All posts in Audi

Purple Haze: European C4 S6 Avant Double Take

It’s been a good week here at GCFSB for C4s, with a stellar lower mile sedan and a well presented higher-mile Avant. Thanks to our reader John, we get to look at two much more rare examples today. I mentioned in my Avant post that there were multiple drivetrains – even an automatic – available in Europe. Two of those layouts that didn’t make it here were the 6-speed and V8 options; available throughout the run from S4 to S6, it was later upped in “Plus” spec; near supercar stats from the AHK-spec V8 that would also appear in the S8. What’s amazing is how affordable these cars are in Europe relative to what they would be priced at in the U.S.; what’s even more amazing is the colors that these two models are presented in:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi S6 Avant on Mobile.de

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2001 Audi S8 6-speed

My somewhat dour post regarding yesterday’s S8 had me feeling a bit downtrodden, and this listing was just what I needed to feel a little better. Not every current S8 owner is less than careful, and there are many who have grabbed one of these spectacular super-sedans because of the same enthusiasm I have for them. In the case of today’s example, it’s a first-year run S8 from 2001. However, the owner has upgraded the often-maligned 5-speed Tiptronic to an 01E 6-speed manual. The dream of many though few have been completed, the 6-speed swap is often mentioned as an alternative to add a little sport and long-term reliability to the mix. But it’s no small undertaking, and finding one that’s done correctly offers the potential buyer a turn-key package without the headaches of heavy lifting:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S8 on Craigslist

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Feature Listing: 1995.5 Audi S6 Avant

In yesterday’s S4 post, I covered many of the special items that made the ’92 model unique for the U.S. market; in fact, I said that in many ways it was the most highly sought of the C4 models. Well, that probably was a bit of overstatement in at least one regard, because while it may be true for sedans for many the Avant model from 1995 was much more special. 1994 to 1995 saw some major changes for the C4; the most obvious being the model designation change from S4 (1991-1994) to S6 (1995-1997). European models had some additional drivetrain options that weren’t available in the U.S., and indeed the Avant had previously been available in S4 form, but the 2.2 liter turbocharged inline-5 carried over largely unchanged into 1995. The big news was the addition of the Avant to the U.S. lineup; at the time, as expensive as an Audi got here. There was also the obvious external refresh; smooth body-colored bumpers and wider side trims eliminated the rubberized black moldings. The hood and lights were lightly re-sculpted too, along with the change (rolling, for some models) from the Fuchs-made 5-spoke alloys to the Speedline-made 6-spoke Avus wheels which would be the signature S-wheel for the next decade. Gone were two staples of the Audi lineup from the 1980s – Procon 10, the seatbelt pre-tensioning safety system Audi highly marketed in the late 1990s disappeared with little fanfare, but also, perhaps more strikingly, S cars would no longer be branded with “quattro” badges – a change that would carry on nearly until today’s models, where models like the RS7 re-introduced it in the grill. Inside minor changes were introduced; a revised dashboard, shift knob, along with the introduction of the most notable change (once again, rolling) to a 3-spoke sport steering wheel. It was a tremendous amount of minor changes that in sum resulted in a slightly different feel for the S6; slightly more polished and grown up, carrying the new design language for Audi that would remain for the next decade. Audi wasn’t done, though, because in “1995.5” Audi once again changed several items on the then-still-new S6. This included a major change moving forward – the elimination of driver control of the rear differential, a hallmark of Audis since the introduction of the original Quattro. Audi opted for an “electronic differential lock”, which in reality was a system which utilized the ABS system to detect wheelspin and apply the brakes. This major change resulted in some minor interior tweaks, such as moving the cigarette lighter, and there were additional revisions to the radio. The transmission’s traditional weak first gear was also addressed, as well as adding infrared locking and some other minor trim changes. All of these changes – some of them running changes – give the limited production S6s, and especially the Avants, a bit of a bespoke feel. With numbers produced only in the hundreds, these are special and coveted cars that are very capable – and highly sought:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995.5 Audi S6 Avant on QuattroWorld

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2003 Audi S8

There are some car listings that just make me sad, and this S8 is one of them. I fear that I may be missing the bus on getting just the right S8, because while the prices continue the gentle depreciation slide they’ve been on over the past decade, that means that they’re ending up in less-than-careful hands. In many of the cars I’ve owned, I’ve wished that I was maybe one or two owners closer to the original sale, because I’ve spent so much effort trying to undo what the previous owner did or repair things they left undone. A simple oil leak can easily turn into a multi-thousand dollar repair in some cases if left unattended, and when you’re talking about an expensive, complicated car like the S8, there can be multitudes of possibilities for where you can run into trouble. But even excusing that mechanicals on a 12 year old car get old and need to be replaced, then there’s the physical wear – generally, the second and third owners of cars seem to care much less for their condition than the original owners did. Let’s take a look at the cost of ownership on this 2003 S8, and why I’m sad:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi S8 on eBay

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1992 Audi S4

I’ve started a few discussions about the Audi C4 and the relative lack of good examples that pop up. This is especially true when they’re compared to the models that the S4 originally competed in the marketplace against; the M5 and the 500E. While neither are generally spring chickens when it comes to the used car markets, it’s not very hard to find an excellent example of virtually any day. The same can’t be said for the original S4. The 1992 Audi S4 is arguably the hardest to come by, and for some enthusiasts it’s the most desirable. Sales numbers and enthusiast’s accounts of how many ’92s were sold seem to vary; the general number of ’92s imported is often claimed at 250, but Audi’s sales numbers from 1992 claim some 907 Turbo models were sold (though, that number could include leftover 200 20V and 200 Turbo models). While the later S6 and A6, externally, weren’t visually much different, the earlier S4 stood apart from the regular 100 with ellipsoid headlamps and the then-massive 16×8 Fuchs forged alloys. 1992 models sported the lower, closer to European-spec suspension and a rear sway bar, but there were other, smaller changes – ’92s had steel sunroofs, for example, and “quattro” script rear defrosters that disappeared in ’93. Then there were really small changes; like the V8 quattro, ’92s had the “high intensity” wash system for the windshield – dropped in ’93, along with the S4 badge on the right of the trunk. In ’93, it would move to the left, and “quattro” was added to the right to fall in line with other models. 1992 models were still R12 air conditioned, so upgrading to R134 is common. The seller is correct that ’92s interiors had Elm wood trim, where later models would switch to carbon fiber, then Walnut. ’92s also had a trip computer with digital boost gauge and an ABS-disable switch, which also would be removed from the lineup in 1993. Finding a clean example of these ’92s, then, for some enthusiasts represents the Holy Grail of U.S. bound S-cars. And this example, in the signature Pearlescent White Metallic with black leather, is arguably one of the best we’ve seen:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Audi S4 on eBay

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