Concept Car Of The Day: 1981 Audi Quartz - AllCarIndex

Concept Car Of The Day: 1981 Audi Quartz

Apr 20, 2024

Back in 1980, the well-known Swiss car magazine "Automobil Revue" was celebrating its 75th anniversary. To mark the occasion, Sergio Pininfarina, who had a great relationship with the publishers, decided to create a special concept car as a birthday present. He envisioned a fully functional and drivable Coupé, and while wandering the 1980 Geneva Auto Show, he stumbled upon the newly introduced Audi Quattro. Pininfarina knew immediately that this car would be the perfect base for his project.

Fortunately, Audi was more than happy to assist and provided a complete Urquattro for Pininfarina to work with in the summer of 1980. Throughout the conversion process, Audi kept a close eye on the project, ensuring everything went smoothly. Pininfarina crafted a brand new body on top of the unchanged Quattro base, which was tested in a wind tunnel and boasted a cD of 0.45.

Despite being shorter than the Quattro, the Quartz - as the show car was named - still managed to offer some space in the rear and a trunk/boot. The air intake was positioned between the headlights in the body "groove", while the outlet was located behind the front fenders in the same groove. The Quartz featured innovative 75mm DE lights instead of the standard headlights of the time.

Thanks to the use of carbon fiber and sandwich construction, the Quartz ended up being 90kg lighter than the Quattro. The interior showcased modern design elements and was fully functional, with all Quattro gauges being retained despite a thorough redesign of the dashboard. A quirky detail was the exhaust tip design.

The Quartz was engineered for full drivability and was eventually purchased by Audi. In 1986, when "Automobil Revue" tested its performance, they achieved a top speed of 217km/h (136mph) and a 0 to 62mph time of 7.1 seconds. When the Quartz was finally unveiled at the 1981 Geneva Auto Show, any challenges faced during its creation were forgotten, and a truly unique "Audi" was born.

The Quartz was powered by an Audi Quattro Turbo engine with a capacity of 2144cc, delivering 200hp at 5500rpm and 285Nm of torque at 3500rpm. It featured 4WD and weighed 1315kg, with dimensions of 4135mm in length, 1765mm in width, 1265mm in height, and a wheelbase of 2525mm.

In retrospect, the creation of the Quartz remains a significant moment in automotive history, showcasing the collaboration between two iconic brands to produce a truly remarkable and innovative vehicle.

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