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
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!