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1991 Audi 200 20V quattro Avant

Were I going to spend ~$20k on an older Audi wagon, it would almost certainly not be a B5. But head back a decade in time and you could get something truly special. 1991 was a great year for Audi and Volkswagen enthusiasts in America, robust with performance options all around. Fans of normally aspirated motors had multiple double-cam choices; the 16V twins from Volkswagen with the GTI/GLIs, each with heavily bolstered Recaros and awesome BBS wheels. Going slightly less boy racer and more upscale yielded the equally impressive 20V inline-5 duo from Audi, with the Coupe Quattro and 90 20V quattro. They weren’t as quick off the line, but they were certainly well built, solid performing luxury vehicles. Of course, the big daddy of normal aspiration in the lineup was the V8 quattro. Still at 3.6 liters and 240 horsepower for 1991, it was also available with a manual transmission and was in the midst of a winning streak in the DTM series, usurping power from the E30 M3 and 190E 2.5-16 in monumental style.

If forced induction was more your choice for speed, there were plenty of options there, as well. 1991 featured a slightly revised Corrado, now also with BBS wheels and the 1.8 liter G-lader supercharged motor. Audi offered you a luxury cruiser still in the 200 Turbo, as well. But the big news was finally the release of the 20V Turbo motor into the lineup. Long featured in the Sport Quattro, then RR Quattro in Europe and later S2, in America Audi brought the 3B turbocharged inline-5 package in the 200. As an added bonus, it was available in both sedan form and the innovative Avant wagon. Producing 217 horsepower and a bit more torque, the Audi was capable of 0-60 runs in the mid-6 second range if you were quick with your shifts. But this wasn’t a bracket racer – the 200 was a luxury car through and through, with a well-appointed cabin full of the things you’d expect – Zebrano wood trim, electric powered and heated leather seats front and rear, and a high-quality Bose stereo. Unusual for a luxury car of the time, but underscoring the German’s feelings towards driving, were the number of driver-oriented items. The dash was full of gauges, and unlike the V8 and 200 Turbo, the 20V was manual-only. Next to the shift lever was the manual rear differential lock, though as with all the second generation quattro drivetrains, the electronic lock disengaged at 15 m.p.h. automatically. The center differential was a Torsen unit capable of varying power as well. And the brakes were unconventional floating-rotor designs, intended to help haul the heavy 200 down from triple-digit Autobahn speed with ease. Unlike the normal 200, the fenders on the 20V were flared slightly to accommodate BBS forged wheels, 15×7.5″ all around and shared with the V8 quattro. It sounded like a recipe for success, and was a well regarded car when new even if the unconventional manual/turbo-5 setup lacked some grunt compared to the V8s of the day.

Yet this was still the fallout period of both the recession of the 1990s and Audi’s fall from grace in the U.S. market, so the 200 was a slow seller. On top of that, the C3 was at the very end of its life cycle, replaced mid-1991 with the C4 chassis. As a result, very few of the 200 20V quattros were built; Audi claims 4,767 sedans and a scant 1,616 Avants were produced with the 3B motor. Of those, only about 900 sedans made it to America. But the number you care about? Well, this 1991 200 20V quattro Avant is one of the 149 originally imported here.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi 200 20V quattro Avant at Coventry Motorcar


Year: 1991
Model: 200 20V quattro Avant
VIN: WAUHE544XMN009776
Engine: 2.2 liter turbocharged inline-5
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 84,600 mi
Location: Coventry, Connecticut
Price: $19,995 Buy It Now

4WD/AWD|ABS Brakes|Air Conditioning|Alloy Wheels|AM/FM Radio|Cargo Area Cover|Cassette Player|Cruise Control|Driver Airbag|Fog Lights|Front Power Lumbar Support|Leather Seat|Power Door Locks|Power Windows|Rear Window Defogger|Tachometer

If one of the photos in the listing is to be believed, this may be the same car I looked at in 2015. The mileage, location, color, and condition align, but several details have changed. This one is rolling on original BBS RGs, the roof racks are back, it’s got sport seats that weren’t in the last one, and it’s now got a front lip spoiler. Could it be the same car? Certainly. Is it now worth two times the value these were selling for in 2015? I think that might be plausible. The market has moved on, they didn’t make more in that time, and if anything the presentation is better this time around. CMC doesn’t offer much history or specific detail, but do they have to? What a lovely car! $20,000 is a strong ask, but it doesn’t appear you will find a better example out there right now for any less.

Thanks to our reader John for sending this one in!

-Carter

5 Comments

  1. Early8Q
    Early8Q July 4, 2022

    It is a beauty! As I have mentioned a few years back, my mother had one of these cars new in 1991. For my parents, the little things like the vacuum activated door locks made them crazy as the car approached the end of warranty and they traded it. If I recall correctly, hers was black on beige leather. I can’t recall exactly, but I don’t think they were the sport seats. It was a fantastic car, according to me. I recall driving it home from the dealer, Holbert’s, in December of 1990; yes my father took me to the dealer to collect it.

    When my parents traded it in they took delivery of a new 1994 C4 A6 Avant Quattro with an automatic, the first automatic in a Quattro, other than V8, if I recall correctly. It was so soft by comparison, that it got no love. Let me rephrase that, it was awful by comparison. I think that car lasted six months? Life was good and they quickly traded the slushed A6 avant- for a 1995 S6 Avant, black on black. My mother was mortified by the “excessive consumption” of that trade, but she did really appreciate it as it was her car. She was indeed spoiled by that 20V turbo five, we all were. The story of her cars goes on…. Allroads, V8 Allroads, and then ugh, Q5s….. those 20 valve “Super Quattros” were so uniquely Audi. The S6 was better, but the 200 Super Q was just supremely Audi uniqueness!

  2. John
    John July 5, 2022

    @Early8Q Wow! What a great experience. I was thinking how cool it must have been to drive one of these back in the early 90’s.

  3. Heksi
    Heksi July 5, 2022

    What´s happened with the bumpers? Those seem like original, but shortened. Looks quite odd.

  4. RomanW
    RomanW July 5, 2022

    The bumpers looks like they are slightly “pushed” in. I did that on my URQ but never thought you can do that on 200.. Interesting. I kind of like the look of them on this car since looks more “European” specs bumpers (shorter to the body). Need to see my Avant on how this can be done. I know you have to drill the bumper shocks in order to push them in slightly but not sure how other mounting points will align without any modifications (screws on the wheel arch etc)..

  5. Heksi
    Heksi July 6, 2022

    It would look good if European cars had bumpers like this originally, now I think it just looks a bit odd due to fact that no Audi looked like that from the factory.

    However, I understand why someone would do that since the original bumpers are quite protruding.

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