Quattro Conundrum: 1987 Audi 4000CS quattro or 1993 Audi S4

While usually our ‘Double Take’ features look at one model, today I’m going to look at two cars that share a brand, and idea, and a price point. Both of these Audis represent a huge leap forward from their predecessors; versus the front-drive Type 81, the Type 85 B2 was much more modern-feeling, refined and introduced all-wheel drive to the mass market (excusing its bigger brother, and twice as expensive and exotically flared Quattro brethren, of which only 664 sold here) and the C4 S4 introduced the U.S. market to S-cars and merged the 200 20V’s setup with a modern body and more sporty interior along with even a bit more power. Both are legendary in the 4-ringed circles for their longevity. Both have cadres of fans who seek each model out. And both are hard to find in good condition.

So here we go, Alice – red or green pill? For your $6,000 investment, which of these inline-5 all-wheel drive legends would be your choice?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Audi 4000CS quattro on eBay

1995 Audi S6 Avant

Okay, enough dangling carrots and arguments over what’s the best Audi of all time. If there was a do-anything, do-everything, you only have one car for the rest of your life type of car, it’s the S6 Avant.

Today it’s not abnormal to have a car that can out-drag sports cars, carry a family of five dependably and their gear, go through any weather and be a luxurious car that even returned reasonable mileage. In the early 1990s, though, what were your options in that category, exactly? That was a time where Audi had the market cornered with its S4 and later S6 Avants. Though they were available in Europe earlier, it took until the 1995 model year for Audi to introduce the concept to Americans. And just like that, it was gone again, with only a few hundred imported. Nearly every single one is unique as a result of mid-model year changes. Yet all are equally legendary among U.S. Audi fans:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi S6 Avant on eBay

Age Defying Beauty: 1995 Audi S6 Avant

It’s always with a bit of sadness that one of your friends posts a long love affair for sale. It’s understandable; people change priorities or move on, but when you know the amount of time and effort that has gone into a car you can’t help but hope that the next owner will appreciate even a small percentage of what it took. I’ve known Scott from Coventry Motor Car for nearly 20 years; writing that, it’s hard for me to believe or quantify. I still remember driving into a the parking lot of Mystic Aquarium to meet the stranger who had posted some Audi 90 Sport quattro wheels for sale – there in the lot was a gorgeous pearl white 90. That car, and a few others that Scott has owned along the way, have passed on, and his current project is now on the block. I must say, whatever the car that he has been working on through the years, the presentation has always been top notch – and it’s easy to see the attention to detail looking through the photos of this stunning Avant. Proving age is just a number, Scott’s work restoring this Avant to pristine shape has resulted in one of the best all around examples we’ve seen for sale in recent memory:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi S6 Avant on quattroworld.com

2001 Audi A4 2.8 quattro

In the world of post A4 Audis, you’d be forgiven for thinking you went back to the old Westerns with tumbleweeds rolling across the screen when it comes to color selection. There are several different shades of grey or silver, a few whites, some blacks, and then occasionally a blue will pop up. Some really daring folks chose bright red or dark green, but unless you get into a “S” model, you’re not likely to see an unusual color. That’s unfortunate, because Audi actually offered you many very cool options in the B5 A4 throughout its run. However, if you lament the cool colors went away, it should be no surprise; very, very few people bought them. And given the A4s propensity for being discarded, they’re in most cases even more sparse than when new. Yet these special color cars tended to be bought by people who took good care of them, and usually come to market in fairly pristine shape – so I bet you can guess why this A4 is here today. A non sport package V6 tiptronic wouldn’t usually make the list, but a lower mile India Red Pearl Effect with Ecru/Onyx interior in very good overall condition? You bet:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi A4 2.8 quattro on eBay

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.…

Feature Listing: 1993 Audi S4

Recently I was reminiscing while looking through old magazine photos and came across the Car and Driver comparison of the Mercedes-Benz 500E, the BMW M5, and the then new Audi S4. I still remember reading that article; the Audi placed last and seemed seriously outclassed in terms of horsepower, acceleration even curb appeal. If you wanted the race car dressed as a sedan, the M5 was the natural choice. If you wanted a muscle car with room for four executives, then the 500E couldn’t be beaten. And on paper, the S4 was really a poor comparison to those cars. C&D did point out that the Audi was technically more advanced than the other two; it was the only turbocharged one, and the all-wheel drive system was already legendary even in 1992. But people that opted to buy the S4 were doing so not for the technology, but for the capability of the understated Audi. Several generations of each model on, these are still the cars that many longingly remember as the height of their respective marque’s build quality and driver involvement – and certainly that’s the case for the Audi. While it was underpowered out of the box compared to its countrymen, the stout drivetrain and engine easily accepted higher levels of boost. It was the first Audi that really got aftermarket support – a group of enthusiasts who still boast that this is the best car that Audi ever made. The workhorses of the ski-set, few have led pampered lives and not many remain in good shape – making it a treat to find a clean one. Despite growing acknowledgement that this car was one of the great sport sedans, prices on even very clean examples of the C4 S4 remain much more affordable than the BMW and Mercedes-Benz competition today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Audi S4 on Craigslist.org

2002 Audi S8

The D2 S8 is without a doubt one of my favorite cars, but even I’ll admit that the color pallet that the car was offered in was rather sedate. In fact, by 2003 you could only select from three colors. The typical silvers, dark blues, and blacks are all too common to see on the uncommon sporty large executive, but if you look at the specification sheets for the car you find that there were actually several colors that were very rare to see. Strangely, that’s not necessarily because they were ugly or very unusual colors – in fact, the example of today’s color was quite popular on other models like the Allroad. Yet, here is an Alpaka Beige S8 quattro – a color only available in 2002:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S8 on craigslist

Avanttime: 1995 Audi S6 Avant Roundup

The C4 Audi S6 Avant is certainly one of the best packages Audi has ever produced as an all-around car; legendary reliability, tuning potential, all-wheel drive, go anywhere ability coupled with good classic looks in a versatile 5-door configuration. While I’d argue we didn’t get the best of the bunch with the S6+ Avant, most fans of the C4 love the AAN turbocharged inline-5 for its Group B soundtrack and grunt. Today, thanks to contributions from our readers Daniel and John, I’ve got a lineup of 5 different colored Avants; ranging not only the spectrum of color but also price. Which is the winner? Let’s start with the Emerald Green Mica example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi S6 Avant on Craigslist

10K Friday – Still the Best Deal Going: 1992-1994 Audi S4

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

1995 Audi A6 2.8 quattro Avant – REVISIT

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Last fall we featured a 1995 Audi A6 that was in great shape for a low price. Life changed a bit for the seller and after a few weeks on the market he pulled the advertisement and drove the car for the past year. The seller is once again ready to part ways; there are a few additional miles that were accrued but the seller has adjusted the price accordingly and also performed a complete timing belt service. If you’d like a lot of style, class and a smooth performer in any condition capable of carrying a massive load, this A6 looks the part and is ready for the next owner. It’s hard to get a much nicer, more capable car for less money.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi A6 2.8 quattro Avant on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site November 13, 2013: