It is considered one of the most significant rally cars of all time, and was one of the first to take advantage of the then-recently changed rules which allowed the use of all-wheel-drive in competition racing. Many critics doubted the viability of all-wheel drive racers, thinking them to be too heavy and complex, yet the Quattro was an instant success, winning a rally on its first outing. It won competition after competition for the next two years. To commemorate the original vehicle, all future Audi Quattros were badged with a lower case Q. The original car with the upper case Q is highly sought after as a collector's piece.
Audi released the original Quattro in 1980, making it both the first car to feature Audi's quattro four-wheel drive system (hence its name) and the first to mate four wheel drive with a turbocharged engine. The powerplant was originally a 2.1 Ltr (2,144 cc), SOHC, 10 valve straight-5 producing 200 PS (147 kW); this was eventually modified to a 2.2 Ltr (2,226 cc) 10 valve straight-5 and then to a 2.2 Ltr (2,226 cc) 20v DOHC straight-5 setup producing 220 PS (162 kW).
Audi Quattros are often referred to among owners and enthusiasts by their engine codes, to differentiate between the earlier and later versions: the earliest (2,144 cc 10v) being the WR engine, the 2,226 cc 10v being the MB engine and the later 20v being the RR engine. Hence, Quattro models may be referred to as either the WR Quattro, MB Quattro, and RR or "20v" Quattro, respectively.
Total road car production is 11,452 vehicles over the period 19801991 and through this 11 year production span there were no major changes in the visual design of the vehicle. For the 1983 model-year the dash was switched from an analog instrument cluster to a green digital LCD display (later changed for 1988 to an orange LCD display). The interior was redesigned in 1985 and featured a whole new dash layout, new steering wheel design and new centre console design, the switches around the instrument panel were also redesigned at this time.
Externally, overall styling received very little modification during its production run. Originally, the car had a flat fronted grill featuring four separate lenses, one for each of the low and high beam units. This was altered for the 1983 model year and replaced with combined units featuring a single lens, but housing twin reflectors. This was changed again, for the 1985 model year, in what has become known as the 'facelift model' and included such alterations as a new sloping front grill, headlights, and trim and badging changes. The RR 20v Quattro also featured a new three spoke steering wheel design.Source: Wikipedia Audi Quattro Article.