Following the banning of the wild Group B Rally cars in 1986, Audi found themselves without a works rally car to compete in the British and European rally championships, thus Audi Sport UK commissioned David Sutton Motorsport to build a works Group A Audi Coupe quattro for the start of the 1987 season.
The Isle of Man registered left-hand-drive Audi Coupe quattro’s had fully seam-welded Matter Shells and Roll Cages underpinned with the works Group B quattro S1 E2 suspension, differential and 5-speed gearbox with electronic gear-lever activated clutch.
The normally aspirated five-cylinder Kolb Mototecknik 2226cc engine produced 200bhp and 197ftlb torque at 5900 rpm and back in 1987 the build cost Audi UK a staggering £147,000.
Audi UK built two Group A Audi quattro’s firstly ‘44 XMN’ which won the 87’ Scottish Rally outright. Liveried in the traditional 'Shell Oils' colours, was rallied hard throughout 1987 by the charismatic and very rapid David Llewellin, co-driven by Phil Short.
Later in the year Audi UK commissioned the build of a second Coupe quattro “MAN 44A” specifically for the 87’ Lombard RAC Rally which ran the new blue Shell Gemini livery.
Specifically prepared for the gruelling British Forests and up against stiff opposition from Lancia, Ford, Opel, Volkswagen, Subaru and Mitsubishi, the works Audi Coupe quattro, MAN 44A, in the hands of David Llewellin and Phil Short, battled to an impressive 6th place overall on its debut.
For the 1988 season Audi chose to replace the normally aspirated Coupe quattro with the much larger Turbo versioned Audi 200 quattro. The Coupe quattro’s were then later sold to Privateers and successfully rallied the Coupe’s well into the early 90’s
Today there are only 3 remaining Ex-works Audi Coupe quattros in existence. MAN 44A is still hugely original, having never sustained any serious damage and has been sympathetically restored by the current owner. It is without doubt one of the rarest works Audi Rally cars, and would make a fantastic and useable addition to any significant rally collection.
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