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Video: The Quattro Experience

Obviously this was a Christmas present, which I viewed with much

The video lasts 60 minutes, and opens with a question mark: after
the Renault Alpine and the Lancia Stratos, what would be next in
rally car design?  The answer is the Audi Quattro ... and the next
45 or so minutes are a furious sequence of the Quattro in action,
driven by Mikkola, Mouton, Rohrl, Blomqvist, followed by footage
of Audi's Trans-Am assault with Stuck, Haywood, and Rohrl, and
culminating with Bobby Unsers assault on Pikes Peak.

The images are indelible: an in-car shot of Mikkola driving through
the snow, spinning the wheel from side to side, travelling at what
seems to be a racing pace - though he's only practicing in short sleeves
without a helmet ... another in-car sequence of Rohrl setting the fastest
stage time in the San Remo, his feet playing a drum-kit on the pedals
as he alternates between shifting, double-declutching, and left-foot
braking ... a slow-motion closeup of a Quattro tires spinning in the
gravel at the start of a special stage.  The statistics are equally
incredible: 360 bhp in the early versions, reaching more than 500 bhp
in the Group B car ... acceleration of 0 to 100 kph in 3 seconds.

Unfortunately the photography (original footage) and narration are merely
average.  The video was very obviously thrown together without too
much consideration for production values - I really do think that it
helps to tell a story instead of just saying, "Here's the Quattro in
action in San Remo ... and at the Acropolis."  The footage is intoxicating,
but the film-to-video transfer is dark and soft.  Too bad.  The rally
shots are really something, and it's almost frightful how the cars
barely touch the ground in the Thousand Lakes - they seem to fly.

For die-hard Quattro fans (i.e. this group) and rallyists, this is a
B+ film.  It's $39 from EWA.

- Lawrence Cheng