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Tag: Audi V8 quattro

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1990 Audi V8 quattro

From the dated underpinnings of the Type 44 chassis, Audi emerged in 1988 with an all-new four-cam aluminum engine that could be mated to an automatic transmission. Now, to most enthusiasts that probably sounds like a bad idea. But when it came to selling car – especially expensive luxury cars – the overwhelming majority of buyers wanted the car to do most of the heavy lifting. Audi’s response was the next generation of quattro drivetrains with a series of clutches in the center differential that helped to transfer power and allowed the car to be mated to an automatic transmission. That transmission – the ZF 4HP24A – was a derivative of the 4HP24, the same automatic found in the V12-equipped BMW 750 and 850s. Like the Mercedes-Benz, Audi employed Bosch ABS and a locking rear differential. But unlike other Audis with their manual- or electronic-locking rear differential, the V8 quattro used a Torsen rear differential with helical gears which would automatically split torque in up to a 3:1 ratio to the wheel with grip. Coupled with a more rearward weight bias with the shorter V8 and the gutsy torque on offer throughout the rev range, though much of the car was borrowed from the rest of the lineup it took on an entirely different character. That was matched with new, updated bodywork outside and a wider stance with flared arches. The effect? Magical. And, complicated.

But the V8 quattro wasn’t only about its unique new form of all-wheel drive. The moniker obviously indicated there had been a change in motivation, too, and indeed the V8 launched a new all-aluminum four-cam, 32 valve V8 displacing 3.6 liters dubbed the PT. Rated at 240 horsepower and 254 lb.ft of torque, it was the most powerful Audi for sale in the late 1980s and brought the brand to a luxury level it had previously not competed at. In the U.S., these mega-Audis were met with mixed success. The 1990 launch of the V8 resulted in reasonably good sales; Audi sold 2,823 between late 1989 and the end of 1990 which represented over 10% of their yearly sales. Values in the used market plummeted after timing belt fiascos on early cars and the general recession of the early 90s, along with the ’92 launch of the turbocharged, manual, and later, Avant-bodied S4/S6 twins. Today, it’s a bit of a treat to see a clean V8 quattro, and this looks to be one of the better examples out there for sale:

1990 Audi V8 quattro on eBay

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1993 Audi V8 4.2 quattro

How rare is it to find a US-spec V8 4.2 quattro? Well, to put it into some perspective, I don’t think that there is anyone on the internet that writes about V8 quattros more than I do, and the last time I looked at a US 4.2 was in 2018. Yep, that rare.

1993 Audi V8 quattro

Audi sold some 2,823 1990 models between late 89 and the end of the model year. Another 527 ’91s were imported. But the 92-up models, which had the 4.2 and light revisions to the interior as well as conventional G60 brakes? Those were scarce when new. Audi sold 270 92s, 170 ’93s, 77 ’94s, and a single model left a dealership as an act of defiance in 1995. Yep, that’s it. Jut 518 were sold in the US, putting it on the rarity scale of models like the BMW M1 (453 produced). And since it wasn’t a BMW M1, but a large German executive sedan that was reasonably complicated, they fell off the radar pretty quickly as the original owners traded them in on the next best thing, while downstream owners struggled to keep the relatively unknown model going. I certainly fell into that camp; owning a just 11-year-old 1993 model at the time, it should have been pretty nice – but in comparison, my now 13-year-old 135i is far more reliable. Car technology changed a lot during that period, as did the availability of parts. Quite a few V8s also gave their lives for others; the motors were popular upgrades for the earlier and more desirable manual models, for example. Yet here we are, with a running V8 quattro from 1993 for sale…so let’s take a look!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Audi V8 4.2 quattro on eBay

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1990 Audi V8 quattro

Back in January, I took a look at a really nice ‘survivor’ 1990 Audi V8 quattro:

1990 Audi V8 quattro

That car was in pretty decent condition overall, and one of the nice (and somewhat rare to see) options it had was sport seats. Today I’m back with another ’90 V8, once again in the optional and expensive Pearlescent White Metallic. This one has similar mileage, a similar lack of disclosed history, and is in generally similar condition, though it does not have the sport seats. Let’s take a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi V8 quattro on eBay

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1991 Audi V8 quattro 5-Speed

Back to big Audis! The early 1990s were, as I’ve described in previous posts, a period of change for the Ingolstadt firm as they closed down production on the Type 44 to introduce its new replacement, the C4. That led to a dizzying assortment of models from the one chassis. There was the aforementioned 100 and 100 quattro. You could move up to two turbocharged models, too – the 200 Turbo gave you 165 horsepower through the front wheels, and the new-and-only-for-91 in the U.S. was 200 20V quattro. Europe and the rest of the world got even more options; production lasted right up through 2006 in parts of China, where they even made a crazy long-wheel base 4-door convertible version of the Hongqi.

But the top of the heap for the U.S. market was a derivative of the Type 44, the D11 chassis. Of course, that was Audi’s foray into the top-tier luxury market with its new all-aluminum 32 valve double-overhead cam V8. Body revisions to the front and rear along with flared fenders made the V8 quattro seem like a completely different car to the slab-sided 100. V8s had, and have, serious presence. Big news, too, was that for the first time Audi was able to match its all-wheel drive quattro setup with a new 4-speed automatic transmission.

For die-hard Audi faithful, though, for a short while you could still opt to row-your-own with the 240 horsepower 3.6 liter V8 singing to your right foot. These manual V8 quattros are legendary because of their rarity and that they are the only car Audi brought to market with twin Torsen differentials. The combination of a more rearward weight bias, big and instant torque from the V8 and those clever diffs made for one of the best driving experiences in a classic big sedan from Audi, and they’re exceedingly rare to find:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi V8 quattro on eBay

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