Audi 90 Quattro IMSA GTO: One of Top Gear’s coolest race cars


When you think of Audi race cars, the first one to come to mind is likely the current Audi R18 that’s been dominating Endurance Racing recently. But one of the best race cars Audi ever produced, which gave the Ingolstadt brand one of its best racing seasons ever, was the Audi 90 Quattro IMSA GTO which dominated the US IMSA racing series in 1989.

Back in the late ’80s, Audi was quite a niche brand and wasn’t very mainstream in the US. In fact, Audi was facing its unintended-acceleration crisis and many US customers had a lot of distrust for the four-ringed brand. But Audi shocked the entire country with its Audi 90 Quattro race car, as if crushed the competition.


The Audi 90 Quattro GTO was a Silhouette Race car, meaning that it was actually a bespoke race car with a body that looks similar to an Audi 90 and wasn’t actually based on one. On the roof was actually pulled from an Audi 90. The Audi 90 Quattro GTO used a 20-valve 2.2 liter turbocharged inline five-cylinder engine that developed a monstrous 720 hp thanks to a massive KKK turbocharger. It had carbon composite materials throughout the body and had Quattro al-wheel drive with a Torsen differential.


Behind the wheel of the Audi 90 Quattro GTO were Hans-Joachim Stuck and Hurley Haywood who won seven of the 13 races entered. “When we came to the States with this car,” Stuck said, recalling the mighty Audi 90 racer.  “nobody can believe what we can achieve… small engine, five cylinder, it’s a German saloon car! We could use a later braking point, and practically any line we wanted [on the circuit]. When I cross the finish line, I started yodelling!”

While we think of the incredible Le Mans-winning race cars from Audi today, it was actually the Audi 90 Quattro IMSA GTO that was one of the coolest race cars in the brand’s history.

  • Beelzaboot teriaksun

    I love this car.

    The closest I got to seeing and driving one was in Forza Motorsport, lol.
    (at least in the game – the car feels solid and light on it’s feet. Good handling, good grip)

    Looking at pictures and videos I can only try and imagine what this car could do in real life.

    Thanks for writing an article about this. It’s a legend and it deserves it 😀

  • Thanks for reading, but Top Gear wrote about it first 🙂

    Also, no shame in Forza. It’s the only way anyone will be able to drive these sort of cars.

  • Beelzaboot teriaksun

    I bet many people wrote about it “first” , but this was refreshing 😀 I don’t read Top Gear, I read quattrodaily

  • Beelzaboot teriaksun

    also expect some 90 IMSA GTO screenshots from me xD

  • Thanks. We appreciate that. And send some screenshots 🙂

  • Beelzaboot teriaksun

    I uploaded the content in more than one places.
    I cannot find where to send you a PM, so here goes :

    HD pics :

    a short driving video (youtube compressed it badly ) :

    Bonus – 2016 Audi R8 V10 plus album ( and many other cars, but I do love my Audis :D) :

    Everything in the links is my own content, so no problem sharing it further. Enjoy 😀

  • Cool stuff. Thanks for sharing 🙂