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1990 Audi V8 quattro

From the dated underpinnings of the Type 44 chassis, Audi emerged in 1988 with an all-new four-cam aluminum engine that could be mated to an automatic transmission. Now, to most enthusiasts that probably sounds like a bad idea. But when it came to selling car – especially expensive luxury cars – the overwhelming majority of buyers wanted the car to do most of the heavy lifting. Audi’s response was the next generation of quattro drivetrains with a series of clutches in the center differential that helped to transfer power and allowed the car to be mated to an automatic transmission. That transmission – the ZF 4HP24A – was a derivative of the 4HP24, the same automatic found in the V12-equipped BMW 750 and 850s. Like the Mercedes-Benz, Audi employed Bosch ABS and a locking rear differential. But unlike other Audis with their manual- or electronic-locking rear differential, the V8 quattro used a Torsen rear differential with helical gears which would automatically split torque in up to a 3:1 ratio to the wheel with grip. Coupled with a more rearward weight bias with the shorter V8 and the gutsy torque on offer throughout the rev range, though much of the car was borrowed from the rest of the lineup it took on an entirely different character. That was matched with new, updated bodywork outside and a wider stance with flared arches. The effect? Magical. And, complicated.

But the V8 quattro wasn’t only about its unique new form of all-wheel drive. The moniker obviously indicated there had been a change in motivation, too, and indeed the V8 launched a new all-aluminum four-cam, 32 valve V8 displacing 3.6 liters dubbed the PT. Rated at 240 horsepower and 254 lb.ft of torque, it was the most powerful Audi for sale in the late 1980s and brought the brand to a luxury level it had previously not competed at. In the U.S., these mega-Audis were met with mixed success. The 1990 launch of the V8 resulted in reasonably good sales; Audi sold 2,823 between late 1989 and the end of 1990 which represented over 10% of their yearly sales. Values in the used market plummeted after timing belt fiascos on early cars and the general recession of the early 90s, along with the ’92 launch of the turbocharged, manual, and later, Avant-bodied S4/S6 twins. Today, it’s a bit of a treat to see a clean V8 quattro, and this looks to be one of the better examples out there for sale:

1990 Audi V8 quattro on eBay

Launched in the US for the 1990 model year, Audi introduced (and priced) the V8 Quattro as a luxury sports sedan, quickly proving itself as a viable competitor to its German counterparts whilst also being a monster on the track with two back-t0-back DTM Driver’s Title wins. Most people have no idea what an Audi V8 is, and you virtually never see them! This was Audi’s flagship model before the A8, and it’s an unusual piece of old-school Audi history: the king of the Audi hill in the early 1990s. This particular model is an excellent example finished in a sporty color combination, and it features some amazing modern luxury features offered for the period. Power comes from a 3.6-liter V8, rated at 240 horsepower and 245 lb-ft torque. Output is sent to all four wheels via a 4-speed automatic transmission and Audi’s Quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. We are proud to offer this car to you and welcome you to come visit it in person or send us any questions you may have about the car itself. Own a piece of German automotive history that helped move Audi up the luxury brand totem pole 

1990 AUDI QUATTRO V8 AWD
RARE GERMAN SUPER AUTO
RED/BLACK LEATHER 146000 MILES
ABS BRAKES
AIRBAG
3.6 V-8 240 hp
AUTOMATIC GEARBOX
POWER STEERING
POWER SUNROOF
POWER DOOR LOCKS
POWER WINDOWS
POWER SEATS
MEMORY SEATS
SPORT LEATHER SEATS
LEATHER INTERIOR
HEADLIGHT WIPERS
AIR-CONDITIONING
17″ TWO-PIECE UPGRADE ALLOY WHEELS BBS TYPE
ALPINE UPGRADED AUDIO SYSTEM
OWNERS MANUALS
ANOTHER FINE GERMAN MOTORCARS FROM VMC AUTOGROUP
45 YEARS IN SUNNY TX
 

There’s a lot to like here for sure. Tornado Red is quite unusual on the V8 quattro, and while the result may reek a bit of a captain’s car for the local firefighting brigade, it still looks quite cool. Inside we’ve got sport seats, and the alterations are pretty minimal. I believe the wheels are probably ESM knockoffs and I’d personally opt for some European-specification 16″ BBS RGs are 17″ Borleos to keep the specification close to stock.

At this age, I can’t imagine living with a V8 quattro has suddenly become easier than when I owned one 20 years ago. Then it was already a long list of NLA parts and decaying rubber gaskets every month. Still, this one appears to be very nice – though the dealer is looking for over $20k for it. That seems fairly unlikely to occur quickly given the pricepoint at which the last few have sold.

-Carter

4 Comments

  1. John
    John February 4, 2024

    Great color on the V8 and rare to see! Hope it finds a good home.

  2. Brad
    Brad February 4, 2024

    Thank heaven the dealers always specify — I thought this top-dog German luxury sedan might’ve had crank windows!

  3. Longwolf
    Longwolf February 5, 2024

    These were such good looking cars; looked like an RS Audi long before the RS2. Shame that there is so much NLA parts that would make it hard to maintain. But can they be that bad compared to other German cars of the era? On paper, they don’t seem overly complicated. Seems like they would be much more reliable and simpler than a ’91 200tq 20v.

  4. Early8Q
    Early8Q February 5, 2024

    Fun to see! Thanks for sharing it. Great memories of my own experiences with a ‘90 V8. I would take one new over the bling that Audi is making today.

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