While in the U.S. the S6 Avant got all of the Audi accolades in 1995, in Europe several fast Audi wagons had been offered for some time. First of the new 20 valve turbo generation was the 200 Avant, just like in the U.S.; after that, though, the lines diverged. With the start of the C4, Audi offered the S4 in two configurations, sedan which was shared with the U.S. market, and Avant form which never came here. Additionally, there were two engine configurations; you could also get the 4.2 V8 and a 6-speed manual in your S4. When it came to the renamed S6, Audi upped those options with the addition of an automatic and the hotter “S6 Plus” version of the V8 wagon. But there was also another wagon available; the B4 based S2 Avant. The S2 came in three variants; the Coupe which many are familiar with, the quite rare sedan version, and the slightly less familiar Avant which didn’t come to the U.S.. I say slightly less familiar, because the S2 Avant was the notable base for one of the greatest wagons the world has ever seen – the iconic Porsche-built RS2. The RS2 was a fitting replacement for the equally iconic Sport Quattro, but the RS2 offered better road manners, more versatility and if anything was a bit quicker overall. It should be no surprise that, like the Sport Quattro, the limited run RS2 spawned a series of imitators who mimicked everything from the motor to the outside styling:
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Yesterday saw an interesting comparison in racing; in F1, Mercedes-Benz once again dominated the field with seeming ease, dictating the pace and watching the strategy of its competitors from Maranello. While truth told my focus remained squarely on the Formula 1 race, there were several other popular race series running concurrently; both wildly popular Moto GP and World Endurance Championship races were contested as well. Notably, Audi won the WEC Silverstone 6-hour contest, continuing its quite remarkable run in endurance series amidst rumors that they could be heading to Formula 1. The question posed by me in my conclusion to the investigation of the Silver Arrows period is simply if the racing was necessary? There were other options in terms of racing for both companies to explore, and indeed they could also have taken the Opel strategy in no racing at all. Did the companies choose the right route?
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our readers for the positive feedback to this feature. It’s been wonderful for me to revisit this research and have the enthusiast community enjoy it. I’d also like to thank Dan and Paul at GCFSB for not only affording me the opportunity to put this research up, but indeed for encouraging me to do so. Though they’re not likely to be paying attention I’d like to thank the Saxony State Archives in Chemnitz and the staff at the Mercedes-Benz factory archives, both of which were very welcoming and accommodating during my time there. Lastly, I’d like to thank my family who has been both encouraging and patient while I’ve spent countless hours working on this site. Without further ado, please enjoy the conclusion!
CONCLUSIONS : WAS RACING NECESSARY?
The Type 44 Audi was a car that was, in many ways, ahead of its time. Aerodynamic and technically advanced, the Audi 100/200/5000 offered automatic climate control, ABS, the normal host of electronics and on board diagnostics you’d expect from a top-flight executive sedan. But what it was best remembered for was a turbocharged motor connected to all four wheels via a manual transmission and all-wheel drive. Early models had twin locking differentials, just like the Quattro and smaller 80/4000/Coupe quattros, but Audi streamlined things in 1989 with the revision to the model line. Sporting new dashboards, new badges, and new BBS wheels, the real change was under the skin where the now worldwide “200” model featured a revised drivetrain. Gone were the twin locking differentials; instead, Audi simplified things for drivers by switched to the Torque-Sensing limited slip center differential, better known as Torsen. In the rear was still a manually locking differential; however, instead of vacuum operation like the early cars, it was now electronic, which allowed Audi to program in a feature which disabled the lock at 25 m.p.h.. While the 200 was a refinement of the early cars, the reality is that most remember it for the last-of-the-run 20V models that introduced the new 3B motor to the legendary platform. But the earlier 10V units in both MC1 and MC2 configuration have proven to be long-lived, well built classics that are rarely seen too:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Audi 200 quattro on Craigslist
If C4 S4s and S6s in good shape, such as yesterday’s feature listing 1993, are hard to come by, the limited run 1995 Avant version is especially so. Not many of these wagons were brought to the U.S.; depending on your source, a reported 300 made it here. Compare that to the “rare” E30 M3 (of which 5,000 were imported) or even Audi’s own super-rare Quattro – a staggering 663 of those made it here, though you wouldn’t know it. Plus, the nature of the S6 Avant meant they were snapped up by enthusiasts who used them, and often used them hard. Exact numbers still alive today are hard to come by, but figure it’s reasonably lower than the 300 original units. Back out the number with under 200,000 miles and the number gets much smaller. And to find two in a week in good condition with nice modifications? Time to play the lottery: