As I cover the more typically unloved range of German automobiles, finding comps can be at best difficult. At any given time, there are many favorite models of each of the marques available from pretty much any given date range – except Audi. For example, right now there are well over 100 pre-1990 BMWs on eBay. Audi? There’s one right now. One. And, I’ve already looked at it.
The result is that when you have a pristine example of a 26 year old Audi, finding something exactly like it to compare values is very difficult. But we have something unique today to follow up on yesterday’s highly-spec’d ’91 90 quattro 20V, as another very clean Type 89 20V just so happened top come up for sale at the same time. How does it match up?
You either get old Audis, or you absolutely don’t.
It’s something I’ve never quite understood. Put a 1985 Audi 4000CS quattro next to a 1985 BMW 3-series, and the Audi looked more slick. The interior details were certainly on par with the BMW, too. Tech? Sure, the Type 85 had basically all the same gadgets that came on the E30, too – which is to say, not many. Electric windows, sunroof, power antenna, power locks were pretty much standard fare in the marketplace by that point in the near-luxury class. The Audi was reasonably quiet going down the road, fit five in a pinch, had a reasonably sized trunk and got reasonable mileage – though admittedly the “power of six, economy of four” idea of the inline-5 worked out generally in the ‘economy of a 6’, power of a 4 direction. The quattro also featured fully independent suspension, 4-wheel disc brakes and sway bars front and rear. None of this was particularly revolutionary at the time.
What was somewhat revolutionary, though, was what Audi had done in 1983. No, it wasn’t the introduction of all-wheel drive; the Quattro had already been on the market for a few years, and in all honesty the Jensen FF well and truly beat it to the technology by a full decade and a half. Unorthodox, though, was taking that basic supercar (for the day) platform at plunking it in the more reasonably priced 4000 model. Removing the turbo and boxflares reduced the asking price by over 50%, yet you got 90% plus of the Quattro’s performance and driving experience. For an entire generation of rally enthusiasts and VW fans, the 4000 quattro was legendary even while it was still on sale. BMW owners would quip that it was slow and underpowered (apparently, in that case, never having driven an early 318i); Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts would counter that the W201 was better built.…
For U.S. customers, 1992 rather quietly signaled the end of an era for fans of the small chassis. Starting in the early 1980s, Audi had offered their offbeat 5-cylinder motor in models like the 4000 5+5 and Coupe models, but it was really the rally success of the Quattro that put the 5-pot on the map. But the turbocharged variant was quiet expensive, so fans of Audi’s WRC campaign rejoiced in 1984 when the all-wheel drive platform became much more affordable in 4000 quattro form. In Europe, there were several variants and power plants available in 80 and 90 form, but U.S. customers only got the relatively high-spec 4000S/CS quattro. Audi revised the model lineup with the B3 model run, introducing the lower-spec 80 and the more luxurious (and later, more powerful) 90. When the 90 went to the DOHC 7A 20V inline-5, the 80 remained with the 10V 2.3 liter NG which had first appeared in the Special Build Coupe GT model. Though not hugely powerful and feeling slightly overwhelmed by the 80 quattro’s mass, it was a very smooth and fun to drive package capable of huge odometer readings. The package remained available until 1992, when life of the 80 ended in the U.S. as it was not upgraded to B4 specification. As with all Audis from the period, it sold in small numbers: Audi reported only 640 sold in 1992, with not many more sold in the years before it. As the book closed on the inline-5 with a whimper rather than a bang, it’s relatively infrequent to spot one of these late 80s:
Due respect to the E30 ix crowd and our own author Nate, if you were to consider the 325ix that was just posted and not consider this 90 quattro, you’ve got a few screws loose. The 90 quattro was long derided as underpowered compared to the competition, but in ’93 that was at least partially rectified with the addition of the 2.8 V6 motor. Though the power output wasn’t outrageous at 172, it was a robust and torquey motor that was easier to run around town than the peaky 7A 20V. Change from the B3 to B4 chassis also included substantial revisions outside, giving the 90 a new lease on life. They were well built, well engineered cars and have stood the test of time very well. Unlike their E30 ix competition, the B4 quattros were manual only. On their way out (to be replaced by the mechanically similar A4), the 90 got a special package in the “Sport 90”. Renamed from the previous 90CS models, externally there was only a subtle change to body-color side molding on the Sport models. Available in either front drive or quattro configuration, the latter included Jacquard quattro-script cloth that helped to set it apart from the regular 90s:
Two of the 4000 Quattros I wrote up in December are still on the block. Which of these all-wheel drive wonders would you choose? The first of these cars is a Zermatt Silver 1984 example which needs some love, but is now available at a much more realistic price point – less than half of what the asking price was in December.
The below post originally appeared on our site December 6, 2013:
If yesterday’s lower-mile but high price 4000CS Quattro got you excited to see an older Audi quattro model, today’s double take should take you to the next level! It’s pretty rare to find 4000 Quattros in a good state these days, and Paul’s example was one of the best that’s popped up in a while it was really priced well outside of the market for these cars. Today, though, we have two pretty good examples of 4000CS Quattros that can be had with a reasonable budget – one Tornado Red like yesterday’s example and the other in the quite rare shade of Oceanic Blue Metallic. Let’s start with the Tornado Red 87:
Model: 4000CS Quattro
Engine: 2.2 liter inline-5
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 190,000 mi
87 4000 Quattro, 190,000
Heated Quattro Script seats. Both work, no rips or tears.
Work done in fall 2012
Full engine tune up Plugs, cap, rotor, wires, air and fuel filters, all Bosch
New pads and rotors front and rear
15×7 Motegi Track Lite 2 forged wheels with new Hancook Ventus V2 Concept tires 205 50 15
New Trunk struts
Replaced door handle gaskets
New expansion tank
New Ansa rear muffler assembly
Fuel pump relayed
Transmission oil changed with Audi fluid
Rear diff oil changed
Sunroof seal replaced, frame cleaned and lubed, sunroof tilts and slides
Front door outer window seals/scrapers replaced with new clips all from Audi Tradition.
Transmission mounts replaced
Coupe Quattro red H&R springs
Ur-q OE strut mounts on all 4 corners
Bilstien Sport rear struts
Sachs Advantage front struts
Front and rear ball joints replaced
Right front CV axle rebuilt
Both rear wheel bearings and left front wheel bearing replaced
Front tie rod assemblies replaced
Roof, drivers door, lower rocker panels and trim painted.
I recently wrote up a few quattro GmbH specials that didn’t come to the U.S.. While over the past few years Audi enthusiasts here have spent countless hours and dollars recreating one of those cars, the RS4, from U.S. spec S4 sedans and avants. But rewind a decade and it was this car that many were trying to reproduce – the Audi S2. As crashed or heavily used 200 20V and S4s came up for sale, the reality of creating a S2 on U.S. shores became a possibility. Most utilized the popular Coupe Quattro chassis; a few enterprising individuals built S2 sedans – rare even in Europe. But despite being one of the most popular wagons of all time, the S2 Avant was seldom chosen because the small wagon was never brought to the U.S., meaning you’d have to not only import the chassis but then convert it. Of course, an easier way would just be to buy a whole factory S2, a possibility now that prices have dropped though we’re still a few years from these being legal on our shores. Today I have two examples to dream about:
Engine: 2.2 liter turbocharged inline-5
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 225,000 km (139,808 mi)
Price: E. 5,499 ($7,591.37 today)
Dual airbag model
Missing front bumper
OK tires – they were replaced 3/2012 and can still be driven a season
Service book available
More information only via phone
E-mails will not be answered
No payment by installments possible.
The vehicle will be completed in the next few days so the price will go up.
There’s a lot to like about this S2; Europa Blue Mica is one of the prettiest colors of this generation of Audi, the Avus alloys are perfectly suited to the design, and it has quattro-script cloth seats.…