor cosmetic changes of the European 1983 model) and continued through 1986. Total sales in the U.S. were 664. TheCanadian market cars were identical to the U.S. version with exception of the speedometer that was metric. Official sales figures for Canada were 99; which included 61 in 1983, 17 in 1984, 18 in 1985, and 3 in 1986.
Michele Mouton's Audi Sport Quattro at the 2006 Goodwood Festival of Speed
The Audi Sport Quattro S1 was a Quattro programme car developed for homologation for Group B rallying in 1984, and sold as a production car in limited numbers. It featured an all aluminium alloy 2,133 cc (130.2 cu in) (2.1 L) 20v DOHC engine slightly smaller than that of the Audi Quattro (in order to qualify for the 3-litre engine class after the scale factor applied to turbo engines). In road-going form, the engine was capable of producing 225 kW (306 PS; 302 bhp), with the competition cars initially producing around 331 kW (450 PS; 444 bhp).
The vehicle also featured a body shell composed of carbon-kevlar and boasting wider arches, wider wheels (nine inches as compared to the Ur-Quattro's optional 8-inch-wide (200 mm) wheel rim), the steeper windscreen rake of the Audi 80 (requested by the Audi Sport rally team drivers to reduce internal reflections from the dashboard for improved visibility) and, most noticeably, a 320 mm (12.6 in) shorter wheelbase.
In addition to Group B competition in rallying, the Sport Quattro won the 1985 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with Michele Mouton in the driving seat, setting a record time in the process. 224 cars of this "short version" Sport Quattro were built, and were offered for sale for 203,850 German Marks
Audi began racing prototype sportscars in 1999, debuting at the Le Mans 24 hour. Two car concepts were developed and raced in their first season - the Audi R8R (open-cockpit 'roadster' prototype) and the Audi R8C (closed-cockpit 'coupé' GT-prototype). The R8R scored a credible podium on its racing debut at Le Mans and was the concept which Audi continued to develop into the 2000 season due to favourable rules for open-cockpit prototypes.
Audi's decision to use a diesel engine emphasizes the commercial success of Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) turbodiesel engine (and its competitors) on Europe's roads. Diesels have been successfully used in other forms of racing as well, as their broad power band andfuel economy can prove advantageous, while in turn, the higher weight and lower rotational speed of the engine requiring new power transmissions are the disadvantages. The rules had to accommodate the need for a high capacity engine with a turbocharger and high boost, whereas both possibilities are no longer allowed for gasoline engines, as these had developed over 1,000 hp (746 kW; 1,014 PS) in several race series of the past.
For the second time in a row, Audi has won the Le Mans 24 Hours with a diesel-hybrid race car and quattro drive.
In the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and in the Le Mans 24 Hours as the season’s pinnacle event, Audi will compete with a thoroughly revised R18 e-tron quattro diesel hybrid racer in the 4-megajoule class. (Earlier post.) A two-fold quantity of hybrid energy, fundamentally revised aerodynamics, the next step in lightweight design and detailed optimization work characterize the fifth generation of the Audi R18.
Audi, the only manufacturer to date to have won the Le Mans 24 Hours with hybrid racers, has doubled the amount of energy recovered per race lap from 2 to 4 megajoules (MJ). During braking, energy is recovered which the system subsequently feeds back to the front axle on acceleration. The electrical machine that performs this task now delivers an output of more than 200 kW (272 hp)—a significant increase compared to last year. Therefore, Audi has increased the capacity of the energy storage system as well.
The encapsulated WHP flywheel energy storage system that sits in the cockpit alongside the driver can store up to 700 kilojoules (KJ) of energy that it subsequently returns to the electrical machine—about 17% more than in 2014.