GALLERY: Go Behind The Scenes On Our 1984 Audi Sport Quattro Film Shoot
André Lotterer was born in a motorsport family. His father had a racing team in Belgium that has been one of the very first ones to play around with Audi rally cars. That was a long-wheelbase Quattro. A wonderful if slightly oblong mix of five cylinders sending power to all four wheels. André loved the sound most of all.
It was an entryway into motorsport, and soon André began racing karts. It turns out he wasn’t all that bad. In fact he was good enough to drive on the winning team three times at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He earned those wins with Audi, completing a pretty impressive circle that began with seeing the rally cars his dad worked with many years ago. To make it an even more comprehensive story, he now calls this souped-up Sport Quattro his daily driver. Not your typical transportation, but then again this is Monaco we’re talking about.
So how did he get here? After struggling a bit to get into Formula 1 (where he was a test driver for Jaguar’s team, which was to become Red Bull Racing), André reoriented his career toward Super Formula in Japan, and endurance racing worldwide. At that time, Audi’s motorsport program had not been involved in World Rally Championship racing for decades, but they were well on their way toward cementing the four rings’ dynasty in the WEC, or World Endurance Championship (the name that the series that includes the great 24 Hours of Le Mans was given in 2012, a year in which André won the day-long race in France). Beside the WEC season win in 2012, André won the 24 Hours three times with the Ingolstadt marque in 2011, 2012, and 2014.
He was an Audi factory driver with some modern office space, but he went into classic cars on the side. He had bought a Carrera 2.7 RS back in 2012 already, and one day he received a call from someone who said he had a cool car for him. It happened that this car, an Audi Sport Quattro, which had been prepared by Alfons Hohenester, one of the most renowned tuners for these rally boxes.
Even better for our story, Hohenester had been driving for André’s father’s team back in the day, and had known him a little bit back then, but just barely. André was in love with the 450-horsepower beauty with Group B-spec magnesium wheels, so he added it to the small collection. He was also amazed by the technology that one could find in this 1984 car: seat-heating, electric windows, electric mirrors—just before this car, Audi had begun seriously targeting the premium market, so even their homologation special had to appeal to those used to creature comforts. But nothing beats the differential. Three positions: the standard is with an open diff, the second position is locked, and the third position is full four-wheel drive.
After informing Audi Sport and Audi Tradition of his investment, the factory driver did a few little projects with the latter, like a photoshoot for their calendar and arrangements for a plane to bring the car to Patagonia for the 1000 Millas. Otherwise known as cool perks at work.
Now this Sport Quattro serves as André’s daily driver when he’s in town between FIA WEC and FIA Formula E calendars. His Audi has nothing to do with his DS Techeetah Formula E car, so it’s a nice contrast in that sense: there’s a straight-piped exhaust, and as he jokes, everyone knows when he’s in town! Not the silent electric racer, this one.
But if this beast looks good in town, the best is when you escape to the backcountry, and especially around the Col de Turini pass that has been the theater to legendary stages of the Rallye Monte-Carlo, including at times for Audi. André’s Sport Quattro is a more civilized version of those cars, but not by a long measure. This is where we’ve come to film André’s movie, in typical fall weather before the season crested to winter and the leaves become snowbanks.
André is a real petrolhead rather than just a career racer, and it seems he’s not content with being good behind the wheel, looking like a model, having won Le Mans three times, and speaking five languages while remaining a super nice guy—André is also a very good photographer, and we published an interview of him and some of his photos earlier this year if you want to check that out too. So don’t be surprised if you see him taking photos of his favorite toy. He’s not playing around—besides, that’s what the daily driver is for.