Audi quattro 20v

A jolly good day out

We drove to the Goodwood Festival of Speed in a gorgeous 1980s Audi quattro

Every summer Charles Gordon-Lennox, Earl of March and Kinrara, throws open the grounds of his stately home near Chichester in West Sussex to host the world’s greatest celebration of car culture. Part garden party, part hill-climb competition, part motor show and all fun, the Festival of Speed attracts the very best cars, motorcycles, drivers and riders, plus some 200,000 spectators over four glorious days.

Naturally, Audi is always invited to the party and the company has been an enthusiastic supporter of the event for many years. In 2016 Audi unveiled no less than nine new road car models, while a host of rally and race machines carrying the iconic four-ring badge attacked Goodwood’s famous Hill and Forest Rally Stage.


Classic Audi quattros at Goodwood

‘The day passed, as the best days always do, far too quickly. But never mind, I was happy to fire up the quattro and enjoy the drive back home’

Classic Audi quattro

Audi quattro interior

Audi quattro World Rally Car

The Festival of Speed is an event that car enthusiasts look forward to all year, and this year I was more excited than ever as I made my arrival in style in an ice-cool, pearlescent white Audi quattro 20v. On the run through the Sussex Downs the roads were lashed with rain rather than bathed in sun, but thanks to the quattro’s four-wheel drive grip and glorious-sounding five-cylinder turbocharged engine, the weather didn’t spoil the fun.

I parked my quattro in good company among a fine line-up of rally quattros that helped Audi take four world titles in the 1980s, and arguably made the company what it is today. Strolling down by the side of the Hill towards Goodwood House I encountered another history-maker: a mighty 1936 560PS Silver Arrows Grand Prix car from Audi’s Auto Union ancestor company thundered past me with Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason at the wheel.

I had a rest and dined on fish and chips and ice cream, because you can’t watch motorsport while eating salad and sorbet. That’s an unwritten rule, but a rule all the same. Once I’d seen Audi’s 1985 Sport quattro S1 E2 rally car, the 1990 V8 quattro DTM race car and the 2016 S1 EKS rallycross car in action on the Hill, I strolled to Lord March’s front lawn to peruse the stunning machinery in the Cartier Style et Luxe concours d’elegance.

Then it was over to the Audi stand, where I got a close look at the all-new Q2 and R8 V10 Spyder models. And so the day passed, as the best days always do, far too quickly. But never mind, I was quite happy to fire up the quattro and enjoy the drive back home.

Written by Angus Frazer; Photographs by Alex Shore.


Find out more about the Audi’s quattro technology


Audi quattro under the bonnet

1990 Audi quattro DTM