QOTD: Graceful Nineties Aging From Places European?

qotd graceful nineties aging from places european

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]

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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!

  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. The idea of a self-driving vehicle has commercial appeal. But at this point, consumers aren't willing to pay to put their lives in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.
  • Inside Looking Out Why not buy Bronco and call it Defender? Who will notice?
  • Sobro My 2012 Yukon had only the passenger side ignitor recalled. Makes me wonder what penny pinching GM did for the driver's airbag.