1993 Audi V8 quattro

Much as the Quattro set the trend for performance turbocharged all-wheel drive coupes in the 1980s, Audi launched another trend-setter in 1988. The V8 quattro was not an all-new design; it borrowed heavily from the Type 44 200 chassis, but several revisions completely redefined the character of Audi’s flagship. First was the motor, an all-aluminum quad cam V8 coded PT displaced 3.6 liters initially. If you thought it was effectively two Volkswagen 16V motors sandwiched together, you thought correctly – Audi mimicked what Porsche had done with the 944/928 motor designs. With 240 horsepower, the new V8 offered about a 20% boost in power over the 10V turbo motors that were in the European 200s. But the real innovation wasn’t the motor – it was the automatic transmission. Combining a multi-plate clutch center differential and an all-new Torsen rear differential, the V8 quattro drove decidedly quite differently than the inline-5 variants. Weight, while not down thanks to a host of luxury items, was moved backwards and the V8 was more balanced and less prone to understeer than the turbos were. Additionally, the torque was near instant. But by 1991, the gap between the now 20V variant of the 200 and the V8 was so narrow that Audi upped the displacement. The new ABH V8 upped the power to 276 horsepower and 296 lb.ft of torque. Outside, subtle changes helped to distinguish the luxury variant after Audi’s brief foray into absolutely no badging from 1990-1991. Now with small “V8” monikers front and rear, along with a small “quattro” script, the performance was quite a bit improved over the earlier car. Additionally, there were small changes to the 4.2 model – such as some new colors, a transmission cooler and a mildly revised cockpit featuring the updated climate control. But outside remained effectively unchanged, as the 4.2 wore the same forged BBS RG wheels that the 1991 3.6 V8s had. What was always a bit special was the presentation of the V8 quattro – low, hunkered down and widened over the normal slab-sided 200, the headlights and hood treatment hinted at the revised Audi design language that would carry through to the mid-2000s. Plus, the V8 quattro sported some awesome flares to pull it all together. If you like cars such as the 500E and 540i, you can thank the V8 quattro for establishing the benchmark for them. Yet considered over-complicated and prone to mechanical failure, few of these pioneering luxury Autobahn cruisers survive in the U.S. today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Audi V8 quattro on New Hampshire Craigslist

Year: 1993
Model: V8 quattro
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 150,000 mi
Price: $3,995

This car is like you just got into a time machine and went back to 1993 to by a brand new Audi A8. This car is a 1 owner with no accidents. It lived in a parking garage in Upper Manhattan its whole life. Rarely used. There is LITERALLY ZERO RUST!!! The body is immaculate, the undercarriage is perfect, it was serviced at Manhattan Audi (Formerly Zumbach Audi) its whole life. I have all the original books with service stamps, manuals, Original owner ID card, and even the original first aid kit in the rear. The heated seats work great, the a/c is cold, al the windows and electronics work. It has 4 brand new tires on it. Cam seals, valve cover gaskets and all other seals are perfect. Doesn’t smoke, doesn’t leak. This is not an old Audi. This is a Classic Audi in Excellent condition. You have to see it to appreciate it! It just turned 150k miles which is only 6000 miles per year. Again 1 Owner no accidents, in collector quality and ready to be driven daily or stored for safe keeping! Just passed state inspection too. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!!! Oh yeah, did I mention it is a Quattro All Wheel drive right before winter too!?
$3995 for an excellent car!

The photos presented don’t do the car justice and it’s hard to get much detail. It looks as though the car is a dark graphite metallic rather than the flat black, but it’s quite hard to tell if that’s washout on the camera or photo. Inside, what appears to be grey Connolly leather seems to have a strange matte finish, but again the photos aren’t great. Having all of the items working is semi-miraculous, as these tech-heavy Audis weren’t know for being the most electronically reliable cars. There’s a growing list of NLA parts for them, so ownership won’t always be easy – and they don’t offer as much speed or the manual option stateside that the 20V Turbo models did. The timing belt is the notoriously expensive repair and the hydraulic system is complicated and expensive to repair; but in terms of longevity, these V8 models can actually match the legendary 5 cylinders for mileage. I finally retired mine somewhere in the 260,000 mile range with the motor still running well; it was finally the leaking hydraulics that I chose not to repair. I had many fond memories of that car mixed with some frustrating “it tried to kill me” moments, but I still would love to own a clean example. This may be one of the few remaining out there, and at only $4,000 is worth investigating if like me you love the pioneering DTM champion large Audi – a car which always did things a bit differently.

Thanks to our reader Charles for the submission!


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  1. Only the manual V8s got rear Torsens. The autos had open diffs with manual locks, just like the 5000/200.

  2. Great find!!! JediJoker this may help you: Used on Audi V8 starting from 1990

    Type: Full-time all wheel drive. The system varies depending on the transmission being used:

    V8 with automatic transmission:
    Planetary gear center differential with electronically-controlled multi-plate locking clutch.
    Torsen type I differential rear.
    Open differential front.

    V8 with manual transmission:
    Torsen type I differential center.
    Torsen type I differential rear.
    Open differential front.

  3. Jedijoker, only the 5-speeds got Torsen center diffs, all the V8s got Torsen rears. There is no manual differential lock in the V8 quattro, they are all automatic locking.

  4. Huh – the ad seems to have been taken down already.

  5. Oops, wrote the other comment before I saw John’s comment. Thanks for posting, John. The V8 quattro rear Torsen diff is generally considered an upgrade for the S4/S6 and others, as they ran an open rear with manual lock (or EDL late).

  6. @pmichaelg – no surprise, it was well priced for a clean late V8 quattro.

  7. These 4.2 V8s are so rare nowadays! Almost all ads have pictures lacking the telltale emblems. I wonder how many were imported year on year?

  8. @Brad – 270 92s, 170 93s, and 77 94s were reported sold. So, roughly 10 times as rare as an E30 M3.

  9. Whoa. There must’ve been quite a few more 90s and 91s sold then, since those are relatively existent on the used market and also sadly in junk yards. But I did not think that so few of the 92+ were sold. I had assumed a few thousand per year. That is scary. It’s almost like if you want one you have to buy it and fix it no matter what shape it’s in, even if it’s a hulk.

  10. @Brad – yes, roughly 3,000 sold between late ’89 and ’90, then about 527 91s. Especially with the late cars, you’re exactly right – though the number of 90s that are still on the road is quite low too.

  11. I stand corrected re: Torsens in V8s. Not sure where I got that information originally.

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