Audi’s sleeper sedan squared up against some seriously stiff competition in the early 1990s, and to be frank, though it was innovative it came up a bit short in the power department. In turbocharged 20 valve form, the 2.2 liter inline-5 cranked out 227 horsepower and 258 lb.ft of torque. That was impressive by 1980s standards, but in the early 90s you needed to carry a bigger stick. BMW’s E34 M5 brought nearly 100 horsepower more to the party at 311 with the revised 3.6 (and yes, it had more torque than the AAN, too), but Mercedes-Benz really crashed the party with the E500, whose M119 held a full 100 horsepower and 100 lb.ft of torque advantage over the Audi. You could be as clever as you wanted, but a 50% power disadvantage was a bridge too far to cross for the legendary 5 pot no matter how many wheels were driven.
The writing was on the wall, and Audi decided to offer an upgraded V8 model alongside the S4 in the rest of the world. Starting in October 1992, you could select the same ABH 276 horsepower 32V 4.2 liter all-alumnium V8 in the S4. The switch to S6 saw the introduction of the revised AEC, which gained 10 horsepower for the 1995 model year and would continue to be the standard V8 in the S6 until production ended. But the big new was the 1996 introduction from Audi’s skunkworks quattro GmbH of the Plus model.
The Plus upped the ante quite a bit with the reworked AHK V8. Though it displaced the same 4.2 liters and had the same 32 valves, the breathed on motor had 322 horsepower and 302 lb.ft of torque. Power was matched with upgraded suspension, brakes, wheels and some small “Plus” badge details – this was still the decade of stealthy performance, after all.…
We all have dreams. In automotive terms, I can remember many cars that I’ve spent countless hours modifying in my head. “No one will be expecting this!” I’d laugh to myself, ignoring the sensibility of my plan. Hurdles such as the cost, the time invested, or even if the end result would be worth the hours spent not only planning but executing the plan were cleared as if I was Edwin Moses on route to another Olympic Gold. Indeed, I’d already be crowning myself champion of the mods as I slowly turned the image of a complete dream in my head at night, during breakfast, while walking or at work, and especially when driving. But then the realities of life set in, and the dreams so carefully laid out by many are dashed on the rocky shores of life. The plan wasn’t economically viable or even possible, the car was too rusty or too far gone, the parts were too hard to source, or as is often the case, priorities changed and something newer and flashier came along. For every 1,000 cars dreamed to completion, my bet is that fewer than five make it to the light of day. When I had my V8 quattro, I was going to restore that and make it a manual. I truly loved that car, but the realities of owning it were too hard to continue on. Then I had my 200 Avant, and I was going to combine the bits from the V8 quattro and make a monster V8 Avant. That, too, was left on the planning board.
All of this is what makes such creations as this car so special. Who would look at an A6 Avant and think “I’m going to turn this car into a S6 Plus Avant”? Maybe one person would have that thought – but it only takes one.…
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:
The other day Paul wrote up perhaps the most desired wagon that was never imported to the U.S., the Audi RS2. While it’s true that car is massively awesome in just about every way, there is a second, lesser known quattro GmbH special wagon that would be the one I’d try to import first. While the RS2 is getting tantalizingly close to importation-legal status, we’re still a few years away on what is my favorite fast Audi wagon, the C4 Audi S6 Plus. They’re not common at all with less than 900 Avants produced, and most reside in the motherland – but they are also ridiculously inexpensive for what they are. With the same 32 valve V8 motor as the original S8 pushing 320hp, a six speed manual, awesome S6 Plus only-alloys and draped in RS Blue over RS Blue suede, it doesn’t get much better than this for me:
Model: S6 Plus Avant
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 171,000 km (106,254 mi)
Price: E.5,500 Buy It Now ($7,534 today)
automatic climate control
small rust spot on the rear left side panel
More details on the car can be found here
Phone: +49 (0) 162 2402991
For $7500, this car just seems like a steal. Not only that, but it’s not the only one available! There are several that you can choose from at any given time, all around the same price and same mileage. This car makes me want to call my friends in Germany and have them stick it in a container even though I’d not be able to register it for a bit. But not everyone wants an older V8 Audi wagon (who are these people???…