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Audi 5000 CS quattro Talladega from 1986: A speed record of 332 km/h

In order to boost its sales in the United States, Audi had the idea of breaking speed records on 03/24/1986 with an Audi 5000 CS Quattro developing 650 hp thanks to the legendary 2.2 engine. inline five turbo.

At that time, the world of rallying did not attract many fans in the United States and this was a problem for Audi, which had based its entire marketing and competition strategy on the World Rally Championship.

History takes place on the circuit of Talladega Superspeedway (hence the name of the car), a speed circuit located in the city of the same name, located in Alabama, in the United States. Built on a former airfield, this 4,280 meter long circuit is one of the ovals – along with Daytona – built and inaugurated for the NASCAR Cup Series.

With an average of 332.88 km/h, they realized the superior performance of the five-valve technology which allowed them to run at high speeds - over 350 km/h on the straights of the circuit. The engine reached 7200 rpm and more than 350 km/h. Its limit was 7700 rpm. The five-cylinder, 25-valve engine – 5 valves per cylinder – debuted at an angle of 47 degrees instead of the 25 degrees the manufacturer used in its high-performance models. In addition to this peculiarity, the mechanics had been extensively modified and reinforced and had new injectors that operated at 2.0 bar pressure, new titanium pistons and connecting rods, dry sump lubrication and some additional cooling ducts.

The Audi didn't just have a 650 hp engine, as the model was completely redesigned. For starters, the brand with the four rings has significantly improved the aerodynamics of the model with a view to smoothing corners, edges, eliminating mirrors and reducing ground clearance, while some aerodynamic elements improved downforce, the car then has an excellent drag coefficient of 0.33. The model was located much closer to the asphalt thanks to a 40 mm reduction in its height, which made it possible to significantly reduce the center of gravity. In addition to improving performance, dynamics and aerodynamics, weight played a fundamental role and for this Audi replaced some body panels with others in aluminum or Kevlar. Crystals and moons have been replaced with lighter plexiglass and interior comfort elements and many other details have been eliminated. The result was more than satisfactory and is that despite the "enormous" dimensions of the model, it weighed only 1072 kg. Audi also had to rethink the mass distribution of the model in question and is that if we left everything as it came from the factory, the outer wheels would support significantly greater loads than the inner wheels and although this can be corrected in hundreds of ways, Audi has decided to rethink certain aspects of mass distribution.

At the wheel of this impressive Audi 5000 CS quattro 25V was the American driver Robert William Unser, better known as Bobby Unser, who was 52 years old at the time, simply hallucinating with the performance of the beast. The three-time Indianapolis 500 champion, Pocono 500 champion, four-time Ontario 500 champion and thirteen-time Pikes Peak hill climb winner was one of the architects of that record.

After breaking the world record for the fastest four-wheel-drive car on a circuit, Audi went on a promotional tour of the Quattro technology in the United States which, as you can imagine, worked perfectly.


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