Collectible Classic: 1990-1991 Audi 90 Quattro 20V

Sadly, those fanatical fans turned out to be few and far between on American soil. Audi wasn't able to tell us just how many 90 Quattro 20Vs it sold here, but the number might not have even broken the four-figure mark. Finding one today is difficult -- and locating a relatively unmodified example for photographs proved to be quite a challenge. Luckily, once we climbed inside twenty-year-old Janne Rapakko's pearl white metallic 20V, we remembered why we'd spent so much time looking for one.

The 90's all-business cabin is pure Germano-functional luxury, with leather and wood and an automatic climate control system sourced, oddly enough, from General Motors. The interior also contains a trio of gauges made by VDO that were common to the era's autobahn missiles, but closer inspection reveals two buttons that you've never seen in a BMW or a Mercedes: one to disengage the antilock brakes and one to lock the rear differential. Holy hairpin, Batman -- what are those doing here?

It's safe to say that the 90 20V was conceived at a time when Audi was struggling to find its identity -- the brand was still buzzing from its domination of the World Rally Championship, but it was also trying to make inroads into the luxury-car market. Of this existential struggle, there is no better example than the 90 Quattro 20V.

Four-wheel drive wasn't yet en vogue with American luxury buyers, so it's not surprising that the original owners of this 20V aren't typical American luxury-car buyers -- they're Rapakko's Finnish parents. Finns, you'll note, are a people obsessed with rally driving -- and Rapakko volunteers that he spends a lot of time playing on mountain roads in his 20V. "I'm Finnish," he says. "That's what we do."

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