I’ll make no excuses for my love of the Audi D2. Sure, it helps that I owned a D11 V8 Quattro, but the reality is that the D2 was, at least in my opinion, a better looking car than its competition from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It was clear when the original “Aluminum Space Frame” (ASF) concept launched in 1993 that Audi had jumped the game up. No longer would they rely on a restyled mid-size car for their top of the range executive sedan; the A8 represented an entirely new direction for the company, with revised design language that would last two generations as well as substantially altered technology. That technology made the A8 much lighter than it looked; through use of aluminum, the curb weight of the large A8 was about the same – despite increased levels of luxury, legroom and soundproofing – as the outgoing V8 quattro. Sure, at around 4,000 lbs, it’s no featherlight; but it wore its weight well and elegantly, making it seem like a much sportier and livelier car than the numbers alone would suggest. Then there was the presence that the A8 just oozes; much like the beloved BMW E38, the D2 manages to look long, low and aggressive while still seeming elegant and refined. It’s a combination few large sedans are able to pull off, and from a looks perspective, it’s hard to argue that either of the successive generations of large Audi have surpassed the good looks of the D2.
From a buyers perspective, these cars are also the bargain of the “Big Three” German executives. Generally it’s hard to find a late 1990s A8 in very good condition, but when you do it’s a bit of a treat because they’re generally on offer for about the same money that gets you into a decent A4. If you’re looking for refinement, there’s simply no contest between the two; the A8 wins hands down any day. Coupled with all wheel drive and the quite capable 310 horsepower 40V V8, they’re no slouch on back roads or highways, either. Today, we’re excited to feature this lovely, great condition Canadian-spec 1998 A8 4.2 Quattro from Enthusiast Auto Sales: