The word quattro is the Italian word for ‘four’. Because of its meaning, the word quattro has been used by some in the automotive industry. A vehicle can have four seats, four wheels, four doors, 4 cylinders, four valves per cylinder, or four driving wheels.
In the automotive world, perhaps the most widely known use for the term quattro is in the very finely engineered Audi quattro cars. Audi gives the name Quattro to any of their cars that are driven Audi’s all-wheel-drive system. The Audi Quattro is considered one of the most significant rally cars of all time, and was one of the first to take advantage of the change in the rules which allowed the use of all-wheel-drive in competition rally racing. Many critics doubted the viability of all-wheel drive racers, thinking them to be too heavy and complex, yet the Quattro was an instant success, winning a rally on its first outing. It then continued to win competition after competition for the next two years. The Quattro driven Audi’s had so much usable power and traction that eclipsed its competitors with ease.
Another car that has used the term Quattro in it’s name is the Maserati Quattroporte. The Maserati Quattroporte is a luxury four-door sedan made by the Maserati car manufacturer from Italy. The name translated from Italian literally means “four doors”.
The Italian Lamborghini had the “Quattrovalvole” model which used the term quattro in its name. This was to hint of the cars very powerful 5.2 L motor, boasting four valves per cylinder.
Audi is not, however, an Italian manufacturer. It’s German – see our history of Audi.
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