The Type 44 Audi was on its way out of production (in the West, at least) in 1991, but it went out with a bang. The big news was finally the release of the 20V Turbo motor into the lineup for the US market. A development of the motor utilized in the Sport Quattro and then the RR Quattro in Europe and later S2, Audi also popped 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 200 20V 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 dashboard 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 ’91-up 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. Truth be told, though, “success” in Audi’s sales numbers in the early 90s was relative; somewhere around 1,200 or so of these 20Vs were sold in the US. This one looks pretty slick, so let’s take a peek:
Warning!We have 15 years of archives. Links older than a year may have been updated to point to similar cars available to bid on eBay.
The S4 is no stranger to these pages, offering enthusiasts a “have-your-cake-and-throw-it-squarely-at-that-M3-owner’s-face-too” package that combined functionality and sport in a very discrete wrapper. Well, for the most part they were discrete; most were ordered in shades of gray because a fair amount of people ponying up new were conservative with everything but the money they were paying for this small executive wagon. Lightly optioned, an S4 was about $50,000 in 2004; for comparison’s sake, that’s the equivalent of $25k more than a current S4. That sticker shock masks that the B6 and B7 represented a huge price increase over the B5 generation; out the door, the cost on average about 20% – 30% more only 3 years later – but then, they offered a full 90 horsepower advantage over the twin-turbocharged V6 with that awesome 4.2 V8, which of course could still be combined with a 6-speed manual gearbox. Subtle though the exterior colors may be, the performance on tap was anything but.
While they sold pretty well out of the box, the reality was that they had a reputation for not being the most reliable car – mostly, this was deserved. Coupled with strong depreciation and poor upkeep, this means that finding an early B6 S4 in good shape is pretty hard today. But one dealer has no less than two in pristine condition – likely the result of their combined 40k miles from new. Let’s take a look at the lower-mileage example first:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Audi S4 on eBayLeave a Comment
Audi continued its habit of strangely inconsistent names into the B7. In 2008 the S-Line package was a $2,000 premium. It gave you leather upholstery, brushed aluminum dashboard trim, sport suspension, and 18″ wheels – so, all in all a pretty good value. Today’s car appears to have been ordered with that package, but wasn’t. That’s because also in 2008, all A4s were outwardly given the S-Line upgrades and badges as standard equipment, and the standard trim on the A4 was aluminum (though, not brushed). Confused? Yeah, it makes a real S-Line car hard to spot. However, this one was also turned up by STaSIS; the actual details aren’t clear, but it appears to have the Touring Package – including suspension, exhaust, and 19″ wheels. It makes for a pretty tidy package, but though this particular A4 has just 53,000 miles there’s also one really big drawback:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Audi A4 2.0T quattro on eBay1 Comment
I was slightly amused to watch a recent Jason Cammisa video, where a new RS3 soundly walked an S3; making the argument for its existence if nothing else did. Of course, I found it really funny that a 200 thrashed both of them easily! Nevertheless, the song of the RS3 was as impressive as its performance. That’s thanks to 401 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque from its turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-5 mounted sideways up front. It’ll demolish the 60 run in 3.3 seconds, and can do a sub-12-second 1/4 mile on street tires. It even turns well thanks to crazy computer controls and its weird reverse-staggered tire setup (265/30 up front, 245/35 out back). The major downside? Well, it’s expensive. In fact, one of the few “free” (no cost) options is strangely today’s wild shade of Kyalami Green. Let’s take a look:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2023 Audi RS3 on eBay3 Comments
Now that we’re into 2023, we can consider what new cars can come into the country. For me, that last few years has been spent pondering pre-facelift Audi S8s. Although we got the S8 here in “plus” form between 2001 and 2003, and it’s still one of my favorites, there’s some allure about the 1996-2000 cars in Europe. Why? Well, that was the model used in 1998’s Ronin and, for many, our first introduction to the model that at that time was not available here. The styling is slightly more subdued, as well – there’s less chrome, and especially in silver, the design closely resembles the polished-aluminum Audi ASF concept. In fact, it’s nearly identical. Under the hood was a development of the ABH (V8 quattro and C4 S4 V8), ABZ (A8), and AHK (C4 S6 Plus) 32-valve 4.2-liter V8. The AHC/AKH was utilized in the first S8s and cranked out 335 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque; down slightly on the “plus” 40v version in the US market, but still plenty. But there’s one more special reason to look at European-market S8s – the transmission.