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RE: V-8 Q, what am I missing?

> What does a V-8 Q drive like?  I've personally never had the 
> chance to ride
> in one.  My wife's 89 WMB 525i is getting 
> 160k-long-in-the-tooth.  Good
> replacement for a 525i?  <(dumb question for sure)
> Likes??  Dislikes??

... as I recall you are located in the rarified atmosphere of Colorado, so
you may not be missing that much over a turbocharged quattro.  The V8
quattro was the first quattro which came with an automatic transmission, so
if that is on your requirements list it may be important.  I got a chance to
drive a V8Q when they first came out (in the USA) in 1989/90.  I thought it
was a very comfortable car, but my initial driving impression was that it
really wasn't very quick (I was and am used to driving a quattro turbo
coupe) ... then as I thought about how fast I was going and how long it took
me to get there I realized that the car was quicker than it seemed.  The car
comes with a lot of features standard, which in many cases includes a
hands-free cell phone, and my car has individual seat heat controls for the
two rear seats.  One of my favorite features of the V8Q however is the
wonderful sound of the engine.  Audi did a fantastic job (IMO of course) in
designing the intake, engine mounts and exhaust in such a way as to make the
car very smooth, and yet, when the engine is on song you can definitely get
that throaty "V8" sound ...

We have recently had a bit of discussion on the v8 list about how relatively
trouble free the V8s seem to be as compared with the other type 44s.  It is
true that the average V8 is going to be a couple years newer than the
average 5kQ, but IME my '88 5kCSQ Avant was newer than my V8Q was when I got
it.  I've had my 1991 5-speed V8Q for a bit over a year now, and the only
problem I've had to deal with was a bad reference sender, which was quite
easy for me to fix myself.  I've been very pleasantly surprised at how
easily things like air filter replacements, oil changes, OXS and even that
reference sender can be done by a DIY'er like myself.  Like the 1991 200q,
the 1990/91 models came equipped with internal caliper (AKA UFO) brakes,
which provided greater swept area than a conventional rotor and caliper for
a given wheel size, but tended to suffer with warping and expensive
components due to the small volume.  My car has UFO brakes, and I prefer
them, but this is definitely a matter of personal preference, and one thing
you'll need to understand when looking at a 90/91 V8.  Make sure you know
the history of the brakes, especially if they have been replaced with
conventional units.  One thing that I am starting to notice as an item to
beware of is the propshaft.  On the V8 the propshaft runs above the exhaust
system, and is behind a heat shield which means that it is very unlikely
that the u-joint has seen the 15K mile services.  Another thing that is
often flaky is the trip computer, which means that a lot of V8s have had
instrument panel replacements.  If someone is selling you a "low mileage"
car and asking extra $$$ because of the low mileage, have them produce
documentation to show that the car really has that low a mileage (service

In contemplating replacing a 525i with a V8, I'm sure that you would find it
a definite step up, especially so if you were talking about a 4.2 liter
equipped 1992-on model.  Given that the car seems to be afflicted more in
terms of resale values than other Audis of similar vintage, I would
definitely say that an Audi V8 quattro is one to keep on the list for a car
to keep in mind.  To be honest, I've recently been thinking of getting rid
of the 5kTQs and getting another V8 ... if they were available in the type
44 Avant body style it would have been a done deal ...

Steve Buchholz
San Jose, CA (USA)