Q5 Not the First Audi to Be Used as Porsche Test Mule. 928 Mules Were Bertone Designed C1 Coupe S
The Q5-bodied Cajun mule rounding the Nurburgring this week reminded us of less-known fact about the Porsche 928. Early drivetrain mules of that front-engined V8 GT were fitted with bodies of the C1 Audi Coupe 100 S styled by Bertone and the same slope back design which the Audi Design Team found inspiration for the A7.
While the Coupe 100 wasn't a muscle car by any stretch, its classic lines paired well with the V8 drivetrain. Our very good friend (and 100 Coupe aficionado) Theodosios Mavroudis who himself owns an I5 turbocharged, quattro converted Coupe 100 S in Greece turned us on to this little known car. Photos like the above can be found in the book Project 928 though most everything else we've heard from Theo.
Word is several had been built using the Audi body though not all were the same. Some featured wide wheel arches to cope with the 928's wider track. Others were widened in the middle complete with custom glass to account for the widening. Some may have even had air-conditioning and been surprisingly buttoned down for 70s era test mules.
We continue to try to chase down this story and have heard rumors of cars still existing, like one that may be in a private collector's hands in Florida. The last time we were in Stuttgart though we talked our way up to the Porsche Archives and found a very nice Porsche historian who spent time with us. He knew of none of the cars remaining in existence though also pointed us to the book Project 928 that was also in their library. Here's a quick bit of what it says.
What is a #4FACT?V3 (Audi 100 Coupe) became the first vehicle to test the complete drive line unit in September 1973, using the platform and front section with altered wheel housings and suspension location. This car was stretched to the necessary overall width by bulging fender extensions and taken on two major African tests as well as a Mont Ventoux mountain experiment. At the beginning of 1975 it was converted to automatic gearbox.
V4 (Audi 100 Coupe) didn't receive wider fenders. Instead it was cut down the middle and widened overall by 4.3 inches. This vehicle had the entire 928 platform, the five-liter K-Jetronic engine and transaxle with manual gearbox. It was used in chassis and engine tests from July of 1974 on.
V5 (Audi 100 Coupe) corresponded in technical basics to V4 and as of the end of 1974 was used in chassis experiments, fitted with the ultimate rear axle although it did not yet have the control link, Munga was a bare chassis created in November 1973 and used for engine experiments. It was given the name of Germany's army jeep in deference to its off-road looks. This airy vehicle was really only driveable to a limited extent but testers enjoyed it tremendously around the Weissach grounds, It had a five-liter carburetor engine and transaxle with racing gearbox from the 908.03. Next came those actual 928 prototypes which carried through the test program, beginning in 1974, 928 K 1 (from January 1974) was the first of all 928...
When we review our note pads following press events, we here at Fourtitude have found that there are a lot of cool facts that often get buried in a story we've written or may not get past the note pad with the exception of a Cliff Clavenesque little known fact mentioned by a staffer (probably me) over a Mocha Grande at a Cars & Coffee event or the like.
Given it'd be a shame to lose this information and given how perfectly these short bits of data especially pair with Facebook and Twitter, we've decided to add the quick #4FACT to our news blog repertoire. Don't expect long-drawn out write ups under these headings... just a sentence or two and just the facts.