Search Cars for Sale

The Audi Quattro Is Way Undervalued

It recently occurred to me that the Audi Quattro is really undervalued. For those of you who don’t know the Quattro, also called the ur-Quattro, this was Audi’s high-performance coupe that was offered throughout the 1980s with nice, flared fenders, all-wheel drive and a 5-cylinder engine that ranged from 160 horsepower all the way to about 200 horses in later years.

And, indeed, it’s really undervalued. Here’s what I mean. The Audi Quattro was built for a long period — 1983 to 1989 or so in North America, even longer in Europe — but Audi only made about 11,500 units of the car, which is an impressively low figure. That, in itself, ensures the car will stay rare for years to come, but rare doesn’t always translate to valuable.

But the Quattro has other tangible items that should make it especially valuable. The biggest, of course, is that it was the road version of Audi’s rally car in the period — and it looked a lot like the rally car, just with normal paint and fewer driving lights. Road versions of successful and popular race cars (like the Quattro) always do well on the secondary market, as people want to drive the “normal” version of an icon, or a winner. See, for instance, the Lancia Delta Integrale — another car from the same era whose values are shooting up.

Then there’s the styling. The Audi Quattro is very cool, and very 1980s (with its square, angular look), and its flared fenders make it look pretty aggressive — at least, as 1980s cars go. It reminds me a lot of the E30 BMW M3, with a relatively standard 1980s style given a little extra personality due to its performance nature. And, of course, the E30 BMW M3 has seen a big rise in values lately, too.

Of course, the Audi Quattro also has another claim to fame: it’s essentially the vehicle that Audi used to “launch” Quattro, the AWD system that would eventually become one of the brand’s best-known characteristics. These days, every Audi has “Quattro,” but back then, it was this one, single model, showing off the system on rally stages.

And yet, the Audi Quattro still seems pretty cheap by comparison — despite its rarity, its styling, its history for the Audi brand, its performance, and its rally car chops. There aren’t any Quattro models currently listed on Autotrader, but Bring a Trailer auction results show mediocre examples going for under $20,000, with the market average somewhere in the mid-$30,000 range — far below the E30 BMW M3, nice versions of the Lancia Delta Integrale, and many other contemporaries.

Admittedly, this is a step up for the Quattro. I remember — back when I was first looking for a “first car” — that Quattro prices were under $10,000. I should’ve snapped one up then, but I still think they have some value gaining to do in the next decades.

Here’s Why the Koenigsegg Agera RS Is Worth $10 Million
I Bought the Most Unreliable BMW Ever Made
Autotrader Find: 1990 Subaru Legacy With a Landau Roof

Sign up for Autotrader newsletters

The best cars and best deals delivered to your inbox

Email Address 

By subscribing, you agree to our privacy policy

Where You Can Buy

Loading dealers...


  1. I worked at an Audi dealership when these things were new, and between the dealership and the rally community, I actually drove a couple of these. the build quality was very good, and the handling was tremendous. At the time, NOTHING available could beat the Quattro system, and these cars sold for a premium.

    The biggest problem is that they look pretty much like any German econo-box of the period. This was actually a selling point in Europe at the time; wealthy people were regularly being kidnapped by groups like the Red Brigade, so driving an inconspicuous car had advantages. There was one coachbuilder which re-bodied Porsche 928’s to look like a VW Golf!  

Leave a Comment

Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

Most Popular Articles

Best New Cars for 2022

Here is our list of the best new cars for 2022 (presented in alphabetical order by manufacturer).

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: First Look

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid jumps to the head of the hybrid class.

Best Car Deals: November 2022

This month's best new car deals include several attractive offers for qualified shoppers.

Search By Style

More Articles Like This