Re: A-Z of cars
Though I'm no judge I'd like to voice a different opinion regarding two entries.
I believe the Audi S8 (first generation, or D2, according to wikipedia) should be the ultimate Audi. The Quattro Coupé and TT might be more famous and the R8 more glamorous; the A2 is probably the best car Ingolstadt's ever produced, but it's lack of success proves that successful Audi's mustn't be too radial; seant's S6 also does tick a lot of same boxes as the S8, but I believe, all things considered, that it just simply incorporates more proper Audi trademarks than the others. It's a sporty Quattro car with an aluminium body and the engine in front of the front axle - all classical components of Audi's genealogy, even if they've moved the engine a few centimetres since.
The other car's don't epitomise Audi quite as well for different reasons: the Quattro Coupé is too rare (we're after all talking about a big volume producer here), the TT's engineering is too unimpressive and the R8 is, if we're being honest, basically a Lamborghini with a smaller profit margin and a slightly wider range of abilities.
I actually prefer the next-generation A8 - which I consider maybe the best piece of styling Audi's ever come up with - but it was this car that played the bigger role historically, for it showed the world that the four rings could at least challenge the automotive upper class, even if they still fell short in some regards. And then, of course, there's Ronin...
My second argument concerns the Lancia Stratos, which is undoubtedly an iconic car, but hardly stands for the core of Lancia. I'm aware the company/brand has gone through marked changes time and again over the years, but the Stratos seems a bit too much of a solitaire to stand for the whole of Lancia. Dyed-in-the-wool Lancianisti might come up with something more poignant, but I would - once again - advocate a saloon car, the Flaminia. Not only was it a very elegant car that made Mercedes' output at the time look provincial, but it was technologically extremely advanced, as well. I believe the Flaminia stands for Lancia at their very best, before too many conflicting factors, some of them outside, some of them caused within the company, caused Lancia to compromise.