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Re: If it WASN'T a quattro...
Thought I'd de-lurk to put in my two Audi's worth on this fascinating
As I have two 88 90's, one Q, one not, I get to ponder this question
daily. The short answer is:
If I had to do it all over again and the Q wasn't an option, I would
still by my front wheeler 90. At the time (coming up on 4 years with
it), I could have bought any number of Japanese sedans- the
Maximaccordamrys- and got an older car with many fewer options. Having
driven my fun little GTI for four years, I knew that a German car was
just the trick. For 7k at a dealership I purchased an education in
mechanics and endurance. Where else do you get leather, power, ABS,
heated mirrors, powered sunroof, etc. etc. for 7k? You don't! Compare
the price of a 91 200Q to a 92 Civic sometime...
To compare the two, one should address the categories that have been
Status (we're all a little narcicistic with our Audis, are we not?)
I still love to look at my non-Q 90; it's modern and unique. The best
angle is from an elevated, rear-oriented side view. Yes. The first
time it looked old was last September when I saw that first A4 at the
dealership. As an aside, the A4 was front to back with a new M3...
Shame on me, but I thought the A4 looked better. I'm very critical of
automotive design, and consider the 3 series in the top 5 designs.
Guess where the A4 and S6 fall...
The Q, however, looks better. The wing cleans up the back end, the BBS
rs wheels are growing on me, and the Tornado Red.... oh, when it's
clean! I bought it for my wife in June and everyone thought it was a
new car. :^)
300 Pounds of drivetrain slows ya down. Yup. With another 30 or so HP
(20v, anyone?) it would be zippy. But it ain't fast.
The Non-Q IS zippy, and likes to run to the redline, even with 196k on
the clock. 3rd is a fun gear. Highways are fun. Not FAST, but zippy
enough. Yes, 30 hp would really be fun with the non-Q
I'm sorry, but I will complain further here. These I5's should have,
non-aspirated, at least 150 hp and torque. They just need a *little
bit* more. The gears are long enough and the engine is usable over the
rpm range, but ooh, a little more... My short runs with 90 Coupe
Quattros- 20v, left me with mixed emotions. Yup, they're faster, better
looking, rare, (should I go on?) but there's *nuthin*, especially in
Denver's thin air, below 3500 rpm. Out of one and into my 10v and the
10v feels more responsive, until the cams come on. FWIW, one can
double-clutch the 10v into 3rd at about 55-60 and enjoy engine-blowing
pull and performance...
Ya know, the non-Q has great balance, little roll, and is great in high
speed corners. It is a car that handles quite well. But use its
zippiness out of a corner and you know it's front-wheel drive.
The Q. Well, you all know what the Q is like, wet or dry. I'll sum up
this one by saying that I hope I never buy a non-Q again!
I'm one of those pompous jerks that says things like "Out of the way,
fools, an Audi is coming!" I enjoy driving and these cars are meant for
driving. The Non-Q has put a smug look on my face for four years, and I
still scoff at those driving high end japanese (Lexus? Acura?) when
they could own such a fine car for a third the cost. Of course, I make
up the difference in sacrifices to the Audi gods...
The only time I feel low is when I pull up next to another fine Audi and
I'm not in the Q. I feel like I'm a Q wanna-be. God, I need help.
The Q makes it fun to simply leave a stoplight. You FEEL the quattro
driveline. I love that.
Well, the horse has been beaten.
Oh, btw, My wife tripped 100k miles on the Q today. I should pass 200k
miles on my non-Q in another month.
All I worry about is the damned suspension bushings and all the wiring.
The engine, clutch, body and exhaust are permanent. I like these cars!
Dennis M. Ruffing, Altia, Inc.
~~~~~ Put a smile on your face. Drive a Quattro. ~~~~~