UrQ impression an ode to the Q

Dave Eaton Dave.Eaton at clear.net.nz
Fri May 25 21:34:56 EDT 2001

actually, i think every is right on this one...

the later ur-quattro's were major improvements on the early ones.  the 20vt
engine is a significant plus.  with the older cars and their turbo lag, you
really have a very limited range of engine revs to work with, the
consequence is that you have to be very precise with your timing, and your
throttle inputs.  in the european wr for instance, there is not much below
3500rpm, and not much over 5000rpm.  the result is therefore only 1500rpm of
useful engine "life".  get it wrong going into a corner, and you've going
nowhere fast.  add in the gear ratios and you make it all worse.  you could
find yourself swapping cogs on entry, then swapping cogs on exit just to
keep the engine on song.  add the difficult gear change of the early quattro
box, and it's not much fun.  For the usa ur-q, add in only 160hp and

the rs2 shares this affliction to some extent, with nothing much below 3000,
except that it loves to rev, and will pull like a train all the way through
to 7000 rpm, and the gearbox is much better.  so, with the rs2, your task is
easier, you just have to make sure your revs are right going into the
corner, and the car will take care of everything going out.

with the 20v ur-quattro, you have a wider usable rev range again.  you can
get useful boost from the low 2000 rpms, through to 6500 rpms (although its
not as happy up there as the rs2), and you can decide to have fun on a
corner in a way that you can't really manage with the other cars mentioned
here.  1/2 way round a round-about, and want to kick the tail out?  plant
your foot in a 20v and there you have it.  also, for car control with audi
turbo's it is better imo to have torque lower down, than higher up...

where the later cars have not come close to the ur-quattro is in "feel".
not early porsche-type feel, but not a million miles from it.  the steering
wheel of the 20v is a good way of telling what the car is doing.  in the
rs2, it's just for steering.  later audi's are also afflicted with a nasty
"pitch" which the 1.8t a4's mostly dispense with due to their lack of weight
in the nose.  however, just to show that it's a trade-off, there are a
couple of corners around here which the rs2, due to it's more supple
suspension takes better than the ur-q, which tends to lose traction due to
its stiffness.  also, a lot will depend on the roads you frequent.  in nz,
we are talking twisty roads with many camber changes, and indifferent
surfaces - which place a premium on torque and corner "adjustability".  in
higher-speed motorway-type scenarios, and the balance tips decisively
against the ur-q as the better car imo.

anyway, josh i think you are right, but that you also miss the point a
little.  it is a shame however, that the 20v ur-q's didn't make it to the

'95 rs2
'90 ur-q
-----Original Message-----
From: Ti Kan <ti at amb.org>
Subject: Re: Re UrQ impression an ode to the Q
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 23:41:17 -0700 (PDT)
Cc: josh_wyte at yahoo.com, quattro at audifans.com
JShadzi at aol.com writes:
> Basically, I think what would sum this up is:  No one out there buys or
> drives an Ur-q or any older Audi because it is nicer, more refined, and
> smoother than an A4 1.8t.  The Ur-q represents what Audi is, what enables
> Audi to, in modern times, build a car as smooth and refined as the A4.
> The Ur-q in my eyes is the archetypal Audi- every Audi attempts to do what
> the Ur-q did back in 1981.  It was an innovative, powerful car that forced
> the automotive injustry to reconsider what a fast, agile car really looked
> like.

Agreed.  I'd also chime in here to say that the "Ur-Q" mentioned here
is US-centric...  Don't forget that the the Ur-Q stayed in production
for other markets until 1990 and had several major engine revisions.
The last iteration of it had the 20V turbo with excellent low-end torque
and high end power... and the refinement was vastly improved over the early
versions too.

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