In part 1 (read more) of this article GTCC presented the very cool 1990 ur-Quattro, owned by Lars from Norway, and we covered the legendary history behind the car. In this part 2 (it’s rather lengthy, sorry about that), we dive down into what makes this particular Audi so special, how it was built and what it means to Lars to own such a special car. When I ask him what the best thing about the car is, he instantly replies:
«The power. And the sound. And that it’s so special to drive. And…»
I get it. It’s everything. Even the license plate is unique. I mean, what’s not to like? It’s rare and combined with an untouchable legacy there is an almost unexplainable coolness over the car. Factor in to the equation that it’s seriously beefed-up via a modified Audi RS2 power plant. Coincidently, Lars owned one those too. The RS initials stand for RennSport, and is Audi’s highest performance top-level cars, positioned above the S models. The RS2 was Audi’s first RS vehicle and it used the most powerful and most thoroughly developed version of Audi’s inline-five cylinder turbocharged engine. It’s widely known that Porsche had a key role in developing the RS2 and they provided the suspension, brakes, 964 Turbo side mirrors and those infamous Cup wheels.
When we talk some more about Lars’ previous cars, it’s clear he is no stranger to the world of special Audis. Being a true enthusiast, he always strive in making them even better than when they left the factory. Small details, which for the untrained eye means little or nothing, Lars invests a huge effort in «making his cars his» and leaves no detail behind. He clearly knows what he is doing and having worked with cars most of his professional life there isn’t far from «mind to spanner». When the ur-Quattro developed blue-ish smoke at idle and occasionally on wide-open-throttle attacks, he learned that the turbocharger was nearing it’s life-expectancy.
«It was a nice opportunity for me to upgrade the turbo. I had to replace it anyway and while I was at it, I approached Ferrita and asked if they could make me a complete stainless steel exhaust and custom downpipe to go with that Garrett turbo I had in mind.»
Ferrita is known for their craftsmanship and love for cars and they are widely acknowledged as being amongst the best in Europe, when it comes to making custom exhausts and downpipes. When Lars approached Micael Ljungström, the CEO in Sweden, he appointed Kennet «Keno» Nord for the job. Soon after he had done a complete 3″ stainless steel exhaust system with a custom fabricated TIG welded down-pipe.
Soon after all the upgraded engine parts were in place, another issues occurred. The brakes weren’t exactly specified to cope with the extra breathability the RS2 engine had been given, and bigger brakes were fitted along with some street-legal semi slick tires.
After the upgrade, the engine really woke up in a way one has to experience to fully believe. It simply propels the otherwise nimble and light car down the road, and leaves no prisoners in doing so. It’s rather brutal in the way it unleashes it power and it can be quite the handful in untrained hands. The original, un-modified version rolls, leans and pitches, but this one has upgraded suspension consisting of Bilstein shock absorbers and H&R springs, so it’s firmer and feels way more planted. It’s an old car mind you, so you do feel it come alive under you. Still, the car handles itself well and is also capable of everyday use when needed. Bar the deeper exhaust note on idle you couldn’t tell it’s been modified, and it’s quiet enough to lump around as a standard car. It will not take long though, before you want to stomp the happy-pedal one more time, and enjoy that unmistakable five cylinder warble as you blast towards the next corner.
Thinking about the fact that the car is some 250kg lighter and a lot stronger than the RS2 , there is no doubt that Lars’ car is fast. Really fast.
The car has been in a «finished» state for some years now, both in mechanical terms and of course cosmetic. It’s perfect in every way and as we mentioned in Part 1 the car went through a thorough restoration before Lars bought the car. The idea of getting an ur-Quattro had been lurking in his mind for some time and when the car came up for sale he nearly instantly decided to buy it.
We could probably write a full article on the restoration, but we’ll save that for a rainy day. Until then, some quick facts about the car and what it went through:
- No. 296 of 898 produced in 1990
- RS2 engine, Motronic ECU, original gearbox and differential
- Panthero-Metallic Black (LY9Z), 121-hour-paint-job
- Body stripped and treated for rust
- Chassis completely rebuilt, sandblasted and powder-coated.
- Audi A2 quattro Rally wheels, 9X16, tires 225/45-16
I ask Lars if he would ever want to part with the car and he pauses. It’s not an easy question for him.
«Between this and the S4, RS2 the RS4 B7 I’ve owned, the Quattro is the one I hold dearest in my heart. It’s just so special». He adds; «It’s the ultimate car from the Eighties and if I’m ever in a bad mood, I get out in the car and go for a ride. «Would I sell it one day? Who knows, but it will have to be a pretty special reason».
GTCC thanks Lars for the opportunity to feature his car. It most certainly has been an absolute pleasure. What a car!
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