One of the things I love the most about Audi is that for some time they liked to do things differently. Now, if you’re Porsche and you’re able to build a reputation around that insistence to do things differently through racing, then you can be a successful company. As such, the closely linked cousin Audi was taken racing by some of the same team from Porsche. The first big attempt in the 1980s was the push to win the World Rally Championship with their new Quattro model. Highlighting turbocharged technology coupled with a semi-revolutionary all-wheel drive system, the Quattro was a positive sensation until the mid-1980s and the death of Group B. Audi then took on Group A with the non-turbo Coupe quattro briefly, and also enjoyed some unlikely success rallying with their 200 sedan. But even success in World Rally Championship events wasn’t enough of a reputation boost for what lay ahead of Audi next, as 60 Minutes highhandedly nearly took the company right out of the marketplace. In order to rebuild the reputation of the company in the U.S., Quattro guru Jo Hoppen convinced Audi to go racing in the SCCA Trans-Am series. Headlining that series were tube-frame V8 behemoths that outwardly laughed as a production based luxury sedan with a measly 2.1 turbocharged inline-5 hanging way out the front pulled up to grid. It turned out they didn’t laugh too long:
Month: February 2016
A good friend of mine rolled up for a visit yesterday in her B8 Audi S4. So much attention has been focused on the launch of the turbocharged M3/M4 that it’s easy to forget that the S4 is still a very good choice in the sport sedan market. If you believe that all Audis drive the same with terminal understeer, you haven’t been behind the wheel of the most recent generations from the four rings, whose clever computers, suspension and differentials have left them turning as well as they go. And they look as good as they go too, with signature top-tier interiors and lovely details. Audi recently offered a brief run of classic Nogaro Blue Pearl Effect on the S4 too, with a special edition that bathed the S4 in the purpley-blue. Today I have two such colored examples to look at – which is the one you’d nog off to?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2014 Audi S4 on eBay
Let’s turn back to the 964 to look at a model I’m not sure I have ever featured before. Sure, I’ve written about a few 964 Cabriolets and especially a few examples of the Carrera 4, which was the model Porsche chose to use for its 964 debut. However, I don’t think I have ever written about the combination of those two: the 964 Carrera 4 Cabriolet. That might be a pedantic distinction to point out, but these do remain somewhat of a curiosity and I don’t recall seeing them all that often. I also imagine a Carrera 4 Cabriolet, especially from the 964 model, will be a tougher sell than many of its peers. We are combining two typically audience-limiting models into one. Many 911 fans have little interest in a Cabriolet. Similarly, many have little interest in all-wheel drive. That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of people who would have no problem with either, but when you put them together the audience certainly shrinks as we begin to move away from the sporting roots of the 911 in general. With all of that in mind, as we’ve been keeping a close eye on the 964 market it is always worthwhile to take in a few of the lesser-seen models to see just where they’re falling on the value spectrum. This Guards Red 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet, located in St. Louis, should provide us with a glimpse into where driver-quality examples are being valued.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet on eBay
Due respect to the E30 ix crowd and our own author Nate, if you were to consider the 325ix that was just posted and not consider this 90 quattro, you’ve got a few screws loose. The 90 quattro was long derided as underpowered compared to the competition, but in ’93 that was at least partially rectified with the addition of the 2.8 V6 motor. Though the power output wasn’t outrageous at 172, it was a robust and torquey motor that was easier to run around town than the peaky 7A 20V. Change from the B3 to B4 chassis also included substantial revisions outside, giving the 90 a new lease on life. They were well built, well engineered cars and have stood the test of time very well. Unlike their E30 ix competition, the B4 quattros were manual only. On their way out (to be replaced by the mechanically similar A4), the 90 got a special package in the “Sport 90”. Renamed from the previous 90CS models, externally there was only a subtle change to body-color side molding on the Sport models. Available in either front drive or quattro configuration, the latter included Jacquard quattro-script cloth that helped to set it apart from the regular 90s:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi Sport 90 quattro on eBay
We don’t see much of the 325ix around here (though Carter’s recent 325ix touring was a special treat), as they seem to have mostly died undignified deaths in Colorado and the northeast. This Vermonter has somehow survived without too much damage, not even showing any of the usual rust that appears around the M-Tech II bodykit. It’s covered the better part of 200k miles and has a few flaws (note to the seller: saying that “the car need a power sterring holes fot the power streeing to work again, and the paking brake is not woking now” four lines after “a lot money spent to keep it in top running condition” does not inspire trust. However, this is a rare 5-speed coupe E30 with all wheel drive, so it still warrants a close look.