Feature Listing: 1991 Audi 200 20V quattro Avant

1991 was a great year for Audi and Volkswagen enthusiasts in America, robust with performance options all around. Fans of normally aspirated motors had multiple double-cam choices; the 16V twins from Volkswagen with the GTI/GLIs, each with heavily bolstered Recaros and awesome BBS wheels. Going slightly less boy racer and more upscale yielded the equally impressive 20V inline-5 duo from Audi, with the Coupe Quattro and 90 20V quattro. They weren’t as quick off the line, but they were certainly well built, solid performing luxury vehicles. Of course, the big daddy of normal aspiration in the lineup was the V8 quattro. Still at 3.6 liters and 240 horsepower for 1991, it was also available with a manual transmission and was in the midst of a winning streak in the DTM series, usurping power from the E30 M3 and 190E 2.5-16 in monumental style.

If forced induction was more your choice for speed, there were plenty of options there, as well. 1991 featured a slightly revised Corrado, now also with BBS wheels and the 1.8 liter G-lader supercharged motor. Audi offered you a luxury cruiser still in the 200 Turbo, as well. But the big news was finally the release of the 20V Turbo motor into the lineup. Long featured in the Sport Quattro, then RR Quattro in Europe and later S2, in America Audi brought the 3B turbocharged inline-5 package in the 200. As an added bonus, it was available in both sedan form and the innovative Avant wagon. Producing 217 horsepower and a bit more torque, the Audi was capable of 0-60 runs in the mid-6 second range if you were quick with your shifts. But this wasn’t a bracket racer – the 200 was a luxury car through and through, with a well-appointed cabin full of the things you’d expect – Zebrano wood trim, electric powered and heated leather seats front and rear, and a high-quality Bose stereo.…

1983 Audi Quattro

Contrary to popular belief, most of the elements of the Quattro were not pioneering. It was not the first production car with all four wheel driven – that distinction goes to the Jensen FF, which beat the Audi to market with a luxury 4WD GT by a full 15 years. It was not the first car to introduce turbo technology, as many manufacturers had been playing with forced induction for some time. Notably, some of the team that developed the Quattro came from the halls of Porsche, having worked on projects like the 924 Turbo previously. Even the signature box flares were borrowed from the Group 5 cars that raced in the 1970s. But the Quattro was the first to put all of these elements together and set the blueprint for what would become a fairly standard hot package going forward. The Ford Escort Cosworth, Lancia Delta Integrale, Subaru Impreza 22B, and Golf Rallye are but a few of the many that copied Audi’s trendsetter. And while some that followed were dynamically better than the Audi, it still has a mystique somehow greater than the both the sum of its parts and its inherently flawed design:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

1995.5 Audi S6 Avant

Why does Audi no longer offer this package? They’ve got the technology, certainly, with a stellar inline-5 in the new 2.5 liter turbocharged unit featured in the RS3 (and previously in the TT RS). They even still offer a manual in the S4, and though the company refuses to bring it here in anything other than allroad form they still make an Avant version. So why not combine them? They’d make an instant fan favorite, as all of the S4 and S6 Avants have been highly sought both when new and as second or third hand used cars. In the likely absence of that ever occurring, today’s example is a great representation of what many consider to be the highlight of the both Audi’s engineering and the most desirable package outside of perhaps the original Quattro:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995.5 Audi S6 Avant on eBay

Double Take: 1993 Audi S4

Yesterday, we posted a throwback video to the 1992 Audi S4 review by the television show Motorweek. For me, it was interesting to watch as they went through both the highlights and some of the faults of the now legendary car. One thing they mentioned towards the end really struck me; the original run of 250 1992 units had completely sold out, and they were taking orders for 1993. Mind you, this was at a time where Audi nearly pulled out of the market; to me, this makes the success of the C4 chassis all the more poignant. If the A4 revitalized Audi, it was really the C4 in its varying guises that kept both the fire ignited amongst enthusiasts and simultaneously kept Audi’s small foothold in the marketplace – in particular, the C4 A6 2.8 Avant was a particularly successful and popular car. But today we’re talking about the model everyone really wants, the S4; following up on my Sprint Blue double post from yesterday, here’s a pair of 1993 S4s in Audi’s signature color until the end of the 20V run; Pearlescent White Metallic. It adorned nearly every variant of quattro from the original right through the S8, but it’s most notable between the 5000CS quattro, 200 20V models and the S4. Which of these pearls would you take home?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Audi S4 on Craigslist

Tuner Tuesday Ersatz S2: 1990 Audi Coupe Quattro S2 Replica

For some time, if you wanted to go fast in a two-door Audi in the U.S., you had to make your own car from pieces of others. Even if you selected the much praised Quattro, you had a fairly heavy car to start with that was coupled to a rather measly 160 horsepower. Unless it’s snowing, a bone stock Ford Fiesta ST will pretty thoroughly stomp all over the legendary boxflared wonder in just about every situation. So people began modifying the turbocharged cars to produce more boost and bring them into line with their European counterparts. Of course, when it came to the replacement for the Quattro, those that waited longingly from 1985 until 1989 for the next turbocharged coupe were greatly disappointed. Sure, the new 90-based B3 Coupe Quattro had 20 valves under the hood – but no turbo came here. Europeans enjoyed several iterations of the turbocharged B3 and B4, including the Porsche tuned RS2, but in North America only the normally aspirated, slightly portly 2-door hatch came here. Again, it was no surprise that as soon as they were outside of warranty, people began to tinker; in this case, making their own S2s out of pieces from their bigger brother 200/S4s. Installing the 20V Turbo into the engine bay instantly transformed the Coupe Quattro from competent cruiser to sleeper assassin:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi Coupe Quattro on eBay

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.…

Feature Listing: 1994 Audi S4

They say lightning doesn’t strike twice, but we know that to be a fallacy. It’s just extremely unlikely for it to strike twice in the same spot – an improbability along the lines of finding two extraordinarily clean, original and unmolested Audi S4s from the same seller. Heck, let’s increase the probability slightly and remove the “same seller” part – it’s still quite unlikely to find two clean S4s for sale within a few weeks of each other. That’s not because the S4 is unloved – quite the opposite indeed, the S4 has remained one of the absolute Audi essentials for a large number of the four ringed fans. First, there was the aerodynamic C4 chassis; quiet, refined, luxurious and not at all ostentatious, it’s a good looking sedan that was arguably far ahead of its time compared to the competition from Germany in 1992. The S4 took that basic platform a step farther with subtle but certain fender flares covering one of the best looking wheels ever fit to an Audi, the Fuchs made 16″ x 8″ with meaty 225 section tires. The headlights were upgraded to projector-beam units with integrated fog lights, a change that would carry over to the A6 later. Inside the S4 also received a smart sport interior; the seats were a step up from the older sport seats and featured heavy bolsters and plenty of electric adjustability. But the true genius of the C4 lay at its heart where few saw; a stout all-wheel drive system featuring a Torsen center differential and electronically locking rear differential, the C4 was the next in a long line of over-built Audis. The engine also wasn’t entirely new, but it was understressed from the factory and subsequent years of boosted bliss later, the AAN engine is capable of not only stratospheric power levels but improbable longevity as well.…

1991 Audi 200 20V Quattro Avant

Last week, I wrote up one of the nicest 1991 Audi 200 20V quattro Avants that has graced these pages. Lower miles, a complete rebuild and professional respray with some desirable upgrades meant it was no surprise to see the car sell immediately; the seller reported it took 4 hours to sell it at the full $10,000 asking price, and there was a line of bidders all hoping to get in on it. Has the time finally come for recognition of how great these cars were? Well, shortly after the last listing another 200 20V quattro Avant popped up for sale. The asking price was exactly half of the first one, at $5,000. So this one is a supreme deal, right? Let’s have a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi 200 20V Quattro Avant on eBay

1991 Audi 200 20V Quattro Avant

Earlier this week, I wrote up dueling 5-cylinder automatic wagons in the “beige-off” between the 1986 Quantum Wagon and 1987 Audi 5000S Avant. The net result of that write up, effectively, was that if you really want to dive into the ownership pool of one of these wagons, most would prefer the more desirable versions of the car. For the Quantum, that meant the Syncro version, and unsurprisingly for the Audi that meant turbocharging and quattro all-wheel drive. In both cases, that raises the complexity factor a few notches – but there are still examples of these long-lived wagons making their owners happy today. I spent a few years with a 200 Avant, and loved many aspects of it; however, I came away saying there was only one way I’d get into an older Audi Avant again – if it was one of the limited run, 3B 20V equipped 1991 examples. Outwardly, you had to be a sharp eye to spot the differences. Some of them were quite subtle; for example, there were no badges outside of the front and rear rings and a subtle “quattro” grill badge on the ’91 200, unlike the previously badged 10V examples. From the roof down, there were no differences other than that until you got to the fenders, which were subtly but notably flared. The wheels were still BBS mesh wheels as they had been in 1989 and 1990, and though they were still 15″ in diameter, they were now 7.5″ wide instead of 6″. Those larger wheels also hid a new brake system dubbed “UFOs” by enthusiasts; the floating rotor design that was engineered to haul the heavy Audi down from triple digit speeds. And triple digit speeds it was now quite capable of, with a healthy 50 horsepower boost over previous 200s thanks to 10 more valves and electronic fuel injection in the new “3B” 20 valve turbocharged inline-5.…

Coupe Week: 1995 Audi S2

For many people, the third generation Audi Coupe wasn’t quite the match for the car that it replaced. Launched in 1988, even Audi would seem to agree; it continued to produced the original Quattro through 1991, alongside its seeming replacement. While the looks of that replacement – the 20V turbocharged S2 – were considerably more sedate than the Quattro, it was nonetheless a handsome car. Though the iconic flares and chunky styling was replaced by a more rounded look, there were many advantages to the newer cars. First off, they were considerably safer with a stiffer structure and passive safety systems to protect drivers and passengers (anyone else remember the seatbelt pretensioning “PROCON-10” system?). Additionally, the smoother styling meant the car was much quieter at speed than the Quattro ever had been. The drivetrain was nearly identical to the end of run “RR” Quattros, right down to the new Torsen differential in the rear with electronic lock. And unlike its predecessor, and though few people remember, there were three versions of the S2 available; the oft-emulated Coupe, the highly desirable Avant, and the quite rare sedan of which only around 300 were produced. But as this is Coupe Week, we’re taking a look at one of the 2-door variants, of course!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi S2 at Classic Park