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

In my last C4 S6 post, I mentioned how the mid-year changes of the short run for the re-badged C4 made each one feel a little bit bespoke given that so few were sold. That’s certainly the case here, as the running changes manifest themselves in interesting ways on this particular 1995.

The most obvious of the items that can be seen is that this car wears the earlier 16″ Fuchs-made forged wheels more traditionally associated with the S4. These were replaced later in the run by the Avus design Speedline wheels the S6 (and most S models for the next few generations) wore, but early production S6s were delivered with the leftover Fuchs wheels. Which is more desirable varies by preference, but in this case I think the Fuchs work really well. Early cars also retained the infrared locking system (denoted by a receiver at the base of the B pillar) and the manual locking rear differential button in the center console. These were replaced later by a radio locking system and electronic rear differential, respectively, in the 1995.5 S6 refresh. But what also is interesting to me, and perhaps one other Audiphile, is that this car has the later closed headrests, unlike the S6 we saw last week.

At the end of the day, these minor differences matter little in what was otherwise a very desirable package no matter what parts Hans grabbed to install that groggy Monday morgen. Presented in semi-ignominious yet signature Emerald Green Mica with Ecru leather, this one nonetheless looks like a keeper:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi S6 on eBay

1996 Audi A6 quattro Avant with 30,000 Miles

Audi’s priorities in the mid 1990s in regards to the U.S. market shifted, as they concentrated their efforts on reestablishing any semblance of market share with what would prove to be the very successful A4. The A4 itself was evolutionary rather than revolutionary, as it incorporated most of its technology from the existing platforms. Similarly, Audi backed away from its venerable turbocharged inline-5 platform; a new V6 had become the go-to option choice in both B4 and C4 platforms in 1992. It was far from sporty, but the combination of moderate V6 power, updated looks with the 1995 refresh of the chassis and legendary build quality resulted in what I consider the most Mercedes-Benz like car Audi built. THe A6 2.8 quattro was luxurious in a Spartan way; just enough power options, but not tech-heavy. It was quiet, comfortable, handsome and capable in a time when it still held the monopoly on all-wheel drive wagons – remember, this was the time when the widespread popularity of SUVs was still a generation away. You could even squeeze seven passengers in to a A6 thanks to the optional rear bench seat. They became vogue with the ski-set, and as a result few appear in the condition of today’s example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Audi A6 quattro Avant on eBay

Tuner Tuesday Double Take – Boosted Gems: 1995.5 Audi S6 Avants

Though they may not generate the gasps and pleasure groans of the RS models Craig and Andrew wrote up last week among enthusiasts outside of the brand, classic Audi fans in the U.S. still regard the original S4 and S6 one of the best models produced by the company. Indeed the S6 Avant has gained notoriety as a “Holy Grail” for fans of the marque here, as it offered the ultimate development of the C4 chassis and inline-5 coupled to analogue all-wheel drive offered in this market. Only a few hundred of these wagons made it here, increasing the mystique and desirability of the package. Both of today’s examples are presented in the defacto signature color of the C4, Emerald Green Mica (Smaragdgruen Pearl) with Ecru leather and both have been turned up a notch from stock. The first example has all the wizz-bang completed, while the second has been maintained and is ready for further upgrades. Which is the one you’d like?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995.5 Audi S6 Avant on quattroworld

Double Take: 1993 Audi S4

It’s been a while since I looked at some C4s, and a few popped across my computer screen in searches that I thought were worth taking a peek at. As the E34 M5 and W124 500E/E500 creep up in value, if you search you can still find excellent examples of the odd-ball turbocharged inline-5 all-wheel drive wonder from Ingolstadt. While the 1993 model in the U.S. didn’t sit quite as low as the 1992 model, some chassis fans love them because of the carbon fiber interior trim and as ’92s are quite limited and hard to find, coming across a ’93 or ’94 is a touch easier. Which one of these two excellent examples would you prefer to take home?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Audi S4 on San Francisco Craigslist

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

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.…

1993 and 1994 Audi S4s

Finding a good first generation S4 is a bit of a hard task today. First off, they weren’t the most plentiful car imported to the United States. On top of that, many have fallen victim to neglect, crashes or part-outs as they donated their valuable and powerful motors to projects. It’s gotten to the point where I’d even term it infrequent that we come across a clean 1992 model – arguably, the most desirable of the bunch with lower and firmer suspension than the rest of the C4 lineup. Today isn’t one of those occasions where we’ll see one, but I do have one each from the subsequent years to take a peek at:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Audi S4 on eBay

Forbidden Fruit: 1996 Audi S6 Plus Avant

There are plenty of drool-worthy cars that we’re not allow in the U.S.. Yesterday’s Callaway Turbo GTi got me thinking about some of the rare Mk.2s, like the hugely awesome and super rare Golf Limited. But I’m mostly known for my love of Audis, and every time I think about importing a car from Europe, it’s not the RS2 or B5 RS4 that catch my attention. I’m always drawn to the relatively unknown bad boy from quattro GmbH – the S6 Plus. With some revised trim, larger brakes and wheels, a 6-speed manual and a turned up V8 under the hood, this might just be my ultimate grocery getter:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Audi S6 Plus Avant on eBay

Dial “S” for Speed: 1995 Audi S6 Avant

Yesterday’s C5 S6 Avant was a great reminder of what we’ve recently lost from Audi – the fast wagon. But try as they might, even Audi themselves don’t seem to have managed to capture the magic and legendary reliability coupled with tuning potential of the original C4 S4 and S6 Avants. While we didn’t get the S4 Avant or the hotter out of the box V8 6-speed versions in the U.S., we did get the the fantastic turbocharged inline-5 mated to the 1995 Audi S6 in Avant form. A handful of these cars were imported to the U.S. originally, and most have been heavily used or thoroughly modified; few remain in clean, original condition with lower miles. They do pop up time to time, but today isn’t one of them. That’s because today’s Avant has been thoroughly upgraded and turned up thanks to 2Bennett Audimotive in California:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi S6 Avant on Audifans