When it comes to the golden era of Rallying back in the 80s, everyone knows Audi as the maker of the first successful all-wheel drive Audi Quarto – The Audi S1. A car that came as a game-changer into the Group B rally stage with absolutely no one to match it’s might. While so, by the mid 80’s the Audi S1 had started to grow old. It’s front-engined layout meant that it wasn’t as well-balanced as the other mid-engined, four-wheel drive rivals such as the Peugeot 205 Turbo and the Lancia Delta S4. Both of the later cars were nimbler to turn and faced less understeer issues due to their weight being middle centre.
It was time that Audi came up with something groundbreaking once again to replace the ageing S1… the Audi Group S prototype was born.
The Audi Group S prototype boasted a mid-mounted engine, four wheel drive and could produce upto 1,000bhp of power. The car when developed was a secret of which the top bosses of Audi had no wind. The Group S prototype was developed in Czechoslovakia in complete secrecy, knowing that the bosses might never approve of it. It wasn’t until rally maestro Walter Röhl was caught by unwanted paparazzi during testing that Audi bosses came to know about this secret engineering project that was hidden from their eyes for years.
The Audi Group S prototype was developed following the days of the ban of Group B rally cars. Waiting to debut one day to impress the world. Unfortunately the prototype never officially saw the light of sun as soon after the Audi Group S prototype was cancelled as well. This shelved the Group S prototype for ever, until recently when it was driven out of solidarity by Audi at the 2016 Eifel Rallye Festival in Daun, Germany.
Audi Group S Prototype at the 2016 Eifel Rallye Festival via Rally-Racing Videos(by MK2 Racing Videos) on YouTube.
If you are interested in reading more about Audi’s Group S prototype, here’s an old article article about it that is a very interesting read.