This peculiar build was designed to tackle the arduous Dakar rally.
The Audi Quattro is arguably one of the greatest rally cars ever created, but what you see here isn't your average turbocharged five-pot gravel hypercar.
Offered for sale by Aguttes, this rather unique desert stormer is the brainchild of Dakar veteran Franco de Paoli, who thought it would be a good idea to merge the German sports coupe with a modified Range Rover chassis and engine.
Underneath the angular bodywork, you'll find an uprated 3.5-liter Rover-sourced V8 engine tuned to produce 215 horsepower. That's quite an upgrade from the miserly standard outputs of around 135 hp, which, for some reason, Land Rover thought was adequate to power the original luxury off-roader.
Interestingly, the Rover V8 started life as a Buick engine. GM sold the rights to several manufacturers, and it ended up in Rovers, Land Rovers, MGs, and TVRs.
The main attraction of the underpinnings has to be the chassis. Designed to take on almost anything, the Range Rover Classic is a tough old thing and was a firm favorite of many Dakar Rally entrants in the '70s and '80s. The auction listing states the platform has been modified - presumably for more rigidity and strength - but fails to mention what work was carried out. A roll cage is mandatory to compete in the Dakar, which already adds additional structural rigidity.
Save for the suspiciously generous ground clearance, you'd never know about the utilitarian bones. The Audi bodywork has been applied to the chassis exceptionally well, leading one to believe it's a special factory car. To save weight, the panels and components were fashioned out of fiberglass and kevlar.
Outside, this Audi/Range Rover combination is in excellent condition thanks to a cosmetic restoration. However, the auction house notes that a "major mechanical overhaul [is] to be expected." That's not surprising, really, as' 80s Range Rovers aren't known for their durability. They were tough back in the day, but 50-plus years can take its toll.
As expected, the 1986 Quattro has a sizeable 106-gallon fuel tank. This enabled the rally car to travel great distances without stopping to refuel. Sadly, the Audi wasn't a success and failed to finish the four races it entered.
Aguttes expects the Audi to fetch between €150,000 - €250,000 (approx. $161,650 - $269,400) when it crosses the auction block on April 2. That's a lot of money, but we're guessing several motorsport fans would love to get their hands on this unique piece of Dakar Rally history.
Several other vehicles that have participated in the rally, including an '88 Pajero and some Range Rovers, will also be offered at the same auction.
Audi continues to be a formidable force in the rally universe, and even though the brand didn't win last year, it made headlines when Carlos Sainz piloted the RS Q e-tron into the history books.
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