QOTD: Graceful Nineties Aging From Places European?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

In a QOTD post last week, we walked down Nineties memory lane. The topics of discussion were the vehicle designs we still found stylish in The Current Year. In that post, conversation was restricted to domestic brand offerings.

Today, we go foreign.

And by foreign, we mean Europe. Let’s hear your selections for gracefully aging Nineties rides from across the sea.

Today’s rules are three in number, just like last time:

  1. All selections must be model years 1990 to 1999.
  2. Picks must be from a European manufacturer, even if sourced from an import (eg. Triumph Acclaim).
  3. Any body style is eligible except for trucks.

My selection today has a personal element to it, as I once owned one of these beauties. It wasn’t too hard on my wallet, but my ownership tenure was not that long — and it wasn’t driven that far.

It’s the D2 Audi A8. Hitting European dealer lots in 1994, the new A8 was the flagship sedan replacement for the dated and unsuccessful (and fragile) V8 Quattro. The A8 started development in 1982, when Audi inked a deal with Alcoa to develop a lightweight chassis with a standard four-wheel drive system. The automaker finalized the A8’s design in 1990, just two years after the V8 Quattro’s debut. Everything else was ready by 1993, and the Audi Space Frame Concept debuted at Frankfurt. Audi initially restricted sales to the European market, meaning the brand went without a large sedan in North America for the ’94 through ’96 model years.

A refresh for 2000 carried the D2 A8 through its final four model years, where it offered short- and long-wheelbase models, engines of 6, 8, or 12 cylinders (an Audi first), and a very sporty S8 version as featured in the superb action film Ronin. Your author’s ride was a 2000 model A8L, equipped with the only North American engine offering: a 310-horsepower 4.2-liter V8. It was Melange Metallic (premium beige).

The A8 has aged wonderfully over the years — it’s a strong contender for graceful Nineties design. Let’s hear your Euro selections.

[Images: Audi]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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  • Featherston Featherston on May 09, 2019

    It's not actually my favorite, but I'll nominate the Mk VII Mini if only to point out, "Holy cr@p! The original Mini was in production through the 2000 model year!"

  • Celebrity208 Celebrity208 on May 10, 2019

    1995-1999 Buick Riviera. I still want one. Cool fact: A custom coach builder in FL built 15+ convertible Rivieras. They look amazing!

  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys dudes off the rails on drugs and full of hate and retribution. so is musky.
  • Big Al from Oz Musk and Trump are of the same ilk, except Musk's IQ is a damn site higher than Trumps. Musk like Trump is only into himself. Musk doesn't care about Trump only Musk. Musk sees more dollars if Trump wins.Hey, I'm Big Al again!3
  • Rover Sig We have a car with two fake exhausts in the bumper, but a large shiny muffler visible hanging down on one side, not aligned with the fake exhaust exits. Horrendous. I had to paint the shiny muffler with high-temp black paint to make it less visible. Exhaust pipes were meant to be round and hang below the bumper, and they can be made quiet or loud as the engineers like. But fake exhausts rank down there with fake intake vents on the side of that old Buick.
  • EBFlex Of course it does. What a silly question
  • Buickman Elon is a phony.
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