Motorsports Monday: 2000 Audi A4 2.8 quattro

They have a reputation for being a bit heavy, underpowered and prone to understeer – all things that make track enthusiasts cringe. But let’s not forget that the B5 Audi A4 carried on a proud tradition of successful touring cars; it was entered into nearly every series and notably won a few championships – the ’95 and ’96 Italian Superturismo Championship and the ’96 British Touring Car Championship, besting the popular favorites BMW and Alfa-Romeo. Such was the continued dominance of the quattro drive system that in every successive championship the Audis were entered in, they were eventually banned from the series. But the resurgence of Audi to the forefront of Touring Cars proved to be a boost for sales of the popular B5 chassis, making it an instant favorite amongst fans who traveled to the track. While Audi changed priorities in the later ’90s from the BTCC and ITC, there were nonetheless several teams who ran examples of the A4, notably in the “World Challenge” sanctioned by SCCA. With liveries inspired by the classic A4 Super Touring, the more production-based A4 World Challenge gained mostly safety equipment and competed in the lower “Touring” class against the likes of the Acura Integra and BMW 325i, while after 2001 the S4 was introduced to run with the big boys. While not nearly as fast or special as the STW A4s which carry unique Audi Sport chassis numbers, an example of these lesser A4s captures the look at a fraction of the price:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Audi A4 2.8 quattro on eBay

10K Friday Pearls of Wisdom: Audi Pearlescent White Metallic-off

For the best part of two decades, Audi’s signature color was one of its most expensive options. On some models, in fact, Pearlescent White Metallic was the only optional extra you could select. From the original Quattro to the top tier S8, Audi bathed its most expensive models in the multi-stage dynamic paint color. As with most used older Audis, they’re all fairly affordable and offer – generally each in their own way – good value for the initial investment they represent. If you want to maximize the amount of German car you get for your money, look no further. Today I’ve arranged to look at a series of them, ranging from nearly the beginning to the end of the run. Which is your favorite and why?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi 200 quattro on Craigslist

Tuner Tuesday Axis Power: BMW Skyline v. Supra Power

This isn’t the first time I’ve written up sacrilegiously swapped cars, so it’s probably no surprise to see two Japanese-powered BMWs pop up. And in each of their own ways, neither is on the surface, at least, a car we’d typically cover. But before you judge a book by its cover, are either of these cars executed well enough to be a neat package?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW 325is on eBay

Wagon Week: 2000 Volkswagen Passat 2.8 GLX 4Motion Variant

While “Wagon Week” is one of our favorite features, I’ve tried to look at cars this go around that are slightly different than the normal candidates we examine. As such, while typically I look at the infamous W8 version of the Passat and it’s headline grabbing, innovative engine or the lighter weight 1.8T 5-speed, my preferred configuration, this time we’re looking at what was a popular platform – the GLX 4Motion. Equipped with a silky smooth 30V V6, as it was with the B2 generation underneath the B5 Passat was effectively an Audi A4 and shared the same all-wheel drive technology with updated 4-link suspension. That gave the Passat a refined and capable drivetrain and composed suspension setup that made it feel more upscale than the B3 and B4 generation had been. For enthusiasts, unfortunately if you wanted the all-wheel drive option coupled to a manual, you’d need to select an Audi over the more budget-friendly Passat or wait until the introduction of the 1.8T 4Motion later in the B5.5 model run. But many selected the package none-the-less, a capable and competent upscale cruiser that punched north of its price point and was a value luxury car:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Volkswagen Passat 2.8 GLX 4Motion Variant on eBay

Wagon Week: 2001 Audi RS4 with 3,300 Miles

If yesterday’s pristine S4 DTM Edition with low miles got you excited, then this is probably the type of car that you’d really like to see. Normally when we’ve done Wagon Weeks, I’ve written up some of the more notable fast Audi wagons; the RS2 and the S6 Plus, for example. But today I wanted to visit a few we don’t spend so much time on – hence the S6 Avant duo from earlier. What we have here, though, is even that much more special; what is probably the best condition, most original and lowest mile Audi RS4 outside of Audi’s possession. The RS4 was an instant hit, with quattro GmbH combining forces with Cosworth to tune the engine of the B5 up to a then-staggering 375 horsepower. With beefed up bodywork covering massive wheels and tires and run through a 6-speed manual transmission, the RS4 was good to its Sport Quattro and RS2 heritage, running to 60 m.p.h. in a smashing 4.9 seconds and easily bouncing off its self-imposed 155 m.p.h. limiter. As with the RS2 and the Sport Quattro, the limited run RS4 has been the subject of many replicas, but finding a mint condition original example reminds us of how perfect the formula was:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi RS4 on Classic Driver

Feature Listing: 2001 Audi S4 Avant

For some time, the B5 S4 was dismissed by a fair amount of enthusiasts as a heavy, complicated car. Truth told, the B5 seemed a bit of a let down initially compared to the already gone and instantly legendary C4 S4/S6 with the venerable inline-5 power plant. But Audi had a new range of motors when it came to the B5, and the inline-5 did not really fit under the more compact hood in the lineup. Replacing the single turbo 5-pot was a new 2.7 liter V6 with not one but two turbochargers. Despite that, performance seemed a bit tame; 250 horsepower was nothing to sneeze at, but it was only a bit more than the outgoing M3, after all. However, the B5 had a few trump cards over its competition. Of course, the major one was that quattro all-wheel drive continued to be the high-performance platform for Audi. In this guise, the lockable options were completely removed from the driver, instead having the computer’s brain work electronically locking differentials coupled with electronic stability. While the combination of these things didn’t sound like an enthusiast’s dream, out of the box the S4 was a quite competent performer. Of course, the big bonus with turbocharging was that there was a tremendous amount of performance potential on tap with some upgrades. Free up the exhaust and turn up the boost, and these Teutonic turbocharged wonders went from tame to terror. There was one other major trump card the B5 had over the competition; as with the last of the run C4 S6s, Audi finally allowed their fast wagons to come over to these shores. They were an instant hit amongst the Audi faithful, and brought many more customers over to the four rings from other marques as well. Arguably the most popular were the two wild color options; the ever popular purple-blue Norgaro Blue and the retina-searing shade of Imola Yellow.…

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

1995 Audi 90 quattro

The good week for Audis continues with another car that’s frankly rare to find in reasonable condition anymore; the B4 Audi 90 quattro. The 90 was a bit long in the tooth in 1995 and slated for replacement by the updated A4. However, squint a bit and you realize that outside of the reshaped bumper covers the A4 shared many design cues with the B4 Audi. It’s a handsome car, and like the ’95 A6 I wrote up the other day it’s extremely competent. The V6 was coupled to the venerable but updated quattro all-wheel drive via a 5-speed manual transmission. While not the fastest car out there, the B4 focused on more luxury at a time when all of the major manufacturers seems to be backing away from sport just a bit. You won’t confuse this car with an M3, but that said it’s a fair bit more quiet, refined and quicker than a 4000 quattro. However, the car was a veritable sales flop compared to the 4000 – Audi only sold about 3,330 of the B4 90 quattros in the U.S. in total, compared to the nearly 16,000 4000 quattros sold. Rare? You bet:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi 90 quattro on eBay

2001 Audi S4

An interesting thing is happening for me with the B5 Audi S4. Even when it launched, I considered the B5 too complicated, too heavy and a bit too boring in the design. Is it a handsome looking car? Sure, but to me it wasn’t quite as special looking as the wider fendered C4 and V8 quattro models had been. Performance was good but not outstanding, and I openly criticized the new S4 as barely being the match for the already out-of-production E36 M3. So when power was upped substantially in the new B6 V8, on paper it was a better car. It seemed less complicated, more of a muscle car that was practical. But recent events in the used B6/7 market – the fear of timing chain guides – have changed the discussion. On top of that, many of the issues that the B5 platform experienced are being worked on by an enthusiastic community with market support. It’s something that hasn’t really previously occurred in the Audi market, but getting these older cars to run better (and without check engine lights constantly ablaze) is suddenly of interest in light of the problems with the later V8s. On top of that, clean examples of the S4 are already starting to dry up, since many dropped in value so quickly or weren’t maintained properly. Has the time of the B5 S4 finally come again?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 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: