For some time, the Quattro remained an undercover legend amongst enthusiasts. Saddled with an unfair reputation from media hype and enthusiasts’ misconceptions, the Quattro was remarkably affordable until very recently – especially so when you consider the ascension of other ’80s icons. But Audi’s acknowledgement that they built cars prior to the A4, coupled with some star power from the British show Ashes to Ashes and universal acknowledgement of the car’s impressive stature in the halls of automotive history mean that it’s still a star on the rise – especially in Europe, where the car is seriously coveted. Americans are just catching on in the grand scheme of things – and their delay means that many of these turbocharged all-wheel drive wonders have gone the way of the Dodo. It’s not as if there were many to choose from initially, with only around 11,500 of them produced and a majority of those remained in Europe. The U.S. only saw a few years of importation; a reported total of 664 made it here – and though they’ve maintained a devoted fan following since they were pulled from these shores in 1986, it’s nevertheless been difficult to find good examples of these cars today. They’ve become regarded as quite cool; the mystique of the turbocharged, box-flared World Rally Championship car for the road – the original Quattro is unsurpassed in the realm of cool Audis. Today, we’ll look at a mild and modded example and see which is the one to grab:
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About a week ago, Paul sent me a link to Daily Turismo which was reviewing this very Audi Coupe GT. In the comments were the all too predictable Audi stereotypes; nothing electric will work, it’s overpriced, not worth getting unless its a quattro, I didn’t maintain mine well and so it was unreliable, etc.. The truth about the GT could not be farther from those descriptions; those that have driven them almost always report enjoying the experience, and those that have owned them and have moved on still pontificate how great of a car they are. To me, it’s cars like this that exactly underscore what’s wrong with the e30 market – here’s a very nicely styled, classic GT car. It’s well balanced and fun to drive. For the purists, it’s a 5-speed and has a race-bred soundtrack. They’re notoriously long-lived, with many (including this author’s) well in excess of 200,000 miles. There simply isn’t much electronic equipment to break on them. Yet, even a shining example such as this can be had for only $2,500:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi Coupe GT on Craigslist
What would “Wagon Week” be without some fast Audi wagons? Starting in the mid-1980s, Audi cornered the market with its turbocharged all-wheel drive fastback “Avants” – starting with the 5000CS Turbo Quattro. The 5000 was replaced by the 200 in 1989, resulting in effectively the same car – now with BBS wheels and a revised interior and lacking the manual differential locks, but otherwise primarily unchanged. There was a minor revision in 1990 – the engine code changed from MC-1 to MC-2; the cam was slightly different and the engine ran higher initial compression and a lighter flywheel in order to drop boost for quicker response – but ultimately, it wasn’t a major change. The big change came in 1991 with the release of the heavily revised double overhead cam version of the venerable inline-5. Dubbed the 3B, it gained about 50 horsepower over the standard 200 turbo. The 20V version also sported “UFO” floating brakes, upgraded suspension, 7.5″ BBS wheels instead of 6″ and some subtle flares. As I mentioned previously, the 200 20V was perhaps the ultimate “Q-Ship” – it had no external badges, so you had to know those flares and wider BBS wheels in order to differentiate it. The 200 20V was a one-year model, replaced in 1992 by the again heavily revised S4 with another revision of the 20V turbocharged engine. We didn’t receive the initial C4 Avant version of the S4, though it was available in Europe in both turbocharged and V8 form. Audi finally corrected the problem in 1995 by releasing the S6 Avant; again revised with temporary overboost providing a bit more power through the AAN version of the inline-5 and with freshened bumpers, the limited run S6 Avant has become just as much a legend as the 200 20V version – if not more so. Our reader John spotted the two good looking examples found here:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi S6 Avant on Craigslist
The meteorologists are predicting a harsh winter for us here on the east coast of the US. But just because the white stuff is coming doesn’t mean you have to give up driving fun for a few months out of the year. Audi is known for being masters at combining all-weather capability with performance with the aid of their quattro four-wheel drive system. For over two decades now, the “S” badge has represented an even higher degree of performance. One of the most popular models has been the S4, first starting out as a high performance version of the 100/A6 model and later transitioning over to the A4 model.
To close out your work week, we’ll take a look at two S4s sedans equipped with 6-speed manual gearboxes, starting with this 2001 S4 in stunning Nogaro Blue for sale in Massachusetts.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S4 on eBay
You’re not going to buy this car. Let’s be honest, even if you wanted to spend a lot on a wildly modified Audi 4000, it’s on the wrong side of the pond. And then there’s the definition of “a lot” – in this case, the best part of $60,000. Crazy, right? Well, not so fast – arguably, this is one of the most famous and best executed modified Audi 80s in the world. But not only does it look racy; the looks are backed up by a 2.5 20 valve inline-5 turbocharged motor running a host of upgrades through a custom application V8 quattro 6-speed. The result? Going on 800 horsepower! Ridiculous for a standard 80 perhaps, but under the grafted Quattro flares and WRC OZ Rally wheels lie a host of RS2 and Group B works suspension upgrades. Compared to what’s under the hood, if anything the exterior suddenly seems quite sedate: