Recreating a Group B legend: Hamish White’s Sport Quattro S1 E2

Back in my college years, I had a pull-out magazine poster of this car’s predecessor hanging on my bedroom wall.

As a die-hard VW/Audi enthusiast, Hamish White’s Audi ‘Sport Quattro’ build was simply the best thing I had ever read about.

I still have that edition Performance VW magazine in a cupboard somewhere, along with the poster. The car even graced the pages of Speedhunters in 2013thanks to Ben and Paddy.

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The car you see before you is Hamish’s second attempt at his vision for the perfect short-wheelbase Audi, and it’s a very different animal to his first build.

“I got this car for free after I crashed my old Quattro during tests ten years ago,” Hamish remembers. “I advertised a new roof without a sunroof, but I was offered the complete body of a car with a sunroof. It was too good to turn down.”

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Hamish’s original plan was to repair his crashed Audi, but that turned into a complete reshell with a new, soon-to-be shortened chassis. But as life should do, priorities changed and the original Audi was sold to finance a home deposit.

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A wife and three children followed soon after, and although the building process of the second Audi obviously slowed down, it never stopped.

Considering the end result, I would say that the longer time frame and the more thoughtful approach that accompanied it only benefited the construction. After all, ten years is a long time to dedicate to a single project…

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Having started life as a 1986 Audi Coupé – the less performance-oriented alternative to the Audi Ur-Quattro – Hamish proceeded to shorten the body by 320mm on his bespoke chassis mould.

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What sets this construction apart is the use of the A-pillars and roof section from an Audi 80 sedan for a steeper windshield angle. This was an important aspect of the original Sport Quattro homologation road car and rally car, and was done to reduce glare.

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The windshield adjustment is a detail that most Sport Quattro replicas leave out, which isn’t surprising considering how much work is required so as not to compromise the structural rigidity of the chassis. A multi-point T45 roll cage more than makes up for the potential strength lost in the conversion, connected not only to the bodywork but also to the raised front struts.

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The roll cage now also forms part of the pickup points for the custom front subframe and rear differential, surrounded by custom tubular T45 suspension arms. The rear subframe is also custom, with multiple pickup points on both axles for anti-dive/squat adjustments when fine-tuning handling characteristics.

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Speaking of which, the Audi is suspended from a set of KW Competition dual-adjustable coilovers with inverted dampers. Stopping power has also been significantly increased, with genuine WRC-spec brake calipers on all four corners; 8-piston Brembo units at the front and AP Racing 4-piston units at the rear with 330 x 32mm discs all around.

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The AAN 2.2-liter five-cylinder engine mounted all the way in the nose of the Audi has been recently rebuilt with forged connecting rods and a side-mounted Garrett GT28 turbocharger, with custom exhaust work leading to 3-inch side exits from a 3.5-inch downspout. The radiator and intercooler are also custom made.

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The car’s powertrain and accessories are controlled by a MoTeC ECU and PDM, wired with a custom harness made from scratch by David Rowe, another Audi enthusiast known on this side of the internet. This obviously means that there is also a MoTeC-focused cockpit with a digital display and switch panel.

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Other interior highlights include an adjustable Tilton pedal box and a Sabelt steering wheel to match the ex-WRC Sabelt harnesses with titanium adjusters. These secure Hamish and his passenger in a pair of genuine ex-WRC Recaro bucket seats used by Peter Solberg and his co-driver Phil Hill during their assault on the World Rally Championship in 2004.

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The Audi’s exterior is about as true to a Sport Quattro S1 E2 as possible, not only in form but also in substance. In Hamish’s quest for weight reduction, composite materials play a major role in construction.

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In fact, “The only steel left is the floor pan, bulkhead and front chassis rails. Everything else is carbon-Kevlar body panels, including the inner arches. he says.

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My three favorite accents are part of the weight-loss obsession, and happen to be period-correctly cool.

Inside the Kevlar arches are a set of magnesium BBS E50 wheels. Not only are they joined together with rare titanium bolts, but the front wheels also benefit from a pair of genuine BBS turbo fans.

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In addition, the side and rear windows have been replaced by Lexan. The raised ‘QUATTRO’ lettering at the rear is not only stylistic, but also adds rigidity to the rear window and prevents sagging. Because why not enjoy both form and function?

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For being the tiny mirror-obsessed weirdo that I am, I can’t finish this spotlight without mentioning the car’s custom mirrors. They are modeled after real Group B items, but in this case are made from carbon fiber. The coolest touch? They also provide cool air in the cabin, perfect for a hot rally stage.

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Ultimate dubs 2024 was a return to form with some exceptional bikes, but I’m not ashamed to admit that this was a ‘never meet your heroes moment. What a phenomenal car.

Mario Christou
Instagram: mcwpn

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