Monday, July 04, 2016

Audi V8

I am obsessed with this car this morning.

In the October 1989 issue of Car & Driver, there is a review of the new Audi V8. After the unintended acceleration debacle of the 1980s, I thought Audi was out of the U.S. market in the 1990s. Like Robert Downey, Jr. with his drug addiction, I thought it was game over.

I vaguely knew about the existence of this car. Here are some highlights from the article:

  • At 240 horsepower, just 5 short of base Corvette
  • But because of weight, 0 to 60 was achieved in 9.3 seconds
  • First luxury sedan with all-wheel drive
  • "Astonishing" stability at limits on race track
  • Entire engine in front of front axle meant understeer
  • Same ZF 4-speed automatic as that in BMW 735i
  • 3 transmission settings: Sport, Manual, Efficient (not "Economy" because that sounds cheap)
  • Poor ergonomics
  • Steering wheel on car tested was offset to the right and canted to the left ("unpardonable in a $48,500 car")
From Wikipedia:
  • Assembled in Germany and Japan(!)
  • Won DTM back-to-back in 1990 and 1991
  • Piech's wife had a one-off wagon version of the car

I really feel like this was the inspiration for the Phaeton. Understated luxury.

Here are two videos. The first one is in Dutch with English subtitles. It's a modern review of the V8 and the long wheel based V8. The second one is in German (I think), but you don't have to understand a word to appreciate it. Paul Frere, in his classy suit, puts the V8 through some grueling tests. 


slirt said...

i watched this only a few days ago...

Alan said...

Frere was one of my favorites. Still is.

UFO brakes too!

Christopher Daily-Diamond said...

Hadn't thought about these in some time.

A quick CL search reveals many in a rather sorry state :(

HouseOfCadillacs said...

Thanks for sucking me in too :-)

I remember being a passenger in a friend's early '90s V8 during a 300 mile trip in Germany in the late '90s ... in rainy weather on the Autobahn at 120 mph! It sure was an impressive car for its time.

Ripituc said...

To think Audi had to build its way into being a believable BMW and Mercedes rival, and it wasn't quite there until recently!