The Audi S4, now in its 7th iteration, has been a perennial performance favorite of those who like the understated looks coupled with all-weather performance. And since the original, the S4 has offered a unique tuning platform; while the B6 and B7 were difficult to extract extra performance out of, the other generations have offered forced induction out of the box that allows for generous tuning potential for a real sleeper supercar slayer. 1,000 horsepower isn’t unheard of out of the legendary inline-5, but power numbers exceeding 400 seem to be almost commonplace for the C4 and B5 S4s. So when Audi launched the supercharged V6 model in 2009, the return to a smaller displacement forced induction powerplant immediately had me thinking that it wouldn’t be long until tuned versions appeared. The trick in buying a S4, though, is and always has been managing to find an unmodified one that is well cared for but also affordable. After all, for under $10,000 you can run out and grab any one of the first three generations – however, the less you spend up front, the more likely you’ll be dishing out of pocket in the future it seems. But as we get towards the newer generation of B8 you can get a car that is still quite new for a substantial discount over the original purchase price without (generally) the fears of abuse, neglect and immediate repairs that need to be undertaken. Today’s example has the right ingredients; mileage is in check, it’s a manual, and it’s a neat color. But is it the right one to get?
Alpina E30s have exploded in popularity over the past year; I never remember seeing quite so many of these small tuned 3s for sale on a regular basis. In part I’m so incredulous because so few were produced; with this B6 model for example, a scant 259 were made between late 1983 and mid-1986, with just over 1,100 total E30s modified in all forms by the legendary company. The B6 2.8/1 wasn’t as wild as the later big-motored 3.5, but it was still much more than adequate with 210 horsepower from the M30 coupled with lower suspension, bigger wheels and brakes. Alpina, of course, added their personal flare of colors, stripes and awesome interiors, and the B6 is one attractive small sedan in such form. It’s easy to forget that there was a time before the M3, and in early 1984 this was the fastest small German 4-seater you could buy. That would change in mid ’84 with the introduction of the B6 3.5, but today it’s still a very desirable and rare to find package.
I recently did a breakdown of the C4 production changes, including the rolling revisions on the ‘1995.5’ models, which I covered in a lovely Magnolia Pearl White:
1995.5 Audi S6
The only real downside to a clean S6 sedan is that, of course, there was also an Avant provided – and who doesn’t love an Avant? This one looks pretty special, and as an interesting counterpoint to the 2021 RS6, let’s look at Audi’s first true big-body S five-door in the US:
Friends, the great experiment is finally underway. For generations, US fans have lamented Audi’s all-out refusal to bring its fastest wagons to the US market since 1991. Starting with the first generation S4 Avant and S6 Plus with their thundering (and optional) V8s, through the RS2, RS4, and RS6s, Audi has seemed convinced that it would not be able to sell the top-tier fast wagons here. They’re not alone; BMW has also robbed US enthusiasts of the best wagon offerings as we’ve seen, yet Mercedes-Benz has managed to eek out a market here over the past decade and change and has become the defacto boss of fast five doors, minus an occasional Cadillac interloper.
A few weeks ago, though, I saw the first shipment of fully-wrapped RS6s arrive at the port next to my home. Audi’s no longer playing around, and the full-fat 4.0T cranking out 561 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. Coupled with a hybrid assistance motor and an eight-speed automatic transmission, it’s no surprise the numbers are staggering. 0-60 is a hair over 3 seconds, and it’ll bury the needle close to 200 mph if deregulated. This isn’t a supercar; this is a five-passenger wagon that weighs in just over 5,000 lbs – with nothing in it! Also staggering? The tech, with touchscreens, virtual cockpit, and torque-vectoring. The tires, measuring 285/30 and 22″ in diameter. The brakes, which are 16.5″ in front and ‘only’ 14.6″ out back. And, the price. Last I heard there was already a wait for these cars, and that’s despite the monster pricetag starting at $110,000. Lucky for you, you don’t have to wait…as long as you’re willing to pay:
Even though they don’t generally get the big headlines, arguably the Porsche 934 and 935 were the most important car in developing the racing history and reputation of Porsche. While the 356 and early 911s were certainly notable, it was in the mid-1970s with the introduction of turbocharged 911 in 935 form that Porsche developed a sizable following of independents who raced the all-conquering Turbos. In turn, it was these race successes that convinced enthusiasts that the Porsche 930 was THE car to have. The 935 was, in many ways, a development of the earlier 934. Wide flares coupled with wheels and brakes from the prototype category 917 and 936 gave a purposeful and classic look. While the roofline and doors remained effectively the same as the production cars, few other details matched what you could buy at the dealer. One of the biggest developments was the aerodynamic “Slantnose” developed with help from Kremer; it would become the signature look for not only the 935s but also the most expensive versions of the 930 in the 1980s. The 935 also helped breach the gap in between the 917 program and the start of the 956/962; while the 936s were the direct transference between the two, it would be the 935 that would carry the Porsche flag around the world. Amongst the notable wins for the 935 were around 150 international victories including all-out victory at Le Mans in 1979 and multiple wins at both Sebring and Daytona.
So it’s little surprise that there’s no shortage of replicas, and this particular ’69 911 has ended up being a pretty impressive Kremer K3 replica:
The ‘what’ edition?
Don’t worry, that was my reaction too. It’s not that I don’t know the Latin origin of 10…heck, we’re only two weeks away from the month that begins with it (sidebar: Thanks for screwing up the straightforward month numbering system, Julius Caesar, though the weather in his and his adopted son’s months is much nicer). Anyway, here’s the R8.
The 2020 R8 V10 Performance Decennium Edition is ostensibly to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Audi’s V10, which…premiered in 2009 here. So that’s eleven years (or twelve, if you count this year). So…what’s the rub? Well, in the US Audi just skipped the 2019 model year. As the performance of the V10…Performance…was already pretty sharp, the Decennium Edition didn’t add any extra power, so as not to step on Lamborhini’s parade and become a named storm. Instead, it’s a roughly $20,000 visual package that was added on top of your already quite expensive R8 if you ticked the box, and it was limited to just 50 cars in the US. So let’s see what you got:
Within the world of older Audis, it’s often a case of pick your poison. Do you want low miles? Do you want good exterior condition? Do you want good mechanical condition? Do you want a manual? Do you want a desirable model?
Running down the checklist when considering the pool of available candidates, infrequently are you allowed to shout out “BINGO”!
I’m not sure today is that day, either. Here’s a 1986 Audi Coupe GT, and yeah, I really do try to look at every single one I can find. But in particular I wanted to look at this car because it’s very similar to how my own GT was delivered from the factory; Oceanic Blue Metallic, a quite rare color to find on any Audi from the 80s. How rare? Well last year I wrote Audi to ask them. And they claim that in 1986 114 Oceanic Blue Metallic with Gray Velour Coupe GTs were produced. That number seems low, but to me it also seems a bit suspect. Audi also claims they sold 2,846 Coupe GTs here in 1986. If those numbers are both to be believed, it’d mean that every 25th Coupe GT we’d come across would be Oceanic Blue Metallic. Maybe that number does make sense, but it seems to be unlikely; spotting an OBM Coupe GT in the wild seems to be a lot more unlikely than that number would suggest. Regardless, we don’t see it often, so it’s worth taking a look:
Wait, the recent strings of Opels weren’t enough? Nope! Strap in! Back in August I took a look at an ‘Opel’ Monterey, which was really just a lightly rebadged Isuzu.
1993 Opel Monterey RS 4×4 Turbodiesel
Well, if you squint, this Bertone looks somewhat similar, but then all of the boxy off-roaders kinda do. That’s not where the link is, though. The Freeclimber was marketed under the Bertone, but as with previous Bertones – just as the X1/9 – it was really just a rebrand of an existing vehicle they had helped design. In this case, underneath the Freeclimber was a Daihatsu Rocky, and yeah, there’s definitely no link to Germany there. But things did get interesting under the hood…
Since the 1990s, the proliferation of each premium marque’s “special” brands has become dizzying, and for enthusiasts it seems as though they’ve continuously diluted the performance options in favor of profits. From S-Line to AMG to perhaps the biggest offender, BMW’s M division, companies are badge slapping-happy when it comes to sticking a bigger set of wheels, some special trim and maybe, if you’re lucky, a few extra ponies. And on the surface, this 335d would seem to fit that description perfectly. After all, how could you possibly compare the diesel to that sonorous M3’s S65 V8 that cranks out over 400 horsepower and 300 lb.ft of torque with a 8,400 RPM redline? Pull up to a redlight next to one in this 335d, and the snickering owner would undoubtedly be laughing at the ‘M-Sport’ option package you ticked off. Because you’d think there would be absolutely no way that diesel would produce equal power to the M3.
You’d be right. The M57 under the hood of the 335d doesn’t produce as much horsepower as the M3, at least not in stock form. But torque? It produces more. A lot more.
Starting at a leisurely 2,000 rpms, the twin turbochargers augmenting the inline-6 spool up to a mountain of power. In stock form, the 335d cranked out 428 lb.ft of torque. In fact, it’s so much torque that gets used on a regular basis that the first person I met who had one had already consumed a transfer case on his xDrive model, and he’s not alone. Being a turbocharged model, it was also quite easy and possible to turn up the wick, and yet this classy 4-door can still return 35 mpg. Try that in a M3:
I’m certainly not a huge fan of the R107, and when it comes to beautiful and classic Mercedes-Benz models, it’s hardtop sibling – the C107 – probably isn’t on the top of anyone’s list. But it is an interesting car, and it has some unique history – including competing in the World Rally Championship before Audi redefined the category:
The Big, Bad, Automatic Benz That Took on the WRC – the C107
These C107s occupy an interesting spot in the marketplace; generally ignored, they offer a lot of classic Benz attributes without breaking the bank. And recently one popped up on Bring a Trailer with some neat modifications that really had me intrigued. So when a similar European-specification 280SLC popped up, I thought it was worth a look.