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Re: V8 Engine
In a message dated 96-04-30 09:19:32 EDT, 74543.407@CompuServe.COM (Paul C.
>I always wondered where Audi developed the V8 and why it was only used in
>car with relative small production numbers.
>Then I thought of something. Did the V8 engine come from the Porsche 928? It
>would make sense to me. Anyone know?
Actually Audi's V8 has been used in three cars, all with relatively small
production numbers, although the A8 is getting up to some respectable volume
(12-15,000 per year).
The V8 was used in the original V8 quattro; it is still used in the V8
version of the S6 (not available in the U.S.); and is currently starring in
the A8 in two displacement versions - 3.7 w/230 hp and 4.2 w/420 hp.
There is no relation to the Porsche V8. You could oversimplify things and
say that the Audi V8 is two VW 16 valve four cylinders sharing a common
crankshaft. Large grains of truth to this, although it isn't really that
simple. More accurate would be to say that they share the same architecture.
And more accurate still to say that the VW four cylinder engines have their
roots in an Audi design. But that's another story.
As to why anybody would make an engine to sell only in "exotic" numbers...
Well, you have to start somewhere when you want to enter the automotive big
leagues and a lot of folks (und volks) think a premium sedan needs a V8.
Audi did try a premium sedan with a turbo 5-cylinder engine (no news to us
all), but in the automotive pecking order the 200s never made the really big
leagues. Neither die the V8 quattro, I suppose.
Sorry about the sacrilege, but - emotion aside - that's pretty much what it
boils down to when you measure things by most standards of success (sales,
profits, resale value, market acceptance...). If you think about it, it took
BMW about three tries with the 7-Series to build a winner. So, we can all
hold out hope that the A8 might be that charmed third try...