1997 Audi A8 Coupe conceptEnlarge Photo
This is another story of "what could have been."
Audi had plans to chase down the large, luxury coupe segment near the end of the last century, and its attempt was what you see here. This is the only Audi A8 coupe in existence, and yes it's real.
The coupe was a project between Audi and IVM Automotive, based in Munich, Germany, and it made its official debut at the 1997 Frankfurt auto show. It featured unique body panels distinct from the A8 sedan and also lacked a B-pillar, which aided in its imposing, yet elegant stance. Twenty years later, we look at it and certainly see something collectors and enthusiasts would be hunting down should it have entered production.
Alas, it never did enter production. The excitement at Audi quickly fizzled out as it saw BMW put the failed 8-Series to rest. In fact, the consumer base, in general, was beginning to move away from coupes and more into sedans and the nascent SUV segment. According to Motor1, the coupe does still exist, and it remains in the hands of IVM which was mostly responsible for the project.
Times have certainly changed, however. Mercedes-Benz is racking up sale after sale with its various S-Class variants, which include both coupe and convertible variants, and BMW is indeed resurrecting the 8-Series as its new flagship. The A8 has long served as the brand's challenger to other German flagships, but maybe there are grander plans for a coupe in the future.