Entwicklung 80: 1990 Audi 80 Quattro V8

It was really neat to see the interestingly optioned pre-production Audi 90S V6 last week, but more from a curiosity standpoint. As many noted, what’s the market on a front drive pre-production Audi 90 with 200 miles? It would take a very special and specific fan to be interested in that chassis. The same can’t be said of today’s example. When it came to tuning up the Type 89 quattros, Audi offered a few options; the DOHC 7A motor with 164 horsepower came to the U.S., but European markets also got the stellar S2 in 20V Turbo form. Though both were most common in Coupe quattro form, sedans and even for European customers Avants later were available with the legendary turbocharged mill. However, let’s not forget that technically the 20V Turbo wasn’t the top of the heap in 1989, since Audi had just launched the revolutionary quad-cam all-aluminum 3.6 V8. That motor was the signature mill of the eponymous V8 quattro. Out of the box, the V8 was the most powerful Audi on offer, but the engine package would only be available initially in the D11 chassis, but in 4.2 form it would later be offered in the C4 S4/S6 as well. The first small chassis Audi with a V8 wouldn’t be until the B6 S4, right? Well, wrong, because a few generations prior Audi apparently toyed with the idea in some development 80s:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi 80 Quattro V8 on autoscout24.com


Year: 1990
Model: 80 Quattro V8
Engine: 3.6 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 81,000 km (50,331 mi)
Price: E.89,000 ($100,903.60 Today)

The only surviving original example of three built. Never registered. Will be registered to the buyer on request.
Chassis number 1 complete documentation of the development. This car has nothing in common with a regular Audi 80 .

While the history of the 80 is ripe with some great lesser-known development cars, this was the first I’ve heard of Audi fitting a V8 to the 80. However from some standpoints it makes sense – more, in some ways, than even turbocharging. The PT was good for near double the power of the 2.3 NG inline-5 with near instant throttle response. The aluminum V8 offered effectively no weight penalty over the cast iron inline-5 – to the contrary, it was set back farther and shifted weight distribution more evenly both left to right and front to rear. And, as many have found out since, Audi designed the block to bolt up to existing Audi transmissions, so integrating it into the Type 89 was relatively easy. Still, I wasn’t able to find any history of the car and some details – like the modified V8 quattro front bumper and aftermarket seats, look slightly suspect, so I’d love to know the actual development history and why Audi opted not to offer this package. The execution overall looks very good, and the pairing of the silver exterior with the optional forged 16″ BBS V8 quattro wheels is slick. The price, though, is certainly in the nose bleed section; if you thought the $36,000 ask for the no-mile 90S V6 was atmospheric, the triple asking price for this car is closer to the dark side of the moon and not likely to be realized. For much less money, you could get a more collectable late-run RR 20V Quattro, or for about one tenth the price you could build your own 80 quattro V8 with a more potent 4.2 motor. Perhaps with the correct documentation some Audi nut with seriously deep pockets would be interested, but as with the last example it makes more sense for the factory to buy it up, presuming they’d want to.

Thanks to our reader John for the great spot!

-Carter

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14 Comments

  1. The translation of the ad sounds a bit funny.
    “Registered” instead of “admitted” would be correct.
    It might not be easy to register the car in Germany now after all these years due to changes in emission laws.

  2. @audifan, thanks for the note – I updated the listing. I originally didn’t put “registered” because I couldn’t figure out how they got 50,000 miles without registering it but maybe they had similar plates to “Dealer” type plates here?

    I presume the changes to the emissions laws are why I’m seeing a fair amount of V8 quattros and now even S8s converted to LPG?

  3. Oh that is amazing! Great find! Imagine one of those in the DTM! I bet it’s fantastic fun to drive! And think of its place amount the competition of the day. It’s a shame they didn’t manage to put it out there. The money seems funny for sure, but then again maybe not? No matter what, it made my day. Outstanding!

  4. Was wondering the weight of the aluminum V8 vs 10v, 20v, 20vt.

  5. Would love to test drive that! It must move pretty well given how much lighter the 80 chassis is vs. the V8Q!

  6. Indeed, they could have driven the car with a “rote Nummer”, plates with red numbers only, the equivalent of a dealer plate in the US.

  7. @Brad, the claim is that the loaded V8 weighs ~50 lbs more than the NA inline 5 10V/20V. The heavier intake runners on the 20V are negated if you run the tubular header versus the cast iron manifold. The turbo cars weigh pretty close to the same due to the turbo.

  8. I would like to know more about the legitimacy of this conversion. Audi development car? Really? While that is very cool, some things about the car just don’t strike me as an in-house project. The seats, the steering wheel (Treser wheel?), hacked on gauge pod, wrong font V8 badge on grille, JC Whitney style rocker panels, and the painted bumpers vs black side cladding. Just doesn’t quite add up to me. May be legit, but seems there was some suspect mods after the fact by someone other than Audi….which hurts the value in my book.

  9. @Christian, I’d agree on most points. The steering wheel, however, is a Nardi unit that was used in later Quattros in Europe. It’s also a popular retrofit to other cars. I would have expected the car to have a wheel more similar to the Nardi S2 wheel which would make more sense. The “V8” font didn’t really come out until later – remember, the 89,90 and 91 V8s were unbadged, but you’re correct that it is not in standard Audi font. It is a bit of a strange one overall. The build sticker would reveal a lot.

  10. I would be interested to know if anyone actually learns more about this car. Please share if there are any more facts uncovered.

  11. Google.de has a lot of info about the car. Google Weigel Audi.

  12. Thanks for the link @audifan, makes much more sense that it was a tuner car.

  13. Thanks Frank, a bit more information there!

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