All-Wheel Drive became literally a fad in automotibles in the 1980's. Many automobile manufacturers such as Mercedes (before the Benz), Porsche, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Audi began making AWD offerings to the consumer vehicle market. At the same time, Audi was active in rally racing where AWD is popular and coupled with better engineering, won Audi several races and raised the bar for all other manufacturers involved in rally racing. Most notable 80's Audi rally car was the Audi S1 which Audi made a special rally edition to win the Pikes Peak Hill Climb and they did succeed. After winning the most grueling rally race, except for arguably the Paris-Dakar Rally, Audi has left the rally racing and moved to track racing.

Today, Audi sponsors cars in the British Touring Car Championship as well as the American Touring Car Championship and is at the forefront of the 24h du Mans racing 3 prototype-style cars. Audi enjoyed all 3 cars entered in Le Mans to win the podium spots in 2000-2002. On the consumer end, since the 1980's, only Audi and Subaru have made AWD systems a chief selling point on their cars. All-Wheel Drive has since been banned in certain forms of racing because of it's unfair advantage of increased traction over their two-wheeled competitors.