The 90th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb gets underway in Colorado this weekend, postponed from its original July 8th date by the devastating Waldo Canyon fires which brought havoc and destruction to the region. And Audi USA has cooked up something special to mark 25 years since its most dominant victory.
Posted on the company’s Facebook page last Sunday is this teaser image of an Audi Sport RS 5, complete with quattro stripes reminiscent of the record breaking Audi Sport Quattro S1 which first tackled the hill climb back in 1984 in the capable hands of Michèle Mouton, finishing 2nd at her first attempt.
The following year, she won the race – upsetting the testosterone-fuelled locals, redeemed a year later by local driver Bobby Unser, who set a new record of 11:09.22 minutes in the S1.
But perhaps the most memorable win for Audi came in 1987 when world rally champion Walter Röhrl took his 600 horsepower 435 lb-ft five-cylinder engine to victory in 10:47.85 minutes, beating Ari Vatanen’s Peugeot by nearly 7 seconds.
Audi remain coy about its special RS 5 for the time being so we can only guess at what they’re teasing. Perhaps it will serve as a course car for the event, or as a limited edition model in the US – we’ll just have to wait a few more days to find out.
Of course the RS 5 is not really the spiritual successor to the S1 – while its 444bhp 4.2 litre V8 certainly packs a whole load of punch, there is another model in Audi’s range that more closely shares the DNA of the S1’s famous motorsport powerplant.
The TT RS, powered by a 5-cylinder turbocharged 2.5-litre engine, is by Audi’s own admission a direct descendant of the car maker’s 1980’s motorsport heritage. Audi’s uniquely sounding five cylinder, with its characteristic warble, lead Audi Sport to numerous victories in rallying, touring car and IMSA/GTO sports car racing.
Audi are spoilt for choice with a range full of charismatic sounding engines, so we look forward to hearing what more they’ve achieved with the RS 5.