“Gentleman’s Express” – 1993 Audi V8 quattro 5-speed

Though we’ve had a nice string of older Audis, it’s been a while since we’ve looked at a V8 quattro – but today’s is pretty special. First off, it’s one of the later 4.2 models. These cars were upgraded with a transmission cooler to help solve the early model automatic transmission failures. That, of course, meant all U.S. bound 4.2s were automatics from the factory. While that may sound like a downer, the 4-speed auto wasn’t a bad transmission and linked to the 276 horsepower, all-aluminum 4 cam V8 in front, motivation was never really an issue. Dynamically, these V8 quattros were also much better on the fly than the nose-heavy inline-5s, too. Not only was the engine a bit farther back, but the Torsen differential in the rear helped to give these cars a better power distribution. Of course, the cream of the crop were the 3.6 5-speed manuals – the only Torsen center, Torsen rear differential car Audi ever produced. Mate one with a 4.2 in a perfect color combination, sprinkle in some sport seats, and you have one pretty desirable package:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Audi V8 quattro on Boulder Craiglist

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Double Take: 1990 Audi Coupe Quattro

For some time, the B3 Audi Coupe quattro enjoyed a coveted place in the lineup, and many enthusiasts still consider them the high point of Audi design. However, in the market place their star has fallen slightly as newer and faster cars have become more affordable. While for some time a solid example would have cost you well north of $6,000, these low production all-wheel drive hatchbacks seem to have fallen on harder times recently. They have a reputation for being slow compared to the competition – the result of being relatively heavy rather than lacking in the motor department. The 7A inline-5 20V motor is a true gem of a motor, and on the fly these Coupes are quite entertaining to drive. Of course, as with most of the Audi quattros, turbo conversions are popular and the possibilities are near limitless. The B3 chassis also upped the electronic quotient for the driver compared to the relatively simple B2s. Electronic fuel injection, electronically locking (and automatically disengaging) rear differential, a Torsen center differential, electric seats and automatic climate control moved the B3 upscale from the B2, along with added safety features. However, this past year the first of these Coupes turned 25 years old – an age that qualifies them as being antique in some states. Audi only sold a reported 1,730 of these Coupes between 1990 and 1991 model years, and the best (and probably optimistic) estimates put only about 75% of those still on the road today. So, today instead of looking at two modded examples, here are two clean drivers that could be an affordable and unique classic:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi Coupe quattro on Washington D.C. Craigslist

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1990 Audi V8 quattro

I have a fun ongoing exchange with our reader John; we send each other pretty much every V8 quattro that comes to the market in the U.S., usually accompanied by some brutally honest and laughable one-liner. Considering the number of V8 quattros imported – less than 4000 – and that they were both expensive and a DTM star, they would have been coveted like the rest of the Audi lineup. Yet, many have fallen into extreme disrepair or neglect, leaving precious few left running today and making good ones a rare find. For example, recently John sent me a pretty worn Pearlesant White ’93 model with the line: ” ‘cheap’ and haven’t seen it before, but that’s about it”. I responded that I’d done the “cheap” V8 route before, and that were I to do it again I would have been better off spending three times as much to get a maintained example. The V8 is truly a car that could bankrupt you trying to restore a poor one to original condition. However, if you find a reasonable example that’s well priced, is it a better proposition?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi V8 quattro on eBay

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1991 Audi Coupe Quattro with 17,000 Miles

For me, it’s been a week of some unappreciated cars, and the Audi Coupe Quattro ranks up there as one of the most unappreciated Audis. But unlike the wild turbocharged wonders that were available in the rest of the world, the U.S. market received only the 7A inline-5 20 valve motor. Basically, it was a 16V Volkswagen motor with one more cylinder; with a 7,200 rpm redline, the sonorous 5-pot put out a respectable 164 horsepower. That wasn’t much less than the E30 M3 had and matched U.S. bound turbocharged Quattros – but the power delivery was such that the car didn’t feel fast off the line, and the weight didn’t help. The B3 was hefty, saddled with improved safety options like PROCON-10, anti-lock brakes and a stronger platform, it was also decidedly more luxury oriented with electric seats, sunroof, windows, air conditioning and even an electronic lock for the differential in the rear. It was the 1980s Audis all grown up, but the impression left in many enthusiast’s mouths was that it was a bit soft and a bit slow. Ironically, the 7A even gained a bad reputation amongst enthusiasts as an underpowered unit that lacked torque – but a look at the original power numbers prove it was the most powerful of the non-turbo, non-V8 cars Audi offered at the time. 1992 would see a switch to the B4 platform with the V6 power unit and the end of B3 production; slow sales and a high price meant the Coupe Quattro was removed from the U.S. bound lineup after only a reported 1,500 made it here. Despite their perceived lack of sport, the legendarily stout Coupe Quattros served many of their owners well and many are still kicking around. Only one, though, is in the condition of today’s example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi Coupe Quattro at Sutherland Auto Sales

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1992 Audi V8 4.2 Quattro

They say the devil is in the details; one of those details in the late 1980s and early 1990s Audis was the insulating foam designed to keep the cabin quiet. When the cars were new, the V8 quattro really was a big step up for Audi – significantly more refined in presentation than the Type 44 on which it was heavily based. But when I owned my 1993 V8 quattro – notably, in this same color combination of Ragusa Green Metallic and Travertine leather – the headliner was failing. Because that seemed to go hand in hand with the air conditioning also not functioning, I spent a fair amount of my time in the V8 with the windows down. Of course, this resulted in a rippling headliner spewing the contents of the sound isolation foam. This foam was pretty amazing stuff, I’m sure. Like everything else German, it seemed to do its job quite well until it didn’t anymore – at which time it failed in spectacular fashion. Granules of this foam made it everywhere – not only covering the interior of the car, but also my clothes and hair. It was somewhat comical, as I was showing up for work appointments in this seemingly top of the line Audi covered in a fine mist of orange foam. It was as if an Oompa Loompa had attacked my Audi by suicide bombing, and I was walking baffled from the aftermath looking a bit like an orange version of the Peanuts character Pig Pen. What was particularly amazing about this foam though was where it chose to adhere to – in this case, it would stick to everything except the roof, and when you tried to clean it up it would ball into even stickier slugs that were near impossible to remove from whatever surface they found themselves on. Sound appealing? You too can experience this:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Audi V8 Quattro on eBay

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A V8 for every production year – 1990-1994 Audi V8 Quattros

I’m not going to hide my love of the Audi V8 quattro. It was one of the most challenging cars I have ever owned, but it was also the one that I find myself still looking at and wanting in spite of the many repairs and several headaches. I’ve like the V8 quattro since it first came out; a hunkered down, V8 engined, heavily modified 200 quattro, it managed to feel almost nothing like the C3 chassis it was based on. Audi seemed to agree, renaming the V8 “D11”, effectively creating a new chassis class despite the nearly identical dimensions to the 200 that ran alongside the V8. Recently I wrote up a first year 4.2 V8 quattro that was in great shape, evoking memories of both my ownership and the DTM series that Audi dominated with the slightly portly but very powerful V8 quattro. Today, I’ve decided to round up all of the model years; we’ll cover 1990-1994 V8s that are currently for sale. Let’s start where it all began:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi V8 Quattro on Portland Craiglist

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1991 Audi 200 20V Quattro Avant

The Audi Type 44, while no doubt a smart looking aerodynamic sedan, was rather a tame thing – especially in U.S. guise. With about 160 horsepower and well over 3,000 lbs to push around, they were great on the highway but lacked serious motivation. That was until the 1991 introduction of the new turbocharged version of the double overhead cam 20 valve version of the venerable inline-5 was coupled with some flares, some crazy floating rotor brakes and some of the best BBS wheels to be fit to an Audi. Available as a wagon and riding alongside the newly launched V8 quattro with the first automatic all-wheel drive, Audi had two trump cards over their European competitors and were set to take off – yet, they were nearly pulled from the market by parent Volkswagen around the same time due to extraordinarily slow sales in the wake of the unintended acceleration debacle. Coupled with fictitious claims about their reliability spread by many who never owned them, most of the enthusiast community stayed away from the fast Audis; but the few who bought them sure loved them. In the case of the 200 20V Avant, less than 200 were sold in the United States – and those that were sold here were loved and used well. Such is the case with today’s 200 20V – mileage that would scare off all but the diehard Audi fans but an overall condition any enthusiast would appreciate. Take a look at this rare-to-see Bamboo Metallic Avant:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi 200 20V Avant on Audifans.com

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