The 1989 V8 Quattro Was the First Modern Audi

With a V8, an automatic transmission, subdued looks, and that signature all-wheel drive system, the V8 Quattro laid the way for Audi's success in America.

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By the late 1980s, Audi had made a name for itself in the US as an alternate choice for buyers seeking out German luxury that didn't want a BMW or Mercedes. But its quirky, unusual five-cylinder power plants turned off some potential owners, keeping the company from absorbing a bigger share of the market. The solution? The V8 Quattro.

Built to attract drivers with its more mainstream engine design, the V8 Quattro could be considered the first modern Audi. Instead of using a turbocharged inline-five, it had a dual-overhead-cam V8 that made 240 horsepower. It was also the first production Audi to mate an automatic transmission to the company's signature all-wheel drive system. These upgrades paired together made for a compelling package that more buyers could get behind.

Other things, power seat adjustments, automatic climate control, and heated seats for the entire cabin made it more livable too. The best part? It was cheaper than the comparative BMW 7-Series. Alas, Audi sold relatively few examples, and now they can be found on Craigslist .

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