1992 Audi V8 Quattro

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1992 Audi V8 Quattro
Available in 1 styles:  V8 Quattro 4dr Sedan shown
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14 city / 20 hwy

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    Expert Reviews 1 of 2
1992 Audi V8 Quattro
$ -
July 5, 1992
Remember those TV commercials in which eavesdroppers froze in their tracks when one person asked another about an investment, and the reply started, ``My broker is E.F. Hutton, and E.F. Hutton says . . .``?

That`s how people would react a few years ago when the conversation turned to Audi, the outfit that bore the brunt of allegations it built cars with minds of their own when it came to accelerating.

After the topic of unintended acceleration was exhausted around the water cooler or at the cocktail party, the focus would turn to Audi`s other problem: It really wasn`t much of a car. Buff books hoping to attract advertising had made the Audi line appear as if each came equipped with a soul. Before yuppies surfaced and BMWs became the gold chains around their necks, Audi was the vehicle of choice of those upper-middle-class sophisticates who wore labels on the outside of their clothes.

That was then, and this is now.

Allegations that the car had wanderlust proved to be unfounded. Government investigations concluded that the primary reason the car would motor through a garage is that the man or woman behind the wheel had stepped on the gas pedal rather than the brake.

The government investigations may have solved one Audi problem. But that left Audi to deal with not being much of a car. Take away the uniqueness of a 5-cylinder engine and a bunch of intertwined chrome rings decorating the hood or deck lid, and Audi wasn`t that noteworthy.

Problem No. 2 hasn`t been solved totally, but Audi is well on its way to regaining the prestige it once enjoyed in this market. One way to win people back is to beg them to return. But the best way is to come up with a product that merits the public`s attention.

The new Audi 100 deserves public admiration. It`s one of the best luxury sedans on the market, worthy of running in the same circles as the Lexus, Infiniti and Cadillac Seville STS.

The Audi V-8 Quattro sedan is worthy, too.

Ironically, after testing the beast, we have to admit that the first thing this Audi brings to mind is sudden acceleration. Not the type in which the car takes off on its own, but rather the powerful launch from the stoplight when you press the proper pedal.

The 4.2-liter, 276-horsepower 32-valve aluminum V-8 engine teamed with 4- speed automatic leaps down the highway. The 4.2 replaces the 3.6-liter, 240-h.p. V-8 offered previously.

The Quattro designation means it features full-time four-wheel drive. And the combination of the 276-h.p. V-8 with four-wheel drive that propels you surefootedly whether the pavement is straight or twisted, flat or hilly, is what makes the car such a kick to drive.

There`s no free lunch, however. You have to be willing to accept that with the thrills come a few chills, the main one being the necessity to pull into the station and refill the tank-often. That 4.2-liter V-8 is asked to pull a car built on a 106.4-inch wheelbase that`s 191.9 inches long and weighs 4,000 pounds.

The mileage rating is 14 miles per gallon city/20 highway, which brings with it a $2,100 gas-guzzler tax. Those ``pump it up`` ads for basketball shoes could just as easily refer to the action required to keep your Audi V-8 on the highway for any length of time.

Perhaps as a concession to the mileage, the car we tested came with a buzzer that signaled when we reached 55 miles per hour on the speedometer. At least we thought the buzzer meant we had reached 55; perhaps it meant it was time to fill up again.

Audi paid attention to detail when it comes to safety in this performance sedan. In addition to the road-holding and maneuvering capabilities of 4WD, the V-8 sedan comes with anti-lock brakes as well as driver- and passenger- side air bags.

One change we`d recommend is to put a bit more cushion into those stiff leather-covered seats, which at l ast are heated for wintertime driving.

One nice touch worth noting is that the passenger-side outside mirror tilts down when you engage reverse and start to back up. The idea is to keep you from kissing curbs or, worse, not spotting little kids who might have slipped into your blind spot. When you engage drive, the mirror shifts back into position.

In addition to the mileage, the other thing that might give you a case of the chills is the price: $53,900, up $800 since March. Add to that the $2,100 guzzler tax, $405 for freight, and top it all with sales tax and you`ve passed $56,000. The sticker will prompt some to ask, ``Isn`t the Lexus LS400 or Infiniti Q45 about $10,000 cheaper?`` The answer, of course, is ``yes.``

Standard features run the gamut from those dual air bags and four-wheel anti-lock brakes to an alarm system, air conditioning, cruise control, rear- window defogger, power windows, power mirrors, power door locks, headlamp washers/wipers, speed-sensitive power steering, trip computer, leather seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel, power sunroof, cellular phone, AM-FM Bose stereo with compact disc changer, memory seats, heated seats and front and rear fog lights.

If Audi keeps turning out cars like the 100 and V-8 Quattro sedans, people will forget about its past problems with, with, er.... Hmmm. Forgot already.

    Expert Reviews 1 of 2

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