As cars get more and more technologically advanced each year, there’s one thing that seems to have some staying power. The hubcap.
All posts in Audi
Maybe you’re lucky, and it’s sunny and warm where you’re reading this. Or, perhaps you’re stuck under a rock – or in the case of Buffalo, several feet of snow. But like it or not, winter is upon us a bit early this year, and if you are in Buffalo you probably need some sort of snow-cat to get to the local store. Hopefully, that’s not the case for most of you but I wondered what sort of all-wheel drive car you could get on a $10,000 budget. As it turns out, you might be able to get a little more than you expected – so here’s a few offerings from the different manufacturers, starting with the folks that started it all:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Audi A4 3.0 quattro on eBay
Yesterday’s C5 S6 Avant was a great reminder of what we’ve recently lost from Audi – the fast wagon. But try as they might, even Audi themselves don’t seem to have managed to capture the magic and legendary reliability coupled with tuning potential of the original C4 S4 and S6 Avants. While we didn’t get the S4 Avant or the hotter out of the box V8 6-speed versions in the U.S., we did get the the fantastic turbocharged inline-5 mated to the 1995 Audi S6 in Avant form. A handful of these cars were imported to the U.S. originally, and most have been heavily used or thoroughly modified; few remain in clean, original condition with lower miles. They do pop up time to time, but today isn’t one of them. That’s because today’s Avant has been thoroughly upgraded and turned up thanks to 2Bennett Audimotive in California:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi S6 Avant on Audifans
Recently I’ve several times bemoaned the death of the fast Audi Avant on U.S. shores; one of the culprits that helped to hasten that demise was unfortunately this car. It’s not really that it’s consumer’s fault that this occurred; after all, Audi did offer a manual, twin turbocharged fast version of the Allroad alongside the S6 that made the lack of inclusion of a manual an odd choice. Plus, out of the box, the Allroad arguably had more bling with the air suspension and nifty color contrasting trim that was all the rage amongst wagon manufacturers in the late 90s/early 2000s. We’ll blame Volvo for starting that popular trend, though. Regardless, the Allroad was substantially more successful in regards to market share than the S6 Avant; no surprise, then, that it was killed off to the U.S. market after a shockingly short run with not many sold. A decade on, though, the S6 offers a rare opportunity to get into a fast Audi wagon on a budget. Many of the pitfalls of the Allroad and other period Audi wagons didn’t appear in the S6; the neat but fragile air suspension was replaced by steel springs, and unlike the Allroad and A6 4.2s, the engine in the S6 was a cambelt driven V8. Long term, they’ve proven to be more reliable than the rest of the 2000s Audi V8s that have chains instead. The S6 got some unique features too, such as the grill, 8″ wheels and door blades that gave it a slightly more stately and classic appearance than the rest of the A6 lineup. The result is that you can grab one of these fast and unappreciated Audis for a song today:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S6 Avant on eBay
I’ve always pondered how the Audi Coupe GT compared to the more popular Volkswagen Scirocco. For the past 17 years, I’ve owned one GT or another and obviously I’m a big fan; I think they’re massively underrated compared to many of their contemporaries. The Scirocco, similarly, seems to be the odd-man out in the Volkswagen lineup; yes, it has tons of fans, but most of the attention over the past few years has concentrated on the rapidly appreciating Corrado SLC models and earlier Giugiaro-designed first generation Scirocco. Of course, in appreciation of both seems to pale in comparison to the highly sought and much more common E30 BMWs, but in their own way each offers a unique alternative. In the Scirocco’s positive column is a slick design that’s low and lean; 16V models got the great motor coupled with 4-wheel discs and some cool teardrop alloys and a nice bodykit. In the GT’s positive column is a much more refined and polished package, capable of carrying 4 in comfort with it’s more upright sedan-based stature. The drivetrain is a wash; the Audi has more torque and horsepower from its inline-5, but then weighs a bit more than the Scirocco too. But mid-corner balance has to go to the Audi, plus the equal-length drive shafts eliminate the typical torque-steer prone FWD problems and the Audi feels more neutral on the fly than the Scirocco. The best of the bunch are the last run “1987.5” GTs with 4-wheel discs and the upgraded 2.3 engine with more torque and horsepower. Plus, the Audi has the better WRC soundtrack – at least, in my mind. While today I don’t have a 16V Scirocco v. 87.5 GT comparison that I think would be very interesting, I nevertheless have an interesting comparison – a later Scirocco that’s quite clean compared to an earlier GT that shared some of the traits of the Scirocco. Which is the winner?