A time capsule to the 1980s.
One of the most iconic Audis ever built was a product of the 1980s. The Audi Quattro, launched for 1980, has since become an icon and a highly sought after collectible. Needless to say, they typically go for serious bank. But what not everyone realizes is that this AWD rally turbocharged legend had a less expensive sibling that premiered at the same time. The Audi Coupe GT was and still remains, a less expensive, front-wheel-drive alternative. It also lacks a turbocharger.
The Audi Coupe GT was first shown in Paris in 1980 sporting a design similar to that of the Quattro, only water-downed, styled by none other than Giorgetto Giugiaro. Although it's officially called a coupe, its body style is really a three-door hatchback, which was never popular in the US. Hatchbacks, including five-doors, never were. But the Audi Coupe GT has aged incredibly well. Its angled lines are simple and inoffensive. While the 80s had some questionable automotive designs, this Audi, as well as the Quattro, remain a couple of standouts. Under the hood is something quite familiar, a five-cylinder engine.
Although some Coupes were offered with inline-fours, such as the 1.8-liter unit from the Volkswagen Golf GTI, it was the five-pot that was most desirable. In North America, the Coupe GT was offered with fuel-injected five cylinders of slightly different sizes, but it was in its final model year in 1988 when the 2.3-liter version was sold with a total of 130 horsepower. When the Coupe GT first hit the market in the US it came with a 2.1-liter five-pot with a mere 100 hp. Model year 1984 also brought a facelift that focused on a new radiator grille and headlights. There was even an optional large rear spoiler direct from the Audi Quattro.
The interior also received a new dashboard. Also that year, Audi introduced optional AWD because why the heck not? The platform was already engineered for it and the Quattro obviously generated enough publicity, so why not enhance its slightly underachieving sibling? Those who preferred FWD could still have it. Buyers could also choose from either a manual or automatic transmission.
Unfortunately, both the Coupe GT and Quattro's time was up in 1988 and 1991, respectively. The replacement was the Audi 80, which later morphed into the A4 and A5. But if you're in the market for an Audi Coupe GT or, perhaps, want a Quattro but can't afford the steep price tag, then you're in luck.
We found this 1986 Audi Coupe GT for sale on Craigslist in Los Angeles for only $3,900. It's priced to sell. Perhaps its only real drawback is that it has an automatic, which is one of the reasons why its owner is selling. The current owner has had it only since last November. They even reached out to Audi North America and was informed only 803 Coupe GTs were brought to the US in '86. Just 185 were silver like this one. In general, the car still runs very well thanks to regular maintenance and some basic repairs.
However, there are a few "quirks," like the odometer doesn't work. Seriously. The seller estimates the car has between 95,000 and 100,000 miles. The power mirrors also don't work and even flop back and forth at high speed. The tachometer works about 70 percent of the time. On the plus side, the sale includes original manuals and even a brochure. If you've ever wanted an old school but honest, German-built and engineered, Italian-designed sports coupe with rally roots, then look no further. This one is a real catch.