Techno Classica 2016: Awesome Audis

12th April 2016
Gary Axon

Audi’s large stand at Essen included a pair of one-off 1991 concept cars that have not been seen out in public since they were revealed 25 years ago.  These were positioned alongside some older and unusual production models from the Ingolstadt marque’s long and tangled history as part of the previous Auto Union empire, with DKW, Horch and NSU also receiving attention.


The orange mid-engined Quattro Spyder concept debuted at the 1991 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show, and set the scene for what was to become Audi’s new rounded design language for its 1990s production models, such as the fourth-generation 80 and Coupe hatch. The more extravagant Avus aluminium prototype was unveiled to wide acclaim at the 1991 Tokyo Show, and anticipated Audi’s R8 mid-engined supercar that was to follow many years later. 


Another mid-engined one-off Audi on show is the Group S quattro rally prototype. With Audi’s all-wheel-drive Quattro suddenly being trumped by the later mid-engined Group B rally cars such as the Peugeot 205 T16, Lancia Delta S4 and Ford RS200, this Group S racer was scheduled to be campaigned for the 1987 WRC rally season.  With a lightweight plastic body and 4-valve turbocharged engine, this Audi held great promise, but the demise of Group B, following a tragic accident at the 1986 Portugal Rally, saw the project being canned, without the car ever having turned a wheel in ager.

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