The Quattro chassis is an evolution of the Wild Willy chassis that equips Wild Willy model number 58035 and Willy’s Wheeler model number 58039. There are two models equipped with the Quattro chassis and both are inspired by the world of rallying:
– Audi Quattro Rally, model number 58036 released to sale in 1983 and available on the market until 1985 and
– Opel Ascona 400 Rally, model number 58037 released to sale in 1983 and available on the market until 1985
The world of rallying is very important to Tamiya, which places great emphasis on replicating the bodies of the most successful and interesting models. There are several advertisements that Tamiya or the various importers around the world have published in trade magazines, in the image below are some examples of advertisements concerning both models equipped with the Quattro chassis.
This is the story of the two real cars that inspired the work of Tamiya engineers.
Audi Quattro debuted in the world championship in 1981 at the Monte Carlo Rally with Hannu Mikkola and Michèle Mouton at the wheel. Over the following years it underwent several evolutions and was fielded in the world championship until 1984. The Audi Quattro is closely derived from the road-going model and is fitted with a 10-valve turbocharged in-line five-cylinder engine capable of delivering around 304 hp at 7,500 rpm in 1981, power then increased in the course of evolutions in the following years to 320 hp. During the first year, the Audi Quattro took three victories and at the end of the season the two drivers finished third and eighth respectively in the overall drivers’ standings; Michèle Mouton was the first woman to win a round of the world championship at the Sanremo Rally. In 1982 Audi fielded three cars and scored seven victories to win the brand championship.
During its racing career, Audi Quattro is fielded in Group 4 and Group B; it competes against cars such as the Opel Ascona 400, Lancia 037 and Peugeot 205 T16. It is driven by drivers of the calibre of Hannu Mikkola, Michèle Mouton, Stig Blomqvist and Walter Röhrl.
The Opel Ascona 400 made its debut in the World Rally Championship in 1980, the year it won its first victory in the Swedish Rally with Anders Kulläng at the wheel. The car was Opel’s top model in the World Rally Championship from 1980 until 1984. The car was produced in 400 units to obtain homologation to run in the World Rally Championship, it has a 4-cylinder, 16-valve Cosworth-prepared 2.4-litre engine producing 240 hp at 7,500 rpm and is rear-wheel drive; rear-wheel drive is competitive on asphalt, but less so on gravel than four-wheel drive. Opel Ascona achieves good results before the advent of all-wheel drive with Audi Quattro, taking a total of four victories: the Swedish rally in 1980 with Anders Kulläng at the wheel, the Monte Carlo and Ivory Coast rallies in 1982 with Walter Rohrl at the wheel, the Safari rally in 1983 with Ari Vatanen at the wheel and the world drivers’ title in 1982 with Walter Rohrl at the wheel. The car is retired by the clear supremacy of all-wheel-drive cars such as the Audi Quattro.
During its racing career, the Opel Ascona is fielded in Group 4 and Group B; it competes against cars like the Audi Quattro and Lancia 037. It is driven by the likes of Walter Röhrl, Anders Kulläng and Ari Vatanen.
The name of the Tamiya Quattro series chassis suggests a system with four-wheel drive, but instead it has traction on the rear wheels only. The chassis and wheels are the same for both the Audi Quattro and Opel Ascona 400, the only differences are found in the body. This chassis is distinguished by
– independent front suspension with coil springs,
– rigid axle suspension at the rear with coil springs,
– differential and
– front bumper that it shares with the ORV chassis.
The Quattro chassis is closely related to the Wild Willy chassis with which it shares the rear drive system, drive train, rear suspension system, steering assembly and front suspension system. Wild Willy is a chassis designed for wheelies and stunts; this limits the on-road or off-road performance of the Quattro chassis.
The central chassis in the Quattro version is modified from that of the Wild Willy by moving the position of the battery pack towards the centre of the car. The aim is to move the weight of the battery pack towards the centre of gravity of the car and shift the weight downwards to improve the handling of the car. The electronics box that forms the central part of the chassis has been lengthened, leading to an increase in the wheelbase of 50 mm.
Some improvements introduced on the Quattro chassis in the gearbox part are also adopted in the following production of Wild Willy and Willy’s Wheeler.
The Quattro chassis derives from a model designed for wheelies: the modifications were not sufficient to lower the centre of gravity of the machine, which remains high, making driving complicated.
The end result of this reworking of the chassis is not the best and the manoeuvrability of these cars suffers: it tends to capsize easily at the first corner taken with too much speed.
On the plus side, it is certainly worth mentioning that the electronics box is splash and mud proof, but it makes servicing the servos, receiver and service batteries complicated.
The bodies of the two cars are made of Lexan completed by the front and rear parts that are made of Styrene. The Styrene parts complete the Lexan body by adding details such as air intakes on the bonnet (Audi Quattro only), rear spoiler, front lights, the front and rear bumpers.
These are parts that are easily damaged by a rollover or an accident.
The end result is a highly detailed body that faithfully reproduces the models it is inspired by. The chassis does not guarantee the performance that two such precise bodies deserve. Tamiya does not skimp on advertising the two models in trade magazines.
The advertisement below highlights the accuracy of the body and the similarity to the rally car taken as a reference to develop model 58036 and 58037.
As of today (2023) Audi quattro was released for sale in 2019 equipped with the TT-02 chassis with 4-wheel drive; model number 58667. Although it has the same aesthetic appearance, the body has been improved by introducing:
– rear-view mirrors on the driver and passenger sides,
– a different configuration of the rear (the left and right light assemblies are separated from the body and are prepared for the installation of LED lighting),
– a different configuration of the front (the right, left and centre light assemblies are separated from the body. The left and right front light assembly is prepared for installation of LED lighting) and
– a different styrene rear spoiler.