The Audi Quattro coupe, which was introduced in 1980, is a vehicle that altered history. All-wheel drive was thought to be solely beneficial for off-road cars prior to the Quattro. Driving all four wheels, however, demonstrated that high-performance road cars might become even faster.
The Quattro, whose all-road, all-weather traction allowed it to completely dominate the World Rally Championship in the Group B era. Few modern high-performance vehicles, such as the Porsche 911 Turbo S, the Tesla Model S Plaid, the Bugatti Chiron, and the Toyota GR Corolla, can accelerate, corner, and brake like nothing else on earth without all-wheel drive.
So it comes as no surprise that the E-Legend EL1, a modern electric-powered homage to the 1984 short-wheelbase Audi Sport Quattro coupe, has all-wheel drive.
However, the E-Legend EL1’s all-wheel drive technology is not symmetrical like the Sport Quattro: The front wheels are operated by a 201 hp e-motor, while the back wheels are propelled by a 603 hp electric motor. To get the EL1 to drift, you won’t need to be a Walter Rohrl-caliber driver.
Marcus Holzinger, a former VW exterior designer who formed E-Legend in 2021, is the creator of the gorgeous EL1.
The fact that Holsinger’s father, Wolfgang, worked as an Audi modeler before starting his own product design company, HOTE, in 1983, makes this reimagining of the Audi Sport Quattro much more intriguing. He actively participated in the styling development of the original Quattro and Sport Quattro.
The EL1 is a masterwork of post-modern automotive design; while it has 21st-century form, detailing, surfacing, and stance, the homage to the Sport Quattro is immediately apparent thanks to elegantly integrated cues like the vent across the hood, the protruding fender flares, and the black line under the identically shaped C-pillar that refers to venting on the original car.
However, the ratios are quite different: The EL1’s 96.3-inch wheelbase is 8.7 inches longer than the original Sport Quatro’s, but despite its nearly half-inch overall shorter length, it has substantially shorter front and rear overhangs. Additionally, the bodywork is massaged out more smoothly over a track that is 4.2 inches wider and 2.9 inches lower.
With respect to the powertrain delivery and three distinct suspension settings, drivers can choose between Standard and Sport modes. The EL1 uses a staggered wheel and tire arrangement, with 19-inch rims and 285/30 tires up front and 20-inch rims and 305/30 tires on the rear axle, to manage its unbalanced power and torque distribution.
With eye-catching forms and detailing, hip-hugging race-style bucket seats, and a digital instrument panel housed in a pod with small controls at either extremity, a finger stretch away from the three-spoke steering wheel, the interior is likewise utterly of the twenty-first century.
A Bluetooth interface, GPS, and multimedia capabilities are all included in the entertainment system. Power windows, a rearview camera, parking sensors, and air conditioning come as standard.
Both inside and out, it has a show car appearance. The EL1’s production version will resemble what you see above, down to the glass panel in the roof that is designed like a NACA duct, according to Holzinger.
And a lot of effort is being put into making sure the EL1 drives as well as it looks, according to him. The development of a rolling chassis that does not compromise our design concept of a contemporary Group B vehicle but still offers performance that is unmatched, compact dimensions, good ergonomics, and adequate room has been the largest challenge in recent months.
The automobile engineering firm Roding Mobility, located near Munich, is developing the compact carbon-fiber monocoque rolling chassis. Aluminum subframes in the front and back serve as mounting locations for the e-motors and related powertrain hardware, as well as for the front and rear multi-link suspension parts. These subframes were created to enable the creation of future E-Legend derivatives on the same platform.
As previously stated, the two e-motors on the EL1 produce a combined 804 horsepower. The front engine’s maximum torque output is 369 lb-ft, while the rear engine generates a substantial 811 lb-ft.
The EL1 would, according to Holzinger, race from 0 to 60 mph in roughly 2.6 seconds and to 124 mph in 7.5 seconds thanks to all that oomph and a reported curb weight of 3,946 pounds, which is light for an EV. Even though both motors are driven by a single-speed transmission, the EL1’s claimed top speed of 186 mph is impressive.
The EL1’s relatively small 80-kWh, T-shaped battery pack, which is located in the central tunnel and across the car behind the seats to help lower the car’s center of gravity, is partly to blame for the relatively low overall weight, 47 percent of which rests on the front axle and 53 percent on the rear.
According to E-Legend, those ravenous e-motors will consume electrons at a pace of around 2.96 miles per kWh. The intended range is consequently approximately 240 miles, depending on the forgiving European WLTP cycle. The car will be able to complete two full-power laps of the 12.94-mile Nordschleife of the Nürburgring thanks to a battery cooling system, according to Holzinger.