This cool high-riding Audi Quattro is a Range Rover beneath the skin

21-03-2023 11:00
The Audi Quattro De Paoli that participated in the Dakar Rally is up for auction right now, estimated at €150,000–250,000. Hidden beneath the Audi body is a heavily modded Range Rover chassis.

The Audi Quattro De Paoli that participated in the Dakar Rally is up for auction right now, estimated at €150,000–250,000. Hidden beneath the Audi body is a heavily modded Range Rover chassis.

The ‘De Paoli’ suffix should be enough to identify the one-off rally exotic. Franco de Paoli is an Italian racing driver who had participated in 20 Paris–Dakar rallies as the driver and attended four more as a media rep.

His team helped him build the racer 38 years ago. It proceeded to enter the 1986 and 1987 seasons of Dakar, as well as multiple Atlas races. Only five prototypes like this were built in total based on Range Rover chasses and engines.

De Paoli settled on using this particular version, though, since it won the very first Dakar Rally that started on December 26, 1978. The chassis was shortened in this build and the 3.5-liter V8 boosted to 230 PS (227 hp / 169 kW). A five-speed manual transmission was entrusted with sending the torque to all four wheels. It was the first RR-based Quattro built out of the five and the most used one.

The body was made from lightweight glass-fiber plastic, and the rear end was styled as a single pop-up cover. Another major highlight of the build was its giant 400-liter (105-gallon) fuel tank. The team reckoned that it would be enough for 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of uninterrupted driving at a constant acceleration of 200 km/h (124 mph).

Editor Andrew Raspopov
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