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Rob Griffin

The five greatest Audis of all time


There’s no shortage of fantastic German motor manufacturers but Audi has always managed to hold its own. We look at the best of the brand.

The five greatest Audis of all time

Mercedes, Porsche and BMW are among the most instantly recognisable German motors, but Audi certainly deserves to be spoken of in the same glowing terms as it has a very impressive heritage.

For more than 100 years the company has been thrilling the motoring public with stylish, well-built and beautifully engineered machines.

We take a walk back through history to pick five of the best to have worn the famous four rings.

Want to hear the sound of a supercar in high-definition? We pitted a Ferrari 458, an Aston Martin Rapide and an Audi R8 against one another in the Supercar Sound Battle.

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Audi Quattro

Audi Quattro

We’re talking the original Quattro – the one that burst onto the scene back in the 1980s after taking the world of rallying by storm. For younger readers it was also the blood-red machine given airtime in the hit time-travelling TV show, Ashes to Ashes, where it was the car of choice for DCI Gene Hunt.

The Quattro neatly falls into the category of timeless classic as its sleek lines and dramatic styling mean it doesn’t look out of place today - even though it first appeared almost 35 years ago.

As well as enjoying an enviable amount of success on the rally scene, it quickly established itself as one of the most iconic road-going cars of its generation and is still more than capable of turning heads.

Audi R8

Audi R8

Surely a contender for being the most beautiful Audi ever made. The stunning R8 is a two-seater sports car that wouldn’t look out of place alongside any supercar. 

This sleek coupé made its debut at the Paris Motor Show in 2006 and was an instant hit, while its most recent incarnation has the choice between a 430bhp V8 and a 525bhp V10. The best-performing models will take you from 0-62mph in less than four seconds, on their way to a top speed of almost 200mph. 

Unsurprisingly, getting your hands on one of these beautiful machines isn’t cheap. Prices start from £93,735 and go up to a shade under £130,000 – but if you’ve got the spare cash, an R8 is a very worthwhile addition to your garage.

Audi TT

Audi TT

It’s hard to believe that the TT was actually launched back in the late 1990s but this two-door sportster quickly gained iconic status due to its distinctive styling. Originally appearing as a concept car at the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show, it has gone on to pick up numerous accolades, including the Fifth Gear Car of the Year in 2006. 

Redesigned and freshened up, the latest version of the TT retains its instantly recognisable good looks but has just been modernized throughout. Available in both coupé and roadster versions, getting behind the wheel will cost you between £25,000 and £50,000.

Audi RS6

Audi RS6 Avant

The original RS6 was introduced in 2002 and helped bolster Audi’s growing reputation for producing performance machines. Quick, powerful and stylish, it was also the first Audi to be equipped with DRC, standing for Dynamic Ride Control, which meant decent handling. 

The years may have passed but the RS6 Avant name lives on and the latest version has been given an impressive nine out of 10 by Top Gear, which branded it "laugh-out-loud fun that's practical, too". As stunning inside as it is on the out, this car is worth every penny of the £75,000 or so you’ll need to get bragging rights over your neighbours.

Audi A8

Audi A8

In Audi’s illustrious history a number of cars stand out as particular milestones. The A8 does so because it was living proof the manufacturer could put together a decent luxury saloon that could be spoken about in the same breath as a Mercedes or Jaguar.

Smooth and stylish, the eye-catching four-door A8 arrived on the scene in the early 1990s. Particularly of note was the fact it was the world’s first aluminium-bodied production car. 

The latest machine to carry the A8 name carries on the innovative feel of its predecessors with plenty of gadgets and luxury. Depending on the model chosen, the price varies from £50,000 to £95,000.


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