Odds are that there are quite a few people who still don’t know that the narrow-body, non-turbocharged Type 85 Coupe Quattro existed at all. Move outside of the U.S. market, though, and the Coupe GT could be opted with the all-wheel drive underpinnings of the 90 (4000) quattro, resulting in the WRC-winning look without the Porsche 911 price tag. But while generally fans of the B2 chassis can’t be dissuaded that it might just be the best Audi product ever, the reality of owning one of these trustworthy steeds was that they were pretty slow. Dependable, tossable, still fun to drive – but slow. On top of that, the aftermarket industry for the inline-5 was pretty weak. There were some products out there; I had an original Abt header, for example, and you could buy a Schrick cam or briefly a neato Jamex air intake. But the real way to gain power was to swap in a turbocharged inline-5, right? Well, apparently no one told the folks at GTi Engineering in Brackley that:
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Tag: GTi Engineering
When pondering this Porsche 962, I couldn’t help but try to analyze why I romanticize about the Group C era so much. For the best part of a decade, if you wanted to win in Group C, there was really only one car to drive – the Porsche 956/962. Sure, there were inter-team and extra-team battles between full factory and privateer efforts, but let’s just say that the diversity at the end of the race was not particularly staggering. Then there was attrition; both with cars and drivers, as this seriously dangerous time period moving heavily into aerodynamics revealed the fragility of not only the engineering, but the humans that attempted to control it. Yet, combining some great liveries, a swoopy, low-slung body, some gold BBS magnesium wheels (or better yet, the BBS Turbofans!) is still the most iconic period in endurance racing in my mind. This is somewhat ironic, since with the WEC today we’re witnessing what is arguably the best racing the series has ever seen with the fastest endurance cars ever produced; often in the 1980s, it was who made it to the end without breaking, crashing or running out of gas. But today, it’s an all-out 6-24 hour sprint as Porsche, Audi and Toyota take three different ethos of building and designing a “hybrid” car and bring them to fans attention. Spectacular? You sure bet it is, and there’s no guarantee of who will win. Yet, when my eyes flash across a 962, I get a flutter in my heart that I just don’t feel looking at the new generation of cars: