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:
All posts tagged 1991
Unless you’re going to do an engine swap, it seems like part of the charm of the E30 is that their power never outdid the chassis. Even with the range-topping M3, people call it underpowered (right after they sacrifice their first born to the car gods in hopes they might get one). So, if it’s a great chassis with too little power, why not accept it and get a little flingable toy? That’s exactly what the 318is was, a great looking sports sedan with less power than my 1988 Toyota pickup (which are not exactly known for their gusto). So, when I saw a red 318is for sale at $6k, I thought “ooh, great deal on a fun E30!” While not too long ago $6k would have bought a lot of E30, that is clearly no longer the case.
Tread carefully, dear readers, for this ad is full of fail. Happy Friday!
Click for details: 1991 BMW 318is on eBay
I know many of you are shaking your heads at this car’s high asking price and unfortunate automatic transmission. You’re not wrong. This car likely won’t get this price, even with its historically low mileage. But take a look through the classifieds section of any major enthusiast site, even the BMW CCA. E30s are, by and large, all lacking their original engine. Swaps reign supreme. So if you’re hunting for a stock, unmolested E30, and you’re an impatient kind of guy, you might just live with an automatic once you grow weary of searching for a unicorn that may take months to find. But if the seller persists with his asking price, he may want to at least steam clean the engine bay. It does not look like it belongs to a 50K mile car.