Audi Oddity: 1997 Audi A8 3.7

The V8 quattro was notoriously innovative. It was also quite complicated (read: expensive) and therefore painfully slow selling. At a time when all European imports were suffering from the global recession, the range-topping V8 busted budgets. Introduced for the 1990 model year in the U.S., the launch year was really the only marginally successful one; just shy of 3,000 were sold between 1989 and 1990. However, even light revisions in 1991 and a major engine upgrade to 4.2 liters failed to bring buyers to dealerships. Audi sold 527 1991s, 270 1992s, 170 ’93s and a scant 78 ’94s. Statistically speaking, you’re about as likely to run across a 4.2 V8 quattro on the road as you are a BMW M1.

By 1994 there was no denying that the Type 44-derived D11 chassis was quite old. Audi admitted it themselves with the big splash of their new ASF concept in 1994 – a thoroughly modern large executive again full of innovation, this time with its extensive use of aluminum. Audi brought that design to market largely unchanged in the all new D2 A8 range. And to help keep costs in check, while the V8 quattro had only been available in one configuration each model year, Audi introduced options in the A8 range. The one that got the headlines was Audi’s signature all-aluminum 4.2 V8 mated to the all-wheel drive quattro drivetrain. But if you wanted range-topping looks and didn’t need the sure-footed nature of the quattro system, you could briefly opt out.

That’s because Audi launched a FronTrak (front-wheel drive) A8 model. Instead of the larger 4.2 model, motivation was provided by destroked 3.7 liter unit. Rated at 230 horsepower and matched only to the 5-speed automatic tiptronic and weighing the best part of 4,000 lbs., it was pretty underwhelming in just about every respect. 0-60 was a leisurely 8.3 seconds, and despite the decrease in power, the 3.7 was no less thirsty than the 4.2. While it did save you about $7,500 ($56,900 v. $64,500 base price for the 4.2) it was no surprise, then, that the bulk of Audi’s deep-pocketed fanbase chose to the 4.2 quattro model, and the base 3.7 was dropped in the 2000 model year in favor of the long wheel base model. Early A8s are hard to find – Audi sold only about 6,000 over three model years before the refresh. But 3.7 have become a bit of an oddity that are almost never seen:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: on eBay

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1995 Audi A6 2.8 Avant – REVISIT

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Our reader Tom emailed us this morning and his A6 Avant is up for auction again with a significantly lowered reserve price. For those that lust after an Audi Quattro wagon but may not need a fire breather with an S or RS badge, here is your ride.

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It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of the top-of-the-range cars from manufacturers; BMW’s M division, Mercedes-Benz’s bonkers AMG specialists, and the folks of the S division at Audi. They build super versions of the regular production cars that grab all the attention, and sometimes the truly good automobiles those screamers are based on reside in the shadows of the headlines. Such is the case with the Audi C4 100/A6 2.8 quattro. Available in either sedan or avant wagon, the A6 picked up the reigns from the W124 Mercedes-Benz wagon; offering a slick package, more than enough luxury and refinement without anything you didn’t need, and had that 3rd row seat option that was not offered in the Audi Type 44 “fastback” wagons. This made the A6 a great option for larger families looking for dependable all-weather transportation. Consequently, as the family truckster of choice for a generation not many remain in good shape, but today’s period correct Emerald Green on Ecru Avant for sale from our reader Tom sure stands out from most:

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Year: 1995
Model: A6 Avant
Engine: 2.8 liter V6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 126,843 mi
Price: $4,500

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi A6 Avant on eBay – REVISIT

Beautiful Audi A6 Avant in Emerald Green with Ecru leather interior. I recently purchased the car from the original family. I have all maintenance records since new. Car has always been garaged kept and it shows. Passenger seats have never even been sat in. Brand new Michelin tires. Car drives beautifully and smooth! Ice cold A/C. No rust!

Excellent opportunity to own a beautiful old school Audi! There are a couple scratches here and there as to be expected for a car of this year, but overall the car is in excellent condition. Paint shines and interior is gorgeous with little to no wear. Leather is soft and supple. The car has obviously been very well cared for and the stack of receipts indicate that it always received the attention it deserved.

Couple of things I’ve noticed during my ownership: radio does not work (will not power up), rattle in rear hatch, sometimes turn signal does not cancel when turning left, the rear differential is wet and I assume it will need a seal.

1995 Audi A6 Avant (Wagon)

Legendary Quattro All Wheel Drive (these cars are phenomenal in the snow)
All weather package: Heated front seats, windshield washer nozzles, door locks
2.8 liter V6 Engine with 172hp
4 Speed Automatic Transmission
7 Passenger Seating
Automatic Climate Control – Cold A/C!
Power Glass Sliding Sunroof
Headlight Washers
Power windows and locks
Speed sensitive power steering
Power adjustable front seats with driver side memory
Bose Sound System
Cruise Control
Keyless Entry

I could not find a receipt for timing belt/water pump replacement, so the new owner should plan to have this done. If car is purchased with the Buy It Now option, I will replace the timing belt/water pump at no charge prior to delivery.

I reserve the right to end the auction as the car is being listed for sale locally.

Original owners manual and 2 keys. Binder full of maintenance history and receipts.

German luxury at its best! Car is an excellent highway cruiser and a pleasure to drive!

I’m happy to answer any questions! Happy bidding!

$4500 obo
Ebensburg, PA 15931
814-931-5871 Tom
tjwandel@hotmail.com

60 pictures here:

http://smg.photobucket.com/user/tjwandel/library/1995%20Audi%20A6%20Avant

With 172 horsepower on tap, the A6 and 100 Quattros – even with automatics – were respectfully quick but wouldn’t light your hair on fire, in the true older Benz manner. Like the older Benzs, it’s specifically because they’re not turned way up that they can be run for many miles without issue. They’re comfortable cruisers with tons of space, are quiet and refined, and can be run easily on a budget – the C4 was heftily overbuilt much like the W124. Also like the W124 they don’t really stand out from the crowd but always look handsome and proper when kept in good shape such as today’s example. The seller is upfront about a few needs, but it’s difficult to replicate the overall condition of this car and would likely give the next owner a long period as a solid workhorse with a touch of class and luxury.

-Carter