With the increased competition from purpose built opponents under Group B, Audi found themselves in a composed dilemma: From an engineering perspective, a mid-engined Quattro seemed the way to optimize weight distribution and balancing of the platform
Mid-engine Quattro configuration
On the other hand, the policy behind Audi’s rallying campaign since the early Group 4 Quattro, was to keep the motorsport vehicles in close(r) relation to the production car.
There is seemingly no proper technical information around on the mid-engined Quattro. What is evident from the few b/w photos found online, is a car that holds adaptions alike a rallye Sport Quattro (also why I put it under this category) with the shortened, more nimble chassis layout. Reading the article ‘For your eyes only‘ it seems a prototype or test vehicle was fitted with an engine alike that of the Sport Quattro S1.
The policy of conventional
Doing my general Quattro investigations, I came across an early 1985 article. This was interesting with the Audi policy in mind, as it’s referring a press conference in Badrutts Palace Hotel in St. Moritz:
Audi will stick to their policy of rallying what are basically production cars as long as possible.DR. ferdinand piëch, feb 1985
However, if Audi find that their cars were not competitive they are prepare to build a new rally car. “If needed we will have a sharper weapon,“
There are however some confusion into this, which seems to relate to the planned-but-not-initiated Group S, for 1987 season. The much more tamed and back-to-basics Group A started instead, where Audi entered their 200 rallye.
Being closely related to principles of the mid-engined rallye Quattro, the 002 ran a tubular frame. Even if running and testing shared components, I struggle seeing these as the same car.
This car has been seen in 2017 at both Eifel Rallye Festival (driven by Rörhl), and Goodwood Festival of Speed (driven by Mikkola). Although safeguarded by limited rpms and running a more conventional new style Motronic over the Bosch Motorsport item, it was nevertheless nice to see such a concept car getting some daylight.