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Tag: 2.3

1990 Audi Coupe Quattro

With only around 1,700 imported over 30 years ago, your odds running across an Audi Coupe Quattro any day of the week are…well, exceedingly low. With a sweet 7A 20V inline-5 under the hood, robust build quality, just enough creature comforts, and Audi’s legendary quattro all-wheel-drive system underneath you, there’s a lot to like if you do find one. I took a look at a nice example back in December:

1990 Audi Coupe Quattro

It was not for the faint of heart, with bidding in the mid-teens. Today’s example is a bit more affordable, if you’re looking for one of these:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi Coupe Quattro on eBay

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1990 Audi Coupe Quattro

There were a lot of reasons to be skeptical about the most recent B3 Coupe Quattro I posted:

1990 Audi Coupe Quattro

In fairness, though, they were nice cars and quite competent, and though they’re not my personal favorite Audi, they have quite a few fans for a good reason. I felt we needed to resurrect our respect for the model, and wouldn’t you know that a worthy example turned up right away?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi Coupe Quattro on eBay

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1990 Audi Coupe Quattro

“It’s a great car, but it’s a pain in the a**.”

This is a phrase that summarizes many different makes and models, for which the owners toil countless hours over labors of love only to have a car that (effectively) only they themselves are really interested in. Sure, you might think it’s cool too, and maybe you want to drive it, or take a picture with it. But do you really want to own it?

In the case of the Audi Coupe Quattro, the answer is probably no. At least that’s true for the bulk of them. Listen, I’m a huge Audi fan. And I have owned my fair share of them, too. But easy-to-live-with they are not. We make all sorts of excuses for how wonderful they are, and certainly you can make them very fun. But the reality is that most older examples were forlorn for at least some period of time, most have lived a pretty hard life, and most will leave you cursing the “Audi Gods” with frozen bolts, NLA parts, and a complete lack of functional equipment.

Now that I’ve really sold the Audi experience, let’s take a look at today’s subject:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi Coupe Quattro on eBay

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1987 Audi Coupe GT Special Build

If you pop on to the Audi USA configuration site, it’s easy to shake your head at how expensive it seems the range has gotten. The A3 is the cheapest product you can buy, but at $33,000 without options it’s hard to see how this gussied-up Golf is affordable.

Yet, relative to where Audis used to sticker, that price is downright cheap.

Take this 1987.5 Audi Coupe GT Special Build. At the end of the run, Audi sold approximately 850 of these B2/B3 hybrid Coupes to the U.S. market. While things like the suspension and basic body were unchanged, the Special Build got the NG-code 2.3 inline-5 that was seen in the later Type 44/C3 and B3 chassis cars with 130 horsepower. The gearbox was also unique to the Special Build, having beefed up drive shafts (for some unknown reason, as the existing ones were already overbuilt). The Special Build was also the only front-drive B2 to carry 4-wheel disc brakes – again, shared with the B3 instead. Inside, the Special Build got a special digital dashboard in a slightly different hue than the ’86 Coupe GTs with digital boards had. The interior fabric was updated to the Savoy Velour (also from the B3) instead of the B2’s Kensington Velour – this was signified by a triple stripe instead of a dual stripe. To help distinguish the limited cars, the exteriors featured a “dipped” look; window surrounds were body color as were mirrors and spoiler, and if you opted for Alpine White (L90E) the Ronal R8s were also painted body color. As with most later GTs, the Special Build came relatively loaded with few options, though most don’t seem to have the rear wiper selected for some reason. Sunroof, leather steering wheel, power windows, power defogging mirrors, cassette stereo and power antenna, cruise control and a trip computer were all standard. Only heated seats, a rear wiper, leather interior and an automatic transmission could be optioned.

The price for this “heavily optioned” exclusivity was $20,600, and you’d be hard pressed to leave a dealer for much under $21,000 after delivery charges. Inflation corrected from 1987 dollars to 2020 dollars, that’s about $48,000. A brand new A5 coupe starts at $44,000 today and has many more amenities standard. Is it any surprise that we see so many more luxury vehicles today than what we saw in the 1980s?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Audi Coupe GT Special Build on eBay

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1991 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, with the pool of remaining candidates dwindling and most coming to market with heavy needs. 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, 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. Next year the first of these Coupes turn 30 years old an age that qualifies them as being antique in most 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. Options on the Coupe were limited to the Cold Weather package, 8-way power seats and Pearlescent White Metallic paint two of which are seen here on this 91. 91s also had the upgraded glass moonroof rather than the early steel panel, though they lost the infamous Bag of Snakes tubular header early models carried. 91s also gained rear sway bars and are the rarest of the bunch, with only 364 sold in the model year and a further 58 traded as leftovers. Like the original, finding a good one is key and difficult:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi Coupe Quattro on eBay

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