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:

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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?

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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:

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1991 Audi Coupe Quattro

It hasn’t been all that long since I looked at a 7A-powered 90 or, for that matter, a very clean Coupe Quattro:

1990 Audi Coupe Quattro

However, today’s car – while broadly similar to that Coupe above, is definitely worth a closer look. That’s because it has a scant 27,000 miles on the clock. How is that even possible?

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1990 Audi Coupe Quattro

Nomenclature has been something Audi fans have struggled with, but to be fair the naming scheme from Ingolstadt hasn’t always been particularly straightforward. For example, though ubiquitous as the Coupe GT, there was actually a trim and performance difference between B2 front-drive Coupes and Coupe GTs. Similarly, though U.S. fans often fair to recognize it, the B3 Coupe Quattro was actually the second generation with the name; Europeans enjoyed the option of having a non-turbocharged, non-flared version of the B2 platform which few but the most dedicated U.S. Audi Coupe fans are aware of. Then there’s the name – properly, a capitalized Quattro refers to the aforementioned legend – the model that launched the branding of Audi’s all-wheel drive system. Every subsequent model that followed properly has a lowercase “q” if it sported the optional all-wheel drive. That even goes for models that were only offered in all-wheel drive, such as the V8 quattro. That is, except for the Coupe Quattro, which Audi insisted should also be capitalized. So confusing is the naming scheme that fans have taken to using “Ur” to refer to the Quattro (though proper capitalization would take care of the problem) for not only the original model, but the C4 S4/S6 and I’ve even been seeing it used for TTs, A4s and a few others. It also means that every time one comes up for sale and someone slaps ‘Ur’ in front of it, someone else has to ask what ‘Ur’ means.

But the B3 and B4 Coupe wasn’t just offered in all-wheel drive; there were a long line of optional engines in the Coupe in both two and four wheel drive. However it only came to the U.S. in one configuration – the under-appreciated 7A inline-5 20V motor pushing all four wheels. The B3 ran the second generation of quattro, with the center differential controlled by a Torsen unit and the rear open with an optional, speed limited locking unit. It upped the safety and electronic options to respond to market demands. They were heavy with electronic features including power seats, and passengers enjoyed the confusing safety net known as PROCON-10 – essentially, a series of cables which pre-tensioned seatbelts in the event of a crash. Though the production run of U.S. Coupes was brief at only 2 years and roughly 1700 units, there were many changes over that time. The motor changed ISV valves and computers as well as swapping from a tubular header to a cast iron unit. Shortly into production, airbags became standard on both the Coupe and sedan models. A rear swaybar was added, along with changes to the hydraulic system. All of these went relatively unseen to consumers, making the only notable change the addition of a glass sunroof to 1991 models. For the most part, these cars came fully loaded with the only options being Pearlescent White Metallic paint and power heated seats, unlike the sedan which despite being fewer in number has much more variety in options.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi Coupe Quattro on eBay

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