For the 1983 season Audi released an evolution of their Group 4 car to accommodate the new Group B rules. Very slight modifications included wider wheel flares and and air inlet in front of the rear wheels.
Group B, with its less strict technical specifications, probably ushered in the most innovative era in rallying: a high-tech arms race, so to speak, in which the participating teams outdid each other in their efforts to speed up development work. Even during the 1981 season, the first in which Audi participated, the quattro began to hint at its later superiority. The Finnish Hannu Mikkola won two events and came third in the drivers’ rankings, despite the teething troubles suffered by the car initially. In San Remo, the Frenchwoman Michèle Mouton became the first woman ever to win a world championship rally.
In 1982 the Ingolstadt-based motor team did justice to the technological lead claimed in the manufacturer’s slogan “Vorsprung durch Technik”. Mikkola, Mouton and their Swedish colleague Stig Blomqvist scored seven outright wins in eleven rallies, and finished the season with the manufacturers’ title and the runners-up title for Mouton in the drivers’ championship. In 1984, the long-awaited double success was achieved: Blomqvist took the driver’s title almost unchallenged, with wins in five rallies. The season had already begun with a sensational 1-2-3 victory in Monte Carlo, with Walter Röhrl, a newcomer to the team, leading his Scandinavian colleagues across the finishing line after a breathtaking duel.
Story by Audi AG