This car is based on the late 70's early 80's Rally cars that won the European 1st place overall races 3 years in a row. The Audi AWD (Quattro) system is to this day revolutionary, and after racing against cars well above it's class for 3 years and brining home the 1st place every time, Quattro was banned from the European Rally races as an "Unfair Advantage".
I'll take all the Unfair Advantage I can get! Bottom line, other than the super rare and pricey Audi Quattro Coupe, the 4000 Quattro is as close as you get to the real Rally car. Very light at a mere 2800lbs, it has a short ratio 5speed tranny which gives it a lot more git-up and go than one would expect from a 115hp, 136tq engine. The engine is known in the Audi circles as bulletproof. The lower end is said to be stung enough to handle up to 600HP, and people have (after some serious mods) taken the stock 10V engine to 300HP.
The interior is pretty basic by today's standards. It was nice in the 80's when leather on the seats, doors panels and the steering wheel were a cool thing. The controls are pretty easy to find and do what you expect. The most annoying thing is that the car was not offered with intermittent windshield wipers. You have 3 speeds to chose from, that's it!
On the outside the car looks sort of cool and in a way classy. 2 of the biggest problems is the clear coat that Audi used to spray over the paint. On both cars I have had the problem only on the doors, the hood and fenders are not effected. When damaged, it starts to peel and over time becomes very ugly. The other major beef is the lighting. The headlights on the US model plain out suck! The Euro models have a semi-projected beam that can actually make light at night. The US model scatters the light and as a result long distance visibility can only be attained with a pair of Rally-looking KC lights mounted on the bumper.
The car is what one would call an electrical nightmare! For whatever reason, Audi did not use heavy enough gauge wire in a few places and the common area of failure is in the headlights. Heat created by the resistance of lightweight wire and low capacity circuits causes the headlight switch to melt about every 10 years. Headlight sockets too melt down over time.
Reliability-wise the car is very basic so there is little to break. They are very solid and go for ever. My first car was dubbed "The Unstoppable Audi", for all the abuse and hell it went though delivering Pizza for while, being raced on gravel roads, taking jumps over railroad tracks etc... The drive train on these cars is absolutely bullet-proof. Both engine and tranny can handle well over 3 times the power that is in the car.
One thing that does suck is that when something does break, expect to pay 2-3 times as much for it as you would think. 4 calipers with pads cost me $1000, the fuel distributor that went TU on my first car runs about $1500 from the dealer. Fuel pump cost $300, ended up with an aftermarket one for $190. Parts are not cheap! Work is even worse. Unless you find a mechanic that knows and loves this car, you are going to pay an arm and a leg for some guy to learn the backward ways of Audi.
All that being said, it is an awesome handling and performing car! I hope to turn my second one into a Rally racer with the Oregon SCCA rally club!