Earlier today I wrote up a brace of Audi S4s – undoubtedly, one of the best performance values going in classic German motoring today. However, if you move forward a generation, there’s a similar stunning value in the S4’s big brother – the Audi A8. Available in three configurations, the D2 chassis pioneered some new technology for Audi – the Aluminum Space Frame which stiffened the structure and kept weight down. The A8 was also completely new outside; while it’s easy to point towards it as looking like a big A4, the reality is the opposite – the Audi space frame concept car actually predated the B5 A4 chassis and the first iterations of the D2 were near exact copies of the show car. First available in front drive 3.7 V8 configuration and 4.2 quattro, the D2 A8 was initially offered only in short wheel base before 2000. Styling was revised in 2000, which also saw the U.S. introduction of both the sport-oriented S8 model (2001) and ultra-luxury oriented A8L. Equipped with special wheels and fully optioned out, these cars were anything but subtle – commanding serious presence on the road. But that weighty look didn’t necessarily translate to physical weight; despite the long wheel base and luxury bias, the A8L hit the scales only around a hundred pounds heavier than the C4 S4/S6. There were a few other minor details that separated the L from the regular A8 outside of the longer wheel base, too – a larger gas tank and upgraded brakes kept the performance in line with the normal A8. Coupled with the 40 valve V8 4.2 engine pumping 310 horsepower, this meant that the A8L was no slouch even though only equipped with the ZF-made 5-speed tiptronic. In a straight drag race, the A8L would actually give a stock C4 S4/S6 a run for its money. But a drag car the A8L was not; it’s about luxury motoring, and the A8L excels there in droves as well. Despite the impressive package, these cars are available for very little money today – and when they’re presented like this example, it’s a compelling opportunity to get into one of the prettiest German luxury cars ever made for only a fraction of the original purchase price:
While the Type 44 turbo quattro paved the way for the C4 platform, the brand new 100 and S4 were a real revolution for Audi. It needed it, too – Audi was in dire straights in the early 1990s and was nearly pulled from the American market all together. Audi needed a major update to its top of the line-ranging 100, which in 1991 effectively was still the same car with minor updates from 1984. Of course, Audi wasn’t going to completely walk away from the Type 44 and the crown jewel of performance, the 200 20V turbo quattro. So, in 1992 the “brand new” S4 was launched. Underneath it shared many parts with its sibling V8 quattro and the earlier 200 20V. Even inside it didn’t look much different from the concurrent V8 model. But step outside and an entirely new aerodynamic body cloaked the extremely capable motor and drivetrain. That motor – now with some minor updates that allowed for slightly more power than the 200 had enjoyed – would quickly become legendary for not only reliability but for specific power output; 400 horsepower is almost commonplace amongst modified versions; 500 horsepower isn’t unusual and above 1,000 isn’t unheard of. Despite the extreme tuning potential, go anywhere chassis and incredibly good build quality, these sedans are still a remarkable bargain in the classic German motoring market. While normally in a 10K Friday post I’d compare different models, today I’ve got four different examples of the same car to take a look at – which is the best bargain?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Audi S4 on eBay
The Mercedes-Benz 300D we featured last month via our reader Jimmy is back up for sale. This car strikes a nice balance between concours condition and one that is clapped out. Anyone that is in the market for a usable W123, take note.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 300D on eBay
The below post originally appeared on our site September 29, 2014:
As we start to finish up Wagon Week, let’s take a look at a car that’s been arriving on these shores at a solid clip now that many of them have reached 25 years old: the E30 Touring. But this Touring is a bit unique in that it is powered by the 2.4 liter turbo diesel engine. We featured this particular car earlier in the year and now it is back on offer, a perfect curiosity for oil burner BMW fan.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 324td Touring on eBay
The below post originally appeared on our site March 9, 2014:
Scanning our Facebook page the other day, I came across a rather amusing comment in response to our LS1 powered M coupe: “haul a** much?” Well, that would certainly apply to this five-door specimen, the E63 AMG Estate. What seems an improbable creation to be sold in the US market has now been with us through a few generations, proving this cult car does have some staying power amongst the enthusiasts. And when a company like Cadillac all of a sudden decided to drop a V8 bomb in their CTS wagon, well, you know you are on to something. For sale at a Porsche dealer outside of Washington DC, this one is doing its best to blend in with a shade of burgundy.