Audi Coupé GT (1980 – 1987), much more than a Quattro light, from 7,000 euros
What are collectibles?
These cars are of particular interest and therefore worth preserving. Not necessarily old, but still present in defined quantities, either because the manufacturer decided so or because their production was discontinued. Then they use characteristics that make them particularly desirable: an engine, a chassis, a design or a concept. Eventually, they will likely increase their rating. An extra argument to collect them before anyone else!
Why is the Audi Coupé GT collectible?
Symbolic of a time when Audis were still regarded as connoisseur cars, original alternatives to Mercedes and BMW, the 80 Coupé GT is valued for its excellent 5-cylinder in-line engine, also typically Audi. Light, it is nimble, especially in the 5E version equipped with fuel injection, so it is still very pleasant to drive today. Rarely in good condition, this German coupe deserves to be collected and pampered.
In the 1970s, Audi was still a young brand (if we consider the 1965 rebirth date) and rich. Many projects are developed there, sometimes without the approval of the management, as with the GT coupé. Developed from the second-generation sedan from the 1980s, the B2, it was initially designed in secret by the designer team around Hartmut Warkuss. The goal was to create a very edgy and aggressive design for a coupe that could still gracefully accommodate four passengers. This happened very quickly, in late 1976, and the car was completed in late 1980.
The Coupé 80 comes after the famous Quattro, which therefore shows the bodywork while previously designed and is characterized by a simpler mechanics. In fact, it is a simple traction engine with a longitudinal engine, in this case an in-line 5-cylinder 1.9 liter engine with carburettor developing 115 hp, in GT 5S version, the only one offered in France. In Germany there is also a GL with 1.6 l 75 hp in the catalogue. The GT in France comes standard with power steering, long-range projectors and 13-inch alloy wheels, but when it comes to power windows, you have to dig into the options. With a top speed of 183 km/h and a 0 to 100 km/h acceleration in 10.3 s, the German is relatively competitive with the Alfa Romeo GTV and the Porsche 924.
It became more ominous in 1982 when the variant GT 5E appeared with Bosch K-Jetronic injection, a 2.1 liter turbocharged 5-cylinder with 130 hp. The top speed increases to 196 km/h, while the shortened 5-series box benefits the times. 14-inch rims and ventilated front discs improve handling. The equipment includes tinted and electric windows, fog lights and central locking of the doors.
The price ? 91,950 F, currently €32,200 according to INSEE. In 1983 a slight restyling brought two headlights and the carburettor 1.9L was replaced by a fuel injected 2.0L of equal power. The range then consists of the GT5E 115 and the GT5E 130. At the end of 1984, a more obvious facelift brings shields instead of the bumpers, a slightly inclined grille, new taillights … The 2.1 L is replaced by a 2.2 L with 136 hp and can be combined with the Quattro transmission. We therefore get the Coupé GT Quattro, not to be confused with the Quattro… period.
At the end of 1986, the 80s sedan changed generations, the coupe modified its program. In France, the 4-cylinder 1.8L 112 ch (that of the Golf GTI) arrives, the 2.0L disappears and the 2.2L goes on. The coupé ended its career at the end of 1987 with more than 170,000 units produced, a nice balance sheet.
How much is it ?
The cheapest are the 1.8 l 112 hp, which can be found in very good condition from 7,000 euros. You can get a GT5 S 1.9 l for 8,500 euros and a GT5 S 2.0 l for 9,500 euros. B. for the GT5 E 130 hp or 136 hp, expect more with 12,000 euros. The rare Coupé GT Quattro costs at least 20,000 euros.
Which version to choose?
In order to fully use the possibilities of the coupe, it is better to opt for a GT 5E variant before or after the restyling.
The GT coupés in perfect original condition are all collector’s items, especially those with low mileage. However, due to its rarity and transmission, the Quattro version is the most desirable.
What to monitor
Very well made, however, the GT coupés do not escape a serious trap, namely rust, which can attack severely. Otherwise, there is not much to report: with regular maintenance, these cars cover several hundred thousand kilometers without any major problems. From about 150,000 km the valve stem seals start to leak, the timing belt has to be changed before 100,000 km. The K-Jetronic injection doesn’t like inactivity and appreciates clean filters, while the Quattro’s various differentials require regular oil changes. Electricity can get excited, but again not in an unacceptable way. In short, a car with no history when it has gone well.
On board we find the dashboard of the Audi 80 almost unchanged, with these large buttons framing the instrument cluster. They’re cut from fairly crude plastic and the overall finish doesn’t impress, but finally you have to consider what we’ve had in Renault or Alfa at the same time… Despite the non-adjustable steering wheel, we find ourselves in a very good driving position, even if headroom remains limited .
The 5-cylinder injection engine of the 1982 GT 5E inspires with its sound at the start, then with its flexibility. It revs up to a tune reminiscent of rally videos where we see the famous Quattro in full action, and that alone justifies buying the car. Attention, it delivers a nice performance, especially since the box, which is also very pleasant to handle, is very well staged.
The chassis itself is not really sporty. Suspended fairly supple, it retains more comfort than general precision, but roadholding is effective. Although the body movements are generous and the understeer kicks in quickly when driving in a sporty manner, the car is nevertheless safe and pleasant to drive: we are dealing with an authentic GT. The steering is fairly precise but a bit squishy, like most servo systems of the time. Braking is still very fair. Consumption remains within limits at around 9 l/100 km.
The youngtimer alternative
Audi 90 coupe (1988 – 1996)
As angular as the Coupé GT is, the 80s Coupé that replaces it looks as round as a pebble. The suspensions hardly change, and under the hood we find the 2.2-liter engine with 136 hp and a 2.0-liter engine with 115 hp. The Quattro transmission is of course on the program. But the 80 coupe will continue to evolve, benefiting in 1989 from a catalysed 2.3 liter engine developing 133 hp, then this block will be capped with a 20-valve cylinder head, taking the cavalry to 160 hp and then 170 hp in 1990 . At the end of 1991, a restyling intervened, the Audi was then simply called the Coupé. V6 appeared, plus a sporty S2 version with 220 hp 5-cylinder turbo, then 230 hp in 1994. In 1996 these coupés disappeared without replacement.
Audi Coupé GT 5E (1983), the technical sheet
- Engine: 5-cylinder in-line, 2144cc
- Food: injection
- Suspension: McPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar (AV); Torsion axle, coil springs, anti-roll bar (rear).
- Transmission: 5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
- Power: 130 hp at 5,900 rpm
- Torque: 171 Nm at 4,800 rpm
- Weight: 1050kg
- Top speed: 196 km/h (manufacturer information)
- 0 to 100 km/h: 9.1 seconds (manufacturer information)
For announcements of the Audi Coupé GT, visit the La Centrale website.