The history of racing cars is long and multi-faceted, with both flops and supercars sitting alongside one another down the long road of the past. When you think about the legends, certain cars will jump to the forefront of your mind. Cars like the Audi R8 LMS for example. But what about the Audi 90 quattro® IMSA GTO of 1989? Though lost in the sleek lines of modern day racing, this classic IMSA car still embodies the spirit of classic racing in a way most modern cars just can’t today.
With an all-new tubular steel spaceframe and a 2.2-litre five-cylinder that achieved around 720bhp, the 90 quattro® IMSA GTO was not a car to be messed with. The styling was bold and brilliant, and the only thing carried over from the on-the-road 90 was the roof; it almost resembled a shoebox, but in the best way possible.
A lot of effort went into the aerodynamics, with wind tunnel exertion utilised on the front air dam and overlarge rear wing. The suspension was something to be reckoned with, using double wishbones and coil springs, with ventilated discs all-round.
The 90 quattro® IMSA GTO’s brief year-long term only adds to its legendary status; winning seven of the IMSA series’ 13 races with a team that included Trans-Am champion Hurley Haywood and 6ft 4” Hans-Joachim Stuck.
Stuck and Haywood went on to score a one-two at Summit Point, West Virginia, in May 1989, with Stuck continuing his winning streak through to Mid-Ohio, Topeka, at Sears Point, at Watkins Glen, Lime Rock, and at Laguna Seca. Finishing third overall, Audi finished as a runner-up in the constructors’ championship. The only regret is that the 90 missed racing at Daytona and Sebring, where it would surely have won both championships.
The Audi 90 quattro® IMSA GTO certainly deserves its place among legendary racing cars, and equally earns the title of one of the coolest ever built. Take a look at the evolution of the legendary quattro® engine, or book a test drive in the new Audi A4 allroad quattro® to experience the thrill for yourself.