This April, Audi‘s Quattro technology (quattro TM) will turn 30, and boy, the magic it has done in the past 30 years; numerous! Don’t forget, it’s also the anniversary mark for the car that first brought it to market.
Just a brief history: Quattro owes a large part of its existence to an Audi chassis engineer named Jörg Bensinger. In the late 1970s, Bensinger was testing a Volkswagen Iltis in the middle of a Finnish winter when he discovered the beauty (to coin a phrase) of all-wheel drive. The Iltis, a trucklike off-road vehicle that had been developed for use by the German army and forestry service, was simply untouchable on snow-covered roads — no car or truck of the time, no matter how powerful, could keep up with it. Bensinger was enthralled with the idea of a four-wheel-drive road car, and in February of 1977, he proposed the idea to Ferdinand Piech, Audi’s director of technical development. Piech signed off on the notion, authorizing a limited testing program built around the Audi 80.
To celebrate, Audi has a full year of activities planned, including a special exhibition at the Audi Forum Ingolstadt, a place at the Techno Classica in Essen, and Audi Tradition hauling momentous examples of Quattro to shows around Europe.
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