Welcome back to Week in Review. We apologize for not getting this out sooner, but with GCFSB staff on the move with summer travels and your managing editor dealing with a move, we were a bit tied up. But let’s take this chance to recap the last month of vehicles we have featured:
All posts tagged Quattro
Up until the early 2000s, Audi always did things a little differently than its countrymen. Critics and enthusiasts have sometimes criticized the designs for not being optimal, overly complicated or ill-timed. But get into a RS car – any RS car – and it’s hard not to be completely thrilled. Audi certainly pulled out the stops for it’s top of the line, quattro GmbH assembled super-sedans and avants; the great details abound. Subtly flared fenders, special bumpers, larger wheels and massive brakes, lowered ride height and signature twin exhaust became the blueprint for the RS4 and RS5 to follow and hinted at the new bar that Audi set, but under the hood lurked something special in the RS6. Like the S6 the power was derived from a V8, but in the RS6 two turbochargers boosted performance to 440 horsepower with torque to match. The power was seamless and unabated; more a freight train that never let up than a rush of power. This car is deceptively fast, so quiet and unassuming it really was the ultimate Q-ship of its time. I was lucky enough to push one of these cars to its limit when new around Le Circuit Mont Tremblant, and while it’s no lightweight sports car, the amount of speed and grip it generates is otherworldly, and it can easily keep up with many cars that should be quicker. Inside you were bathed in luxury; soft touch plastics, warm colors on the dashboard, excellent seats that managed to both be supportive and comfortable. There were small details too that helped to make the RS6 feel even more exclusive; the Alcantara headliner, alternating color piping on the leather, rich wood accents and carbon fiber details that were sprinkled in just the right proportions to make this car the ultimate Autobahn weapon:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi RS6 at Sun Valley Auto Club
The less glamorous version of what was a fantastic chassis and engine combination, the Audi 4000 quattro brought rally-bred performance to the masses. You really could think of it as the original “WRX” because while the big-brother Quattro that stole all of the headlines in its day is currently a reasonably good value compared to some of its contemporaries, when they were new the turbocharged, box-flared brother was simply out of reach of most enthusiasts. Original sticker price of the Quattro put it around the same price as a well-equipped Porsche 911; equivalent today to a base model R8. It was therefore very exciting to see a nearly identical drivetrain layout passed down to the more pedestrian sedan version, complete with a similar-sounding inline-5 and locking differentials. You got all of this in a slick-looking 4-door package for around $20,000 – not cheap, mind you, but half the price of the Quattro. For many fans of the Quattro package, it proved to be legendary in its own right:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Audi 4000CS Quattro on eBay
Thought they recently have surpassed the 25 year importation boycott into the United States, it’s not likely that you’re ever going to see many of this model car on these shores. Sure, there’s a group of Audi enthusiasts who are particularly excited when they see a B2 Coupe Quattro pop up for sale – a truly rare event in the U.S.. However, clean models demand a serious premium because of their rarity – a premium which pushes them squarely into the price point of the turbocharged, box flared big brother. Though the drivetrains are for the most part the same, the addition of the turbo, bigger wheels and flares changes the category of ownership from neat footnote to headline splash. As such, it’s understandable why the Coupe Quattro is such as niche vehicle. Nevertheless, it’s really neat to see one for sale in the U.S., and this occasion is no different.