Itâ€™s a bit amazing to consider that two of the most significant halo cars in German motoring history â€“ both homologation models intended to lead their respective marques into the next decade â€“ so closely paralleled each other, yet were so very different. Itâ€™s but a 35-minute train ride between Munich and Ingolstadt, and in the late 1970s both BMW and Audi wanted a range-topping model to grab attention. But their approaches were radically different. BMW designed a bespoke mid-engine, tube-frame supercar around a basic engine design it already had. Audi, on the other hand, took a basic car design it already had and added a revolutionary drivetrain.
Both were styled by Giugiaro. Both had to be built out-of-house; Baur had a hand in each. Both had legendary engineers â€“ Walter Treser and Roland Gumpert for Audi, Jochen Neerpasch at BMW. Both raced, though the series they were intended for were ultimately canceled. Both launched a brand name â€“ BMWâ€™s M division, and Audiâ€™s quattro (and later quattro GmbH). And today, both are both legends and highly sought by collectors. So today we have an interesting showdown; two prime examples have come to market and are nearly the exact same price. Of course, for that to occur the Audi entrant is the â€˜ultimateâ€™ evolution of the Quattro, the Sport model. So letâ€™s put aside the ridiculous $600,000 asking prices of each of these cars for a moment, and consider â€“ all things being equal (which they nearly are!), which one would you choose? Let’s start with the Audi: