The history of the World Rally Championship can be defined in two eras: Before Quattro and After Quattro. The BQ era was largely defined by RWD success, but with the introduction of Audi’s Quattro AWD system in 1980, the RWD in rally quickly faded (a RWD champion hasn’t been seen since ’82). Now, you either compete with AWD or you don’t show up.
As an event centered around speed and agility on snow and ice, the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships was a perfect place for Audi to show off how far Quattro AWD system has come in 35 years. The balmy 50-degree weather might have stopped us from wringing out the Audi Q3 Quattro ($32,500) on the snow and ice skidpad, but not from driving up and down 45-degree slopes and over frame-testing obstacles. Though axel-twisting ramps and the high-cambered “quarter pipe” would unsettle most cars, there was a feeling that the Q3 Quattro wasn’t even breaking a sweat.