1991 Audi V8 Quattro DTM race car up for auction

By automotive-mag.com 3 Min Read

Audi’s conquests of the World Rally Championship (WRC) and 24 Hours of Le Mans rank among the automaker’s most prominent racing achievements, but this Audi race car, set to be auctioned off by RM Sotheby’s, hails from a different corner of the racing world.

One of the featured lots at a Monaco auction scheduled for May 10, this 1991 Audi V8 Quattro was part of the automaker’s assault on the German DTM touring car series in the early 1990s, following the winding down of its IMSA racing program in the U.S.

At the time, DTM was dominated by rival German automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Audi hoped to break in not with a small, nimble car like the E30 BMW M3 or Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evo II being raced by its rivals at the time, but with a rather large V8 sedan—a predecessor to today’s Audi A8.

As the name states, though, the Audi boasted a V-8 engine—in this case a 3.6-liter unit—as well the Quattro all-wheel-drive system that had proven so effective in WRC and IMSA competition. Audi also brought in 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Hans-Joachim Stuck as a driver for its initial single-car effort in 1990—and won the championship that year.

1991 Audi V8 Quattro DTM race car (image via RM Sotheby’s)

The Audi DTM program expanded for 1991 to four cars across two works teams. The V8 Quattro was also updated with a new front splitter and adjustable height rear wing, while output was boosted to around 500 hp. Frank Biela won the championship for Audi that year, but the 1992 season was such a disaster that Audi withdrew partway through.

The car up for auction—chassis number LN000049—debuted in the 1991 season opener at Zolder. It was driven by Stuck and Hubert Haupt that season, and was also used in 1992. It was kept by Audi until 2014, when Haupt bought it and had it restored with a 4.2-liter engine. It’s been used “minimally” since completion of the work, according to RM Sotheby’s, which expects the car to sell for between 750,000 and 1 million euros, equivalent to roughly $800,000 to $1 million at current exchange rates.

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