28 April 2020 · Dennis Schmidt

Livery History: Audi (Part II)

In the second part of this series we're going to look back at the liveries Audi has run during the era of super touring cars in the 1990 and its brief appearance in the United States prior to that.
If you've missed part one about the Auto Union and World Rally Championship periods as well as the three year stint at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, you can find the link below.


The Switch to Circuit Racing (1988 – 1990)

In 1988, Audi waved goodbye to rallying and went across the pond to try out circuit racing in the 1988 SCCA Escort Trans-Am Championship. The livery they raced on the Audi 200 quattro was essentially an evolution of the 1981 WRC livery, except that the diagonal stripes went all the way down to the lower edge of the chassis.
After winning their debut season in the Trans-Am series, Audi moved their chips to the IMSA GT Championship for 1989 with the Audi 90 quattro. The livery remained unchanged and the team with Hans-Joachim Stuck at the wheel won seven out of the 15 races the GTO class has participated in.

© Audi AG
© Audi AG

The Start of the Supertouring Era (1990 – 1991)

After two years in the United States, Audi came back to Europe in 1990 and started their successful touring car programm that would last until 1999. For their inaugural DTM season, the livery remained the same as it has already been in the Trans-Am and IMSA GT series. Audi was yet again incredibly successful from the get-go, winning its debut season in the championship with retained driver Hans-Joachim Stuck. In fact, they became the first to defend manufacturer to defend their DTM title in 1991.

© Audi AG

First Livery Change (1992)

1992 saw Audi's first significant livery change. Overall, the design was much simpler and uncluttered, also due to the improved alignment of sponsor decals.

The base colour returned to the traditional German silver of Auto Union. Gone was the tricolour and introduced were plain red elements on the bonnet and the bottom sides of the car – the latter very much following the shape of the Pikes Peak livery.

1992 saw Audi's first significant livery change. Overall, the design was much simpler and uncluttered, also due to the improved alignment of sponsor decals.

© Audi AG

The unraced 1993 DTM prototype Audi 80 B4.
MPW57 / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)

Out and About in Europe (1993 – 1994)

Due to political conflicts, Audi moved the 80 quattro to the French Supertouring Championship for 1993, thereby also changing their livery. The addition of Pioneer as sponsor meant the introduction of diagonal blue stripes across the front fenders of the car with red counterparts on the rear fenders. Of course, Audi won the championship that year.

© Audi AG

The version raced in the 1994 Italian Superturismo Championship also included the same element in green colour at the front of the car, much like in the 1993 French series.


In 1994, Audi also moved into the new Super Tourenwagen Cup – which was in a way a DTM breakaway series. For the inaugural year, they ran basically the same liveries they did in France and Italy but without the blue or green bits respectively at the front of the car. Instead, that part was kept in plain silver without additional design elements.

© Audi AG

For 1995, Audi introduced the A4 quattro and yet again changed their livery. This time, they removed all elements from the livery and only kept a huge diagonally applied flat red Audi logo on a silver base. That's it – no more design elements, only some more sponsor decals in red colour.

The blank silver livery was introduced in 1995 and kept consistently all the way through to 1999. In this design, Audi competed in virtually every touring car series around Europe, most prominently the BTCC and STW.

© Audi AG

Coming up: Le Mans

In part three of this series, we'll look into Audi's 18 year long stint at the 24 hours of Le Mans.

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About the author

Dennis Schmidt is a graphic and UI/UX designer as well as motor racing enthusiast from Hamburg, Germany.