Having made a stunning rally debut in October 1980 by running their as-yet unhomologated Quattro as a “course car” in the Algarve Rally, when Hannu Mikkola set fastest time on 24 out of 30 stages, Audi quickly came to dominate the rallying scene with their four-wheel driven flyer. And when the rally classes were changed in 1983, Audi appeared to handle the change from Group 4 to Group B adroitly, though of course things were more complicated than they appeared on the surface. While their four-wheel drive made a new restriction on the maximum width of wheels less onerous than on two wheel driven cars, the 2,144 cc swept volume of their turbocharged five-cylinder engines put the Quattros into the 3-liter class by just 1 cc when multiplied by the turbo factor of 1.4.
This put the Quattros at a disadvantage compared with their lighter two-wheel drive Lancia rivals, so it was a remarkable achievement when Audi works driver Hannu Mikkola succeeded in winning his first World Driver’s Championship title that year.
This well-restored Group B Quattro is one of the works cars which helped him achieve that well-deserved success after so many years in rallying. According to the bodyshell number punched into the bulkhead, this is a genuine works car with factory chassis and has the body 1 late in the correct position.
When Audi Sport sold the car, it went to Finland and had a second career competing in Scandinavian rallies. It was then restored in Finland and acquired by its current owner in 1990, when it went on display in a museum, from which a number are offered in this sale. The seller represented that the engine has had a recent top end overhaul but would benefit from some further attention to the bottom end before being used in anger again. An evocative survivor of the dramatic Group B era in rallying, this car has the added distinction of having been driven by one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport in his championship year.