The legendary Audi Quattro Group B rally car has been reimagined and modeled for the present day by 2016 World Rallycross Champion Mattias Ekström and the EKS JC team.
The Quattro is one of the most pioneering cars in rallying history as the first car in the World Rally Championship to adopt four-wheel-drive technology. Audi won its first WRC rally in 1981, before claiming both the 1983 and 1984 drivers’ titles with the late Hannu Mikkola and Stig Blomqvist as well as the manufacturers’ title in 1982 and 1984.
Its iconic five-cylinder engine, aggressive aero and yellow and white livery made it a firm favorite for fans, and now those memories will be reinvigorated with the creation of the A1 Quattro rally car.
The machine is a collaboration between EKS JC – the reigning World RX team’s champion – and Rally Technic, a rally car manufacturer based in South Africa.
The A1 has been built using a Rally2 kit. It will utilize a 1.6-liter engine that produes 263bhp and a five-speed sequential gearbox.
The Rally2 kit, developed by French firm Oreca, allows teams to implement a bespoke bodyshell to a universal set of running gear. Rally Technic has experience in this already, developing a Suzuki Swift for competition in Spain.
Although no plans have been revealed yet, the A1 Quattro will be eligible for international as well as national competition and EKS JC plans to use the car on events in 2021.
Emil Bergkvist – the 2018 Junior WRC champion, who co-drove for Ekström on last weekend’s Arctic Rally Finland – will be the team’s development driver and will soon start a testing progam.
EKS is owned by Ekström, and has experience in building bespoke Audi A1s as it developed the S1 Supercar that has competed in World RX since the championship’s inception in 2014.
But double DTM Champion with Audi Ekström was always keen to also build a rally version of the car.
“When the new generation of Audi A1 was launched, we knew we want to build something out of it,” Ekström said.
“And since everyone knows my passion for rallying, it quickly became clear that we will build a rally car.
“For now, this car is just for our own use, but when we will be satisfied with its performance, we will offer it for rent or purchase to other competitors.”
Team manager Joel Christoffersson added: “At the moment the car is fully built and ready for racing, but we will still work on set-up finetuning of it.
“We will start with snow and gravel specification tests and later in the year we will also focus on Tarmac spec.”
Rally Technic director Chris Coertse concluded: “We are very happy to collaborate on this project with EKS JC.
“The Rally2 kit provides a unique price-performance balance for competitors, but in this case, it is also combined with a legendary brand and a glorious body kit.”
The last time a Rally2-spec car strongly echoed a Group B monster of the past was when Peugoet launched its 208 R5 and named it the T16 in homage to the 205 T16 that won the 1985 and 1986 WRC titles with Timo Salonen and Juha Kankkunen.
Unlike EKS JC’s A1 Quattro, however, that was an officially homologated car which was driven in the European Rally Championship by Craig Breen and Kevin Abbring.