I love cars that shouldn’t exist. History’s filled with them. Take for example the Bugatti Royale, the most imposing luxury car ever sold. The Type 41, as it was known, was designed for the richest kings of Europe (no, really) but as it launched during the Great Depression, only three of the seven built (out of planned 25) were ever sold. Despite the failure of the model, the 12.75-liter straight-8 engine lived on to be used by trains (yes, really) and the Royale project ended up in the black, financially. There’s also the Cadillac CTS-V wagon that arrived two years after GM emerged from bankruptcy, (probably) codenamed WTF. Hey, you make Maximum Bob Lutz your product czar, you get 556-hp manual-transmission station wagons.
We’re here today, however, to talk about a much smaller automobile, the Audi Sport Quattro. Imagine the meeting when the engineers said to the accountants, “The plan is to cut a foot from the Quattro’s wheelbase, widen the car overall, and lighten it with expensive stuff like Kevlar and aluminum, while also radically reworking the engine to extract more than 100 additional horsepower. Oh, also, we’re thinking white wheels, heated Recaros, and a full-leather interior.” The crazy part? The meeting went quite well!
For the full story, check out this article from Motor Trend.