Lot 161

St. Moritz 2023

1981 Audi Ur-quattro

Offered from The Iseli Collection


CHF62,100 | Sold

Switzerland | St. Moritz, Switzerland



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Swiss Carte Grise
  • Offered from The Iseli Collection
  • An early example of Audi’s legendary Ur-quattro
  • A revolutionary and world-beating design
  • Delivered new to Ticino, Switzerland
  • Fitted with a largely original interior

Many great marques have a single model that exemplifies the ethos of their brand. For Ferrari it was the 250-series, for Porsche it was the 911, and for Audi it was the four-wheel-drive Ur-quattro—a car so revolutionary that it has defined nearly everything the company has produced since.

Originally developed as part of a defence contract, the "quattro" system was identified by Audi’s engineers as having potential in road cars. With Ferdinand Piëch’s approval and technical direction, the technology was first utilised with the Audi 80 before the headlining Ur-quattro coupé was unveiled at the 1980 Geneva International Motor Show. Remarkably, the Ur-quattro would enjoy an 11-year production run.

Underneath the stunning proportions of the flared wheel-arch coupé design,, the Ur-quattro featured a turbocharged version of Audi’s 2,144 cc inline five-cylinder engine. The engine was mated to a five-speed gearbox that delivered power to the road via an ingenious permanent four-wheel-drive system.

Audi unleashed the Ur-quattro in Group 4 rallying in 1980 before it was developed to meet Group B regulations and eventually evolved into the monstrous Sport quattro S1 E2. The dominant quattro programme would yield four World Rally Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ Championships at the hands of legendary drivers such as Hannu Mikkola, Michele Mouton, Stig Blomqvist and Walter Röhrl.

Hand-built during March 1981 at Audi’s Ingolstadt facility, this Ur-quattro benefits from having a Series 2 WR engine with a revised camshaft, cylinder head, distributor, and pistons. This example, which was delivered new to Ticino, Switzerland, has clearly led a charmed life given the condition of the interior, which is believed to be largely original, and it is still fitted with correct Ronal R8 wheels. At some point, this Ur-quattro has been treated to a respray in Silver Metallic in order to maintain its condition, and at time of cataloguing the odometer displayed 135,409 kilometres. Invoices on file reveal that in excess of CHF 9,000 was spent on workshop bills between 2018 and 2019.

Offered without reserve, this wonderful Ur-quattro is a fine example of the marque’s defining model, and a great reminder of Audi’s dominance in rallying.