In the 1980s, the German automobile manufacturer Audi had showed high performance at the World Rally Championship. The Audi Quattro was the first rally car with four-wheel drive which developed and prepared for the WRC by Audi in 1981. Despite being a 4WD that was more complicated and heavier than a normal 2WD, the Audi Quattro won many victories, winning the Constructors’ Champion in 1982 and the Drivers’ Champion in 1983. After that, the rally entered the era of 4WD. It can be said that it is Audi’s spirit to challenge new mechanisms and actively adopt them. In the race before World War II, Audi developed a race car with a midship engine layout, P bargain, and in recent years Audi introduced a diesel engine to endurance races such as Le Mans, and adopting 4WD in the rally was such an approach unique to Audi. Audi, who introduced the 4WD to the rally field in the 1980s, withdrew from the rally with the end of Group B. But Audi brought their 4WD system into on-road touring car races as a new challenge. In rough road rallies with low road grip, the advantage of transmitting power to the road with four wheels was highly evaluated, but in on-road circuits with high road grip, many people thought that lightweight and simple 2WD is considered to be superior. However, Audi determined that 4WD, which aims to demonstrate excellent traction that effectively transmits the engine power to the road surface, could take advantage of its effect regardless of the road surface. In 1988 Audi moved to the American circuit and in 1990 to the European touring car race. In 1995, Audi A4 Quattro, which was developed in accordance with the class 2 regulations of the touring car at that time, was prepared for the race. The A4 Quattro participated in touring car races in various countries such as Italy, Germany, and the UK, and demonstrated its capability. The A4 Quattro was equipped with an in-line 4-cylinder DOHC displacement 1998cc engine installed vertically on the front. Full time 4WD and transmitting power of nearly 300 horsepower to the road surface. Audi’s 4WD system was able to change the front and rear driving force distribution according to the course layout.
Although the A4 Quattro entered the race with a 100kg of handicap weight, the A4 Quattro won the Italian Championship in 1995 and 1996 consecutively. The A4 Quattro also won the championship in the German race in 1996, and entered BTCC in the same year. The works team’s A4 Quattro was entrusted to Frank Biela and John Bintcliffe. Despite the weight handicap, Frank Biela, who won eight seasons, successfully won the Driver’s Champion and Audi won the Manufacturers’ Champion. The double titles of Audi A4 Quattro successfully made its 4WD’s high ability widely known. After that, 4WD was banned in 1998 due to the performance difference between 4WD and 2WD. However, it can be said that this also proved the excellence of Audi’s 4WD technology.
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