The 1980s began with Audi as a pretender to the likes of BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar. By the close of the decade they were anything but, firmly established as a potent rival to the trio. Today’s reputation as a manufacturer of prestige vehicles was hard earned. It’s fair to say that the V8, though itself not a success, played a major part in the brand’s rise.
Based on the earlier 100/200, the V8 was underpinned by a decent quattro drivetrain and featured a 3.6-litre engine which while extremely capable, was regarded by many buyers as not quite packing enough of a punch.
Packed to the gills with all the tech Audi could cram into it, the V8 baffled many hapless owners slow to comprehend the state-of-the-art systems and features.
Ultimately the car wasn’t a success, but the groundwork laid by its conception paved the way for the string of successful models that have established Audi as the powerhouse we know today.