E-Legend's electric EL1 homage to Audi Sport Quattro S1 nears production

E-Legend's electric EL1 homage to Audi Sport Quattro S1 nears production

Two years ago, German outfit E-Legend went public with plans to create an electric homage to the Audi Sport Quattro S1. The renderings showed a battery-powered coupe bearing the familiar silhouette of the celebrated Group B rally car, with exaggerated takes on the Audi’s already-exaggerated features like the swollen wheel arches and power bulge hood. The EL1 updates the design with neat flourishes like the NACA-duct-shaped glass panel in the roof illuminating a sumptuous cabin. The production version is getting closer, E-Legend taking one of its carbon fiber monocoques to an airfield for a fine-tuning session of drifting and donuts. We know how specs can dramatically change from conception to production, but the performance specs match or outdo the targets: 805 horsepower and 848 pound-feet of torque from three e-motors of asymmetric output, 0-62 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds, and a top speed of 186 mph. Of those sums, torque is up 74 lb-ft.

For any who don’t know, a series of Audi Sport cars simply named “Quattro” won two WRC tiles, in 1982 and 1984. E-Legend has chosen one of the most iconic models to emulate, but the least successful, the Audi Sport Quattro S1. That might have something to do with E-Legend’s founder, Marcus Holzinger, being the son of Wolfgang Holzinger, a modeler at Audi in the early 1980s who worked on the Audi Sport Quattro’s lines. The S1 version won a single rally, the San Remo event in 1985 with Walter Röhrl at the wheel, and zero championships. The classic model made about 476 hp and 354 lb-ft from a turbocharged 2.1-liter inline-five-cylinder engine and weighed roughly 2,580 pounds.  

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The prototype is still being worked up to its target figures and final equipment spec, though. At the moment, the pre-pro version makes 604 horses from its two 302-hp rear motors. When everything is cranked up, the ultimate plan is to have the front motor contribute a further 201 hp, the torque split about 280 lb-ft from the front motor and about 247 lb-ft from each of the rear motors. Power’s sent through an open diff now, production cars should get a mechanical limited-slip differential on the rear axle and maybe one up front, too.    

The biggest diversion from the 2021 spec concerns the battery and curb weight. The original spec sheet included a 90-kWh T-shaped battery behind the cockpit, the transverse portion meant to keep weight centered 43/57 front-to-rear. The battery capacity’s been shrunk to 80 kWh; despite that, curb weight is up. E-Legend planned for the car to weigh 3,700 pounds, that’s climbed to 3,950 pounds. Nothing that 805 hp and 848 lb-ft should have trouble moving, though. Maximum charging speed is also down, from 300 kW to 200 kW.

E-Legend’s put the production run for the EL1 at 30 units, each starting at 890,000 euros ($949,000 U.S.). The price includes that sensational looking interior as well as features like power windows, air conditioning, parking sensors, and a rear-view camera. The plan is to show the production version at the 2024 Monterey Car Week. E-Legend says it’s already conceiving its follow-up product, another rally legend that will become the EL2. If you don’t want want to wait, remember that E-Legend isn’t the only outfit hand-building beautiful resurrections of WRC icons. The car that interrupted Audi’s WRC triumphs was the Lancia 037, and if you’re ok with internal combustion, the Kimera Automobili 037 is a gorgeous bit of mobile art you can buy right now.

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