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:
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?
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.
The below post originally appeared on our site November 13, 2013:
One of the best features of the German super-sedan is how much of a sleeper performance machine they are. In more recent years, that sleeper-status has decreased slightly in some marques, but in the late 1990s and early 2000s, you still needed to be an enthusiast to really tell the difference between some of the more potent models and their more pedestrian stablemates. Certainly that was true of the B5 Audi S4; yes, it had subtly refined front and rear bumpers and distinctive wheels, but aside from that the outside looked nearly the same as any other sport package A4. But the performance was certainly better than the typical A4, and the B5 2.7T V6-equipped S4 has proven itself to be a popular tuning platform. The ability to channel the power through all four wheels means that horsepower figures that would render other cars simply tire-shredding machines can be utilized by the S4. And some of those power figures are impressive; spec out a B5 S4 motor such as this and APR claims it’s capable of getting within a riding mower’s worth of 700 horsepower. Look at the outside and tell me you’d be expecting that at the lights when this stealthy sedan pulled up next to you:
The 2001.5 Audi S4 Avant I wrote up a few weeks back as part of Tuner Tuesday has now popped up on Ebay. The reserve is on, but we’ve heard from people who have seen this car in person saying this car will not disappoint. This is a fairly rare to see color combination on these S4 Avants and the condition and modifications seem to justify the pricing before; I expect the reserve is set close to the original ask of $17,500.
The below post originally appeared on our site May 27, 2014:
Okay, I got the memo. You didn’t like earlier’s Tuner S4. And while I think it’s pretty silly to discount the car completely because of some fairly easily changeable interior pieces, I also had issue with the car as honestly I’d prefer an Avant if I was going the S4 route. What’s a guy to do? Well, lucky for us there’s an equally awesome, equally Imola Avant in our Self Service Classifieds:
When they were first released, I personally thought that the B5 S4 was a bit disappointing. After all, it was basically only producing a few more horsepower than the revered outgoing turbocharged inline-5 had produced, and indeed produced less power than the S6+ and S6 V8 models produced. Like the E36 M3, the styling was conservative and understated but handsome, but the performance was also on par with the M3 which had just gone out of production. It really seemed like Audi was behind a few steps. Since then, the appeal of the B5 to me has increased a bit; as a package capable of both driving all year and turning some incredible numbers on the dyno there are few that can match it. My view started to change when I got a ride in an Imola Yellow S4 Avant that was built to RS4 specs – on the front straight at Lime Rock Park, the car easily accelerated from 80 to 120mph before the start/finish line. The acceleration was brutal and instant; not what you’d expect from a heavy turbocharged car – and a reminder of how much the Audi engineers left in that motor. It’s further interesting to me that after abandoning turbocharging in favor of naturally aspirated V8s, Audi and other manufacturers have been forced to reevaluate and include forced induction in their performance models. Today, you can get a very nice example of a B5 S4 for under $10,000 – but if you want one that’s a turn-key bullet, you’ll have to shell out a bit more for one like today’s lower mile Imola Yellow S4 sedan:
Being a fan of older Audis – and owning one – I’ve followed with much excitement the development of a small California-based tuning firm called 034 Motorsports. 034 – a reference to the 5-cylinder Audi motor part numbers – has taken a niche community and turned it into a flowering business. Initially starting with turbo modifications to the older 5 cylinder cars, the folks that make up the brain trust at 034 created some legendary Audis – most notable, the 1,000 horsepower turbocharged 80 quattro. But the reality is that these now 25 year old cars make up a very small percentage of the tuning market, so 034 turned to the much more popular A4 and Volkswagen GTi crowds, creating two stunning cars in the process. Less spectacular but stunningly effective was the A4 Time Attack car which went through several different engine configurations; but much more notable and impressive is what 034 attempted next; mid-mounting a V6 turbo into a 2001 GTi. The results are nothing short of stunning:
Growing up, my parents had an affinity for Hondas. I think years of Fiats wore my father down and the reliability of Japanese subcompacts was too attractive. But then, in the late 1990s, Volkswagen changed the mid-sized sedan game with the B5 Passat. Sharing architecture with the Audi A4, the new Passat brought a lot of luxury and refinement to what was becoming an otherwise lackluster vehicle segment in the US. Sure enough, my parents traded their 1997 Honda Accord EX for a 1999 Passat GLS V6 with a 5-speed manual gearbox. It took a while to have the car delivered, since the manual gearbox was a bit of an oddball request, but once they got the car, it was leaps and bounds more engaging than the four cylinder Accord ever was. My parents kept the car for about three years before trading it for a 2000 Mercedes-Benz C280 (which they still have), but I was a big fan of that Passat.
This silver on black leather 2004 Passat for sale in Pennsylvania is the later B5.5 generation, but has the same color and drivetrain combination as the Passat that was in our family, one that I have fond memories of. It was one of those cars that should have stuck around in the garage a bit longer.
Taking some of the elements of my previous Allroad Showdown and S4 versus A4 3.2 Avant Showdown, this morning I’ve got another turbo versus displacement showdown, this time amongst A6 sedans. For effectively the same package, these two sedans perform their task in very different ways. It was evident from the Allroad showdown that the manual trumped almost everything else, so as with the S4 versus A4 test both cars today are tiptronic. While that may be disappointing to some, these are both competent luxury sport sedans at a budget price. Let’s start with the 2.7T:
Model: A6 2.7T
Engine: 2.7 liter twin-turbocharged V6
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 67,000 mi
Price: $11,950 Buy It Now
VEHICLE FROM SOUTHERN STATES!
FULLY SERVICED(see records on the bottom)!
TWIN TURBO ENGINE!
All 4 matching tires ( 235-45-R17 ) – NEW
Front brakes – NEW
Rear brakes – NEW
Front rotors – NEW
Over $800 just invested!
17″ Audi SPORT Rims
Dual Climate control
CD / TAPE
Folding Rear seats
Original floor mats
First aid Kit
All original books and manuals
LOW MILEAGE Vehicle!
Bose Sound System!
You are looking at a fully loaded luxury car that has been exceptionally well kept; it’s an all around great looking vehicle. This gorgeous A6 has been highway driven. This is a great car which combines superior luxury and comfort and sport sedan performance. This is a-never-smoked-in beauty that looks and smells new. The car was garage kept. Great looking bright red exterior and tan leather interior makes this car look great!
THE CAR HAS BEEN SERVICED BY THE DEALER ITS WHOLE LIFE!
The engines is one of the finest German engines ever created – a 2.7L TURBO Engine that runs and feels smooth and provides abundant power.