Feature Listing: 1993 Audi S4 – REVISIT

The 1993 Audi S4 we listed last month has been updated slightly; original orange corner lights have replaced the aftermarket clear corners and the seller has dropped the price to $5,500.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Audi S4 on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site April 10, 2015:

If you have followed my posts, you know that I’m a devoted Audi fan, having owned many from the 1980s and early 1990s. And given the rarity with which we see mid 1980s Audis – or even more rare, 1970s Audis – you’d be forgiven for thinking that those years were the leanest for Audi in the United States. But you’d be very wrong, because even while the 1970s saw the introduction of the brand to the United States and the 1980s saw the beginning of a new era with the Quattro, those were, in fact, relative boom times for Audi compared to the early 1990s. The reality is that the toughest time for Audi coincided with one of its masterpieces. From 1992 to 1994, Audi sold less than 30,000 cars total in the United States – less than the number of 1999 A4s alone they managed to shift only a few short years later. 1992-1994 also was the production run of the C4 S4 quattro, the Teutonic turbocharged sedan that competed against the more popular benchmark M5 and legendary 500E. And on paper, the S4 was the underdog compared to the other two; heavy and underpowered with less displacement and a forward weight bias, the S4 seemed outmatched. What history has taught us, though, was that the S4 offered something the other two had a hard time matching; potential. Upgrade the suspension, brakes, fit some larger rubber, turn the boost up and hang on – these cars were capable of churning out incredible power levels. How powerful? Only two years ago, a nearly stock looking 1992 model pushed 240 miles per an hour, a record for sedans. Two hundred and forty. Veyron numbers from a car that you can buy for under $10,000? That’s some serious potential:


Year: 1993
Model: S4
Engine: 2.2 liter turbocharged inline-5
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 155,000 mi
Price: $5,500

This is my 1993 Audi S4 Turbo Quattro AWD sedan with 155,000 miles.

This is a rare, high-performance Audi built in small numbers in the mid 90’s. There were about 500 of them sold per year due to the $50,000 price tag.

These cars are rare, and becoming very sought-after and collectible in recent times.

These cars have huge aftermarket tuning potential, with many cars being tuned to 450 hp or more. The AAN engine is massively overbuilt and can put out double the stock horsepower ratings with ease.

This car is mechanically mostly stock, with a few minor modifications including the addition of a boost gauge, slight suspension lowering, Porsche front brakes, plus the addition of the Mille Miglia Porsche Turbo Twist-style 17″ wheels and tires.

This car was previously owned by a professional mechanic and he replaced both the timing belt and the clutch within the last few thousand miles.

This S4 runs and drives great. The engine, transmission, turbocharger, brakes, suspension, AWD, steering, etc are all working great with no issues or problems. There is no check engine, nor any other engine warning lights on. This is a fast, great-handling and fun-to-drive car that has huge upgrade potential.

The interior is clean and in nice condition. Typically the seats and leather upholstery are worn out, but the seats and leather on this car are in great shape for the age. The interior is in great condition and looks very presentable.

The exterior paint and body are clean, straight and in great shape. The paint is in good condition with none of the typical clear-coat flaking. The panels are clean and in very good condition. There are a few minor nicks, scratches and other small flaws as you might expect for the age. This body of this car is far above average condition, in my opinion.

This car has the following equipment and options:

-2.2L Inline-5 turbocharged engine (227 hp)
-5-speed manual transmission
-Quattro AWD with locking rear differential
-leather seats heated front and rear
-power moonroof
-ABS brakes
-power locks and windows
-cruise control
-automatic climate control

This car has a clean and clear title in hand and ready to transfer. No known previous accidents nor damage.

This car is kept in my heated garage near downtown Willoughby. Email me or call/text me at 440-339-4341 to make arrangements to see the car.

This is the third C4 we’ve seen from this seller, and this one is nearly the equal of the other two. It’s not quite as original; the lowered suspension and Mille Miglia wheels hide Porsche brakes which are a welcome addition to the heavy sedan. There are a few small details that aren’t original; it appears the front bumper has been resprayed – not uncommon given they usually are stone chipped, and the original front S4 badge is missing. The corner lights have been swapped for clear units, and the “quattro” badges present appear to be from a 100CS quattro rather than the original smaller S4 unit in the rear. But these are nit picks; overall, condition of this car is very good – certainly well above how they’re normally seen. The modifications are both tastefully done and nice additions. Miles are below average and again the Ecru interior looks improbably good. Pro tip; if you own one of these, contact the owner and send him your car with some cash and get him to work his magic on the interior! As with the other two cars, the asking price is very reasonable given what you’re buying: a clean, maintained example of a super sedan. Just because Audi didn’t sell many doesn’t mean this isn’t one of the best all-around packages ever made – it just means it’s hard to find them like this today.

You can contact the seller directly at camera411@gmail.com.

-Carter

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10 Comments

  1. Very nice, but I’d be undoing the wheels and turn lamps. Glad a monstrosity of a radio is not installed. The interior’s condition is lovely. Thank heaven this is one of the S4s with “power windows”.

  2. Ahhhh memories. My first S-car was a ’93 black on ecru. It had about the same miles on it when someone rear-ended me at 60mph. I miss that car. If I didn’t already have an S6 Avant I’d be seriously tempted to get this one and pick up where I was forcibly left off.

    The early ’90s certainly were lean years for Audi in the US (I think ’91 was their slowest sales year ever) and a lot of that stemmed from a residual bad reputation thanks to 60 Minutes. But the low sales figures for the S4 in particular have a lot to do with the fact that people (especially Americans) are thoroughly convinced that bigger/more is always better. Yet Audi was charging a massive premium over the 2.8 liter 100 for the 2.2 liter S4. Audi apparently hadn’t learned from Ford’s mistakes with the Mustang SVO which was a massive sales flop despite being a superior car…simply because it was a 4 cylinder and not a V8. If Audi had chosen to bring the S4 into the US with the 4.2 V8 they probably would have sold more of them. It also didn’t help that they didn’t offer an automatic option in the US, despite being available RoW.

    Personally I’m glad Audi did things the way they did. These cars are the last of an era when Audi truly marched to the beat of their own drummer. That’s what I loved about Audi of yore. But today they are just a “me too” badge engineered brand, but their sales figures reflect that. I bet they sell more cars in a week than they did in all of ’91.

  3. Agreed completely Markiteight.

    And that “pro tip” is a good one Carter; that interior again looks amazing for the miles in my experience.

  4. @Markiteight;

    You’re right – outside of 1970, 1991 was Audi’s slowest sales year – but not by much. The figures for 1991, 1993 and 1994 were nearly identical – 12,280 v. 12,520 and 12,575 respectively. It’s amazing that Audi continued to be sold here; to put it into perspective, that’s less models each year than the total production of Lamborghini Gallardos. I still have a theoretical soft spot for the V8 quattros, especially the 4.2s that ran alongside the S4 production – but in terms of ownership, these S4s make much more sense!

  5. Great car at a good price… these have nowhere to go but up. In performance and value. I only sold my ’93 UrS to move into an Audi wagon.

  6. I love it…. The wheels are not my taste but who cares you can swap them cheaply. I question the inerior. My guess is the pics are not high res enough to see the true patina on the seats. Again, who cares they’re good enough for sure. Looks like a hellofvah car.

  7. Folks, I looked at this car yesterday. I will chose my words carefully here, so as not to slander or talk smack. The condition of this car is a definite departure (in my opinion) from the “above average” words and the pics in the post.

    The Exterior: Paint does have either clear coat bubbling or many tree sap spots, about 50-70 spots on hood and trunk combined. Difficult to tell without digging with a fingernail. The front bumper has what appears to be a drywall screw holding it in place straight through the side. There are a couple of palm sized rust spots on the car as evidenced by raised and bubbling paint. Yes, there are the obligatory scratches for a car of this age, but I was not expecting to find several deeper scrapes in fenders and doors. Hood panel gap is not the same on the left and right.

    The Interior: Seats are nice with minimal wear for the age, but seller did not mention driver’s seat heater not working until I specifically asked. The headliner was fairly dirty and not attached around the sunroof. The overhead console for sunroof controls is sitting in the trunk. The headrests flip and flop an inch or two at will and the rears are pretty gapped at the seam.

    Mechanically: There is zero documentation with the car. The rear brakes squeal which also appear to be causing the the rotors to groove. The front wheels have significant negative camber and the seller does not know what springs/shocks are installed. The steering wheel is also cocked about 20 degrees to the right. The directional tires are just ok but I had to point out to the seller that the rears were mounted in reverse rotation. The e-brake is nonexistent, seller did not mention until I tried to pull it. Clutch and shifter did feel great and the car pulled strongly and came on boost very well.

    Readers: If this sounds like an example of an “above average car” I ask for you to help recalibrate me to the reality of the current market offerings. Not being sarcastic here: I may not know what average is.

    Carter: Please take my test drive under consideration when posting future listings from this seller.

  8. j: Great input and thanks for the first hand account. Obviously it’s difficult to pinpoint many of the items you’ve mentioned without seeing the car in person. Regarding the “average” v. “above average”; that’s obviously quite subjective. However, I see a lot of listings for C4s, and in my mind at least an “average” C4 does not equate to an “average” M3 or M5, or Porsche 911, for example. Many, many were heavily used, heavily modified, and not properly cared for. I suppose the same could be said of M3s, but on any given day there are a plethora of very nice to exceptional examples of every generation of M3 available on the market; the same cannot be said of the C4. As such, when I look at your comments, do I think the car is still above average? Yes, I’d have to say that considering the price point and overall condition (even considering some of the issues), I’d probably still suggest that the car is slightly above an average condition C4. I’d say an average black S4 of this vintage would have significant electrical gremlins or items not working, a heavily worn but not ripped interior, some noticeable missing trim, an incomplete service history, and failing paint. But, that’s my personal assessment, and to your point I haven’t seen the car in person. It’s a judgement call and a leap of faith from the description and photos available, but we always appreciate input from people that have actually seen the vehicle or know the history. Thanks again for taking the time to comment!

  9. Great proof that you should never buy a car from internet photos alone. I am quite guilty of wanting a shiny photograph to be an exact representation of what is on offer. The drywall screw would be a deal breaker for me. Now that I think about it, armour all on the tires is also a red flag.
    I do think these inline 5 cylinder turbo Audis are going to be good long term collectibles.

  10. This is one of the good cars with comfortable pricing. The seats of the car is luxurious and aristocrat people will like it I am one of the fan of the car.

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