When it comes to sports cars, what comes to mind, generally, is two doors, a manual transmission and an engine up front sending power to the rear wheels. And if we’re talking ’80s sports cars, the BMW E30 M3 is most assuredly the poster child. Impeccable handling, crisp design and a lively engine made it an immediate hit. As a result, it’s one of the most sought-after cars of the era, and thus, comes with rising asking prices. And while the Bimmer is more than deserving of the title, the Audi Quattro coupe that came before it is more capable, more advanced and when it’s murdered out like this one, it’s the best alternative.
Not only did the Quattro coupe precede the M3 by a couple years, it came with a first of its kind AWD system with manually-adjustable locking front and rear differentials — Subaru STI and Focus RS fans owe everything to this car. The car’s lineage is, at the same time, both responsible for AWD being banned in sports car racing but also the reason it’s the industry standard in rally racing. To say the Quattro can handle a corner or two is an understatement.
This murdered out Quattro isn’t modded to hell and back, but it’s still sitting in an acceptable price range for what it is. It might have a larger-capacity radiator, aftermarket wheels, an upgraded stereo system, and Euro-market headlamps and bumpers, but those aren’t the type of DIY additions to cause concern. Other than that, this Audi is relatively stock, with 2.1-liter in-line five shifting around the classic origami like body work with around 200 horsepower. E30 M3s that are this close to original can flirt with $40,000 or more. And if you’re in the market for an early ’80s sports car and that sort of cash is out of your price range, the AWD counterpart from Ingolstadt.
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