New cars: Audi 80 Quattro

For those who relish Audi’s proven four-wheel-drive system, but can’t run to the near-£18,000 price tag demanded for the turbocharged two-door Quattro coupe, the advent of the 80 Quattro four-door saloon will be greeted with particular pleasure. This latest Audi is scheduled to go on sale in the United Kingdom on August 1st, and is offered at £11,268.56 tax paid, powered by a fuel-injected, five-cylinder, 2,144 cc engine developing 136 bhp at 5,900 rpm.

The basic Audi 80 is a compact package which will be just the right size for a large number of buyers in the medium sized saloon market. The tremendous feeling of security engendered by the 4WD system, allied to a revised mechanical configuration which incorporates relocated steering rods for zero castor, improved rear wheel location and engine-driven hydraulic power assisted steering, helps make the most of this car’s very respectable 120 mph performance. Speed in gears were 34 mph (first), 55 mph (second), 76 mph (third), 106 (fourth) and just over 120 mph (fifth), all these achieved with a 6,500 rpm rev limit. Fourth feels a particularly low gear, even though the figures suggest otherwise, and although fifth proves extremely flexible, our initial impressions were that we would like the gap to be slightly less between the two ratios.

With four-wheel disc brakes and Goodyear’s latest all-weather rubber, the Audi 80 Quattro is a true child of its more exalted, rally-proven stablemate. The interior may seem a trifle bland to some potential buyers, but the cloth trimmed seats are notably comfortable and supportive, and the whole aura exuded by the 80 Quattro is one of typical Germanic efficiency. We’ll be bringing our readers a more detailed appreciation of the Audi 80 Quattro in next month’s issue, and hope later to have some more details as to when a turbocharged version of this attractive saloon will be ready for the British market. AH.