Audi V8

20 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Audi V8
Audi V8

Audi V8

1992-94:| engine = 4.2L 276 hp V8| transmission = 4-speed automatic| assembly = Ingolstadt, Germany | weight = 1710 kg (3770 lb)| platform = Volkswagen C3 platform

The Audi V8 was a large luxury sedan built by Audi AG of Germany from 1988 to 1994 as the company’s range-topping model, and was the first Audi to use its namesake engine configuration.

It was replaced by the A8 in 1994, though the A8 would not be sold in North America until the 1997 model year.

History

Although the vehicle was based on VW/Audi’s existing C3 platform (namely the 100/200 sedan), the V8 model featured standard quattro all-wheel drive and a 32 valve, DOHC V8 engine with either a five-speed manual or four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission, giving it the power and road-holding ability to match the V8 powered offerings from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The V8 closely resembled the 100 and 200 models, although a unique grill design and bumpers, extended wheelbase, pronounced wheel arches, all red rear lights and larger 16 or 17 wheels helped distinguish it. Much attention was lavished on the vehicle’s new engine, although the V8 was also significant in that it was the first production Audi to combine the quattro system with an automatic transmission.

The 3.6 L (3562 cc) powerplant was essentially two four-cylinder engines which had been mated at the crankshaft to form a V8. In this case it was the acclaimed Volkswagen Golf GTI’s 1.8 L, twin cam, 16-valve inline 4-cylinder that provided the inputs. Power output was very respectable for the day, with 250 PS (184 kW/247 hp) and 340 N·m (251 ft·lbf) of torque available over a fairly wide powerband.

Audi introduced a long wheelbase version in 1990 and in 1991 a 4.2 L (4172 cc) powerplant with 280 PS (206 kW/276 hp) and 400 N·m (295 ft·lbf) was introduced. Like the 3.6L model, quattro four-wheel drive came as standard. A six-speed manual gearbox replaced the 5-speed manual of the 3.6 model.

Audi V8

The car was never a huge sales success despite the obvious qualities of the car. Interestingly enough the V8 came out at about the same time as the Lexus LS400 and in many respects the V8 was a superior product. However, despite being the only car in its class to offer four-wheel drive and a galvanised body most consumers thought the car resembled the lesser 100 and 200 models too much too warrant the price parity with an S-class Mercedes or 7-series BMW.

The V8 sold in greater numbers than the Lexus in all European markets but in America the Lexus were infinitely more succesful not least due to excellent customer care and favourable reviews. A factor that made a difference too was the fact that Audi has received a lot of negative PR in the US due to problems with their automatic transmissions in their old 4000 and 5000 which led to horrific accidents and subsequent law suits. For many years this had a negative impact on the potential for Audi’s sales however as new customer groups have emerged this has now largely been forgotten.

If nothing else the place of the V8 in the history of Audi has been to make life easier for the successor, the Audi A8 in that customers were now viewing Audi as a proper manufacturer of prestigious luxury cars providing a credible alternative to the established competitors. Today the V8 has a cult following in many countries and many examples are in the hands of enthusiasts who appreciate the solid build quality and performance offered by the strongly built car.

The car’s base price in 1994, its final year of production, was US$58,700.

Motorsport

Audi developed a Group A competition version of the V8 for entry into the DTM (German Touring car Championship) and began racing with it in 1990 with Schmidt Motorsport running the operation and Hans-Joachim Stuck, Walter Röhrl and Frank Jelinski driving. Stuck won the title, and the following year Audi added a second team to the mix, Audi Zentrum Reutlingen. SMS continued with Stuck and Jelinski, while AZR raced with Frank Biela and Hubert Haupt.

Biela gave Audi another crown in 1991, but was unable to defend the title in 1992. After that season, the DTM organizers deemed the V8’s crankshaft illegal and Audi retired from the championship.

Audi V8
Audi V8
Audi V8
Audi V8
Audi V8
Audi V8
Audi V8
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