Complete Audi V8 lineup, specs, economy, dimensions

1991 Audi V8 Long (D11) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1991 - 1994 Audi V8 SedanV8 Long (D11)2 Trims 250 to 280 Hp 1989 Audi V8 (D11) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1988 - 1994 Audi V8 SedanV8 (D11)5 Trims 245 to 280 Hp

The Audi V8 is a four-door full-size luxury sedan available from 1988 to 1993. It was built on the Volkswagen Group D1 platform, also known as the D11.

Audi V8 (D11) Design and Introduction

Originally released as Audi’s flagship model, the Audi V8 was the first vehicle from the manufacturer to feature a V8 engine. Initially, a 3.6L 32-valve V8 engine was placed under the hood, producing 247 horsepower and 252 lb ft of torque, very respectable numbers for the time period. Eventually, in 1991, a second engine option became available, which was a 4.2L V8 with 276 horsepower and 295 lb ft of torque. Both engines were available with a 4-speed automatic transmission, a first for Audi vehicles with the quattro system, but also had a 5 or 6-speed manual option. The 4.2L engine was able to achieve a 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h) time of 6.8 seconds when fitted with the manual transmission. The automatic transmission would add nearly a full second to that time, reaching 62 mph in 7.7 seconds. Once again, while these numbers might seem slow according to today’s standard, they were quite fast for a full-size sedan from that era.

Styling and Features

Taking much of the exterior styling from the Audi 100 and 200 models, the Audi V8 (also known as the Audi D11) stretched out the C3 platform to create the D1/D11 platform that the V8 rested on. It added many restyled touches, however, attempting to bring in a new look to the Audi name on its flagship model. The new bumpers, fenders, and grille were unique to the Audi V8. It also added alloy wheels in 15-inch and 17-inch options. The rack and pinion power assisted steering was standard, with a variable assisted servotronic available as an option. The Audi V8 featured ventilated disc brakes all around, with the front caliper mounted to the disc. Bosch anti-lock brakes were standard.

Available Options

The interior of the Audi V8 was outfitted with many luxurious options, including a Bose 8-speaker sterol system, heated leather seats, and walnut wood trim. Automatic climate control, an alarm system, front airbags, and electronic cruise control were all standard. For those extreme cold weather conditions, Audi offered electronically heated door lock cylinders as an option, along with a Webasto cabin heater. Sport seats with an extended support and all-around sunblinds were also available as options. An extended wheelbase option of the Audi V8 was available in 1990 and 1991, featuring the 4.2L V8 with an increased 276 horsepower and 295 lb ft of torque, providing a bit more power along with the additional rear legroom that was aimed at reaching the super-luxury market. 

Motorsport Success 

The Audi V8 was introduced to motorsport in a Group A competition for the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM) series, and received an even more powerful 414 horsepower engine, later bumped up to 456 horsepower, paired to a 6-speed manual transmission. After sweeping the podium in 1990, Audi was able to again achieve victory in 1991 before redesigning their crankshaft in 1992. Unfortunately, the new design which used a 180 degree flatplane crankshaft was deemed to be unfit for the race and the Audi A8 was withdrawn from the series.  The Audi A8 was eventually replaced by the Audi A8 as its top-tier luxury sedan, although a small hiatus occurred between the discontinuation of the V8 in 1993 and the introduction of the A8 in 1997. While the Audi A8 might not have as big of a name as other Audi vehicles, like the multi-million unit Audi 100, it was a major step for Audi toward the large luxury sedans and other vehicles. The history not only added a bit of motorsport victory to their name, but also brought in a vision for appeasing the utmost taste and highest class. That vision is clear in today’s Audi lineup with everything from the successor A8 to the incredible e-tron series of all-electric luxury cars, and even in the Q-series SUVs that host the giant engines once found in the Audi V8.