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Re: Why They Didn't Build the Avus

You Wrote:

> The W12 would actually have been only a small part of the cost,
> speaking. 

Still, added cost is added cost and a turbo V8 or something on that line
would have been cheaper than developing the W12. Any new engine
developement can be expensive, especially for low volume production. This
is why Chrysler went with an existing powerplant for the Viper. The Dodge
Ram V10 became quite a fire breather with an alloy block.

> There is absolutely no financially sound chance that the AVUS
> could have been built at a price anywhere near the $65,000 point. That
> is off by a factor of ten, at least, even without the W12 development
> investment

I'm not saying you are wrong, but why is that exactly. The A8 was developed
and is sold (albeit at a loss) for $65K. Why then would it not be logical
that the Avus would have been atleast similar and under $100K. Lesser
volume I understand, but not if the price is right. Looking at it now it
would be even cheaper to develope. Technology is further develped, aluminum
suspension pieces could be taken from the parts bin and existing suppliers.
Heck, the main developement cost, pirating parts fromt the A/S8 would be
the frame itself. I just don't see why the cost would be that much more if
you use the same basic Avus visual design, and pirate parts from the
partsbin instead of developing a new W-12 or other parts that would be only
used on the Avus thus moving the price into the stratosphere.

>  Given the very limited market for exotics, the basic cost of
> vehicle development would have put the price at around one million
> if Audi was to make any attempt at cost recovery.  And without some kind
> exotic engine to complement the package, why bother?

My theory here on the engine is on a sub $100K car. I think it could sell
at that price with an S8 power plant. Now imagine a Squential shifter
developed from the Touring Car program as an option on this Avus as well as
on the S4, S6 and S8. BMW does it in europe.  
> People might argue that it should have been done as an "image car,"
> regardless of cost.  

I am not one of those people (regardless of cost), but an image car can do
wonders for a company. Look at Chrysler and Acura.

> You have
> to add to that the fact that the economy in Germany in 1991, and Audi's
> financial situation then, was declining.  Which CEO do you think would
> the gall to sign up for a huge financial risk at a time when the whole
> industry, and his own company, was in the toilet?


> As to the "people" on the VWAG board with Porsche blood, there's only one
> today; Dr. Piech.  And he wasn't on the VWAG board when the AVUS was
> shown.

Let me restate. Porsches and Piechs own quite a bit of VW AG stock and have
some say if what I've heard is true. In most of the auto mags that I read
about the decision to drop the Avus and Spyder projects, that reason was
given. Also Piech was not President at the time, he just ran Audi which is
power enough to nix the project.
	There are plenty of reasons not to have built the car at the time, but
today it seems to be alot more feasible, and I think we can both agree that
the Avus was timeless enough that it could look state of the art today.