Rarity, heritage, and classic design all work in the car's favor.
With Radwood and the rise of older millennials with money, the market for cars from the 1980s and 1990s is red hot. Even so, some cars have always been insanely expensive. The Audi Sport Quattro is on that list, but another one has popped up on RM Sotheby's and its estimated auction price is something else. The auction house estimates the 1984 Sport Quattro's final price will land somewhere between €750,000 and €1,000,000 (around $790,000 to $1,053,000) when it crosses the block in Monaco later this month. Even the most expensive of today's Audis, like the RS6 Avant, can't compete with this car.
The Audi Sport Quattro built its name as a road-going homologation of a potent all-wheel-drive rally car, and its unique design, rarity, and heritage have all added to its desirability for collectors. The road cars followed their Group B Rally racing counterparts very closely, as Audi based the consumer model on the race car rather than the other way around. As such, the Sport Quattro is one of the most desirable cars from the 1980s. It's just too bad that Audi's upcoming Formula 1 entry won't yield a road-going car.
The Quattro's 2.133-liter five-cylinder engine produced 302 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque when new. It also makes one of the most iconic sounds in all of motorsport, as the awkward five-cylinder screams like a lazy V10 when driven hard. The cars ran in the 3.0-liter class in FIA Group B racing and were allowed to compete with all-wheel drive, even though others, such as the Lancia 037, were rear-drive only.
Group B homologation regulations required that 200 road-going examples of each racecar be built for sale. RM Sotheby's says that just 164 units were built, but that number could be higher or lower, depending on where you look. What is clear is that there are very few Sport Quattros left and even fewer with this car's mileage and condition, so this is one rare bird.
Of course, we're talking about estimated auction results, not an actual amount someone has paid. That said, the market for these cars is all over the place. A scan of Bring a Trailer auction results shows several cars bid to $50,000 or more in some cases, most of which did not sell. There are a few transactions on the list, but the vast majority of cars crossed the virtual auction block without a winning bidder.
That's a good reason to question whether this car will get anywhere close to its auction estimates. Even with just over 1,700 miles on the clock, it's hard to imagine that this Audi Quattro somehow attracts a buyer willing to bid seven figures, but stranger things have happened.