The 1980-1991 Audi Quattro Coupe was the first series-production car with full-time all-wheel-drive since the rare late-'60s Jensen FF and was a prelude to many future AWD Audis. The series bowed in Europe during 1980 and in America two years later.
The 1980-1991 Audi Quattro Coupe featured front suspension and sheetmetal shared with contemporary 80/90 sedans (called "4000" in the United States) but offered unique fastback coupe bodywork behind the cowl, plus a rear suspension with essentially duplicate front-end components (struts and coil springs plus fixed "steering arms").
The 1980-1991 Audi Quattro Coupe was sold mostly with a five-speed manual transmission teamed to a turbo-charged, air-to-air intercooler version of the 2.1-liter inline five from the senior Audi 100/200 series (called "5000" in the United States); a normally aspirated 2.2 was available in certain markets from the mid-'80s.
All-wheel drive (with center and locking rear differentials) made this a nearly unbeatable European rally car for several years, but a lightweight, short-wheelbase "homologation special" actually had less success than the stock models.
The series began the worldwide industry craze for high-performance all-drive road cars -- including other Audis, which is one reason the car was dropped from the United States after 1985 (though limited production continued for Europe all the way through 1990). But that historical significance, plus relative rarity and technical appeal, would seem to ensure its place as a future collectible.
Pluses of the 1980-1991 Audi Quattro Coupe:
- As for 1981-1987 Coupe/Coupe GT plus successful, pioneering concept
- Spirited performance (8 seconds 0-60 mph, up to 130 mph maximum)
- Great poor-weather traction
- Rally-winner appeal
- Not costly
Minuses of the 1980-1991 Audi Quattro Coupe:
- Exact appreciation potential unclear now
- Some parts bound to be scarce in a few years
- Audi image still tarnished in the United States
Production of the Audi
Quattro Coupe (U.S. calendar-year sales)
- 1982: 287
- 1983: 240
- 1984: 65
- 1985: 73
- 1986: 1
Specifications* of the 1980-1991 Audi
Quattro Coupe (U.S. models):
Wheelbase, inches: 99.5
Length, inches: 178.2
Weight, pounds: 3,055-3,115
Price, new: $35,000
Engines for the 1980-1991 Audi Quattro Coupe:
Type Size Horsepower Years ohc I-5*** 2,144 cc 160/200* 1980-1991 ohc I-5 2,226 cc 136** 1987-1991
*net horsepower U.S./European models
**European models only
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