1994 Audi 90CS quattro Sport

Audi’s nomenclature took an interesting turn once again in the early 1990s. From the B2’s “4000CS quattro” – the only way the car was available at the end of the run, Audi had introduced the tiered 80/90 quattro for the B2 model range. That culminated in the 90 quattro 20V, but even though the run of the B3 was short in the U.S., by 1991 the model was already 6 years old for the European market. Audi then skipped the 1992 model year for the 90, offering only the holdover 80/80 quattro while it readied the 90’s replacement. That replacement was…the 90. But strangely back again was the S/CS model designation in this “new” chassis, the B4, which was a heavily revised B3 chassis with some new sheetmetal and trim.

But the big news was new engines; gone was the NG and 7A, last of a long line of inline-5s that had populated the noses of small Audis since the late 1970s. In its place was the AAH 2.8 liter 12 valve V6. Rated at 172 horsepower and 184 lb.ft of torque, on paper it was the superior motor to the double-overhead cam inline-5 it theoretically replaced. But the power delivery and experience were entirely different. While the peaky 7A encouraged you to explore the upper realm of the rev counter, the AAH wasn’t particularly rewarding at the redline. Where it was superior was in low-end torque and it’s smooth power delivery, and though the cast-iron V6 was no lighter than the inline-5, it’s shorter overall length meant that some (okay, only a bit) of the nose-heaviness that had plagued the B2 and B3 series was forgotten.

But the ‘CS’ quattro moniker only lived a short two years in the U.S. before it, too, was replaced by the last-year oddly-named Audi Sport 90 quattro. ’94s are equally strange, being termed the ’90CS quattro Sport’. These were also some of the slowest-selling Audis in a history of not particularly prolific sales; Audi shifted only 718 1993 models and barely more in 1994 at 773. You’re much more likely to find a last-year model, as the Sport 90 quattro and the slightly lower-spec 90 quattro accounted for nearly as many sales as the ’93 and ’94 years combined. As with the prior B3 90 quattro, the Achilles heel of the B4 was the price. The base price for the 90CS quattro in 1993 was nearly $33,000, and add your taxes and a few options and you were close to a base M3 in ’95.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Audi 90CS quattro Sport on eBay

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1985 BMW 518i with 23,000 Miles

From the top-tier of the BMW performance catalog in 1985, we’re shifting gears to what was just about the slowest BMW you could procure in the 1980s. The E28 of course had a base model – here it was the 528e with the M20B27 good for just over 120 horsepower. But European countries and Japan got an even pokier version, the 518 and 518i. The 518i had the fuel-injected M10B18 looking a bit like a lost puppy cowering under the long hood, rated at 103 horsepower. It was capable of gently motivating the E28 to 60 in 12.6 seconds and had a top speed of 109 mph. Hardly thrilling, right? However, it wasn’t intended for speed – it was intended for economy. The 218 horsepower M535i you’d like to be reading about consumed 9 liters of fuel at 120 kph over 100km, while the 518i sipped one less. Not impressed? Around town, that same M535i churned through 15 liters for 100 km. The 518i? 9.9. Even though gas was relatively cheap in the 1980s, that still adds up when you’re sitting in traffic.

But today if you’re looking at a classic BMW E28, you’re not thinking of fuel economy. What are you thinking of? Condition, condition, condition:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 BMW 518i on eBay

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2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS

Love them, indifferent, or hate them, the Cayenne was really good for Porsche. They resulted in a significant cash boost for the company that allowed them to really invest in development of the 911 and basically everything else since these SUVs were launched in the early 2000s. So the next time you see a 997 GT3 RS 4.0 driving along, think to yourself, “Thanks Cayenne.” Okay, so maybe that isn’t the first thing that will pop into your head, but you get where I am coming from.

Today, I wanted to look at a Cayenne that isn’t the lease special V6 but also not the insanity that was the Cayenne Turbo and Turbo S. The GTS trim on any model always was, and still is, that sweet spot for those who want something a few notches up from the base model but aren’t spending $200,000 on a Turbo or GT car. The Cayenne GTS was a really nice spec Cayenne that had some different body work, 21″ wheels, and a 400 horsepower 4.8 liter V8. Even better, it was offered in a 6-speed manual that was completely off the table for any person who was married. This 2009 up for sale in Texas has the standard automatic that is significant other friendly, but at the end of the day can still do 0-60 in 5.7 seconds. The best part? They are getting cheap.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS on eBay

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1985 BMW M635CSi

The M635CSi somehow gets lost among the other greats of the period from BMW. Perhaps, for U.S. fans, it’s the nomenclature that’s confusing. After all, there was a M1, an M3, and a M5, but when it came to the M version of the E24, BMW stuck with the moniker M635CSi in all markets but the United States and Japan. Confounding that decision was the launch of the E28 M535i. Like the M635CSi, it had additional body pieces, special interior trim and wheels from M-Technic. But while the M535i had a fairly normal M30 under the hood, the E24 received the full-fat M88/3 that was shared with the M5. Like the European M5 production started in 1984, well before they were available to U.S. customers. But while the M5 only sold in very sparse numbers over its short production cycle (about 775 sold in Europe between 1984 and 1987), the M635i was a relative hit, with just over 3,900 selling overall – far more than made it the U.S. market. Additionally, the European models were a slightly more pure form of the design; smaller bumpers, less weight, and about 30 more horsepower on tap without catalyst.

Back in February, I looked at a group of M6s with asking prices all over the map. True, some M6s have sold for big numbers and there’s one looking like it may hit $100,000 this week. But they’ve all been pristine original U.S. examples with very low mileage. Today we have a moderate mileage, lightly modified European M635CSi in an offbeat color (for the M6), so how does the price sit?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 BMW M635CSi on eBay

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2014 Porsche 911 GT3

Would you believe me if I told you that the 991.1 Porsche 911 GT3 had an engine warranty for 10 years or 120,000 miles? Well, it’s true. In one of Porsche’s rare screw-ups (in addition to that whole IMS thing), the engines in the 991.1 GT3 had a metallurgical defect in certain batches of pivoting rocker arms in the valvetrain. This led to misfires at high RPMs and thus, very unhappy customers who spent $135,000 plus another $40,000 in options. If for some reason your engine does fail, Porsche will drop in a new updated engine, no questions asked. You can probably put two and two together and figure out why I am bringing this up. This 2014 up for sale in Colorado just happens to have a fresh updated engine installed in it with just 2,300 miles despite the car having almost 18,000 miles. Not only that, this car has something else that makes it probably the cheapest 991 GT3 out there for sale on the market right now. Let me explain:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 on eBay

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Golf Match! Volkswagen GTI Mk.2 v. Mk.3 v. Mk.4 v. Mk.5

Okay, $22,000 is a lot for an old hot hatch, even if it’s the ‘original’. When I was perusing some cars to consider, I noticed that there was a point where Mk.2, 3, 4 and 5 prices were all pretty equivalent. In fact, you can just about buy all four of these cars shown below for the same price as that Kamei X1 GTI. It raises an interesting question; what generation is the one to get at this price point? Certainly a lot depends on priorities – if, for example, you really want a fun daily driver or you’re looking for more of a weekend warrior show car. But let’s look at this group and see which has potential:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Volkswagen GTI 16V on eBay

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1996 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Tiptronic

A little over a month ago I checked out a 964 Porsche 911 C2 in a great spec until you noticed it was equipped with the Tiptronic transmission. Nothing really wrong with that, but I felt like it shouldn’t be priced on the same level as the 5-speed cars given the what recent 964s are selling for. Would I kick it out of my garage? Of course not. Would it be my choice all dollars being equal? Of course not.

Building on that, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the next generation 911 with the old slushbox, the 993. The transmission was exactly the same, a ZF box with four forward gears, as opposed to the standard 6-speed you get with the manual cars. Even worse, the Tiptronic was 55 pounds heavier. Even worse than that, it sucked up the power big time. A 0-60 time in a C2 with the 6-speed was around 5.3 seconds while the same car with the Tiptronic box was 6.2 seconds. Yes, not great. However, this 1996 C2 painted in the lovely Guards Red could be cheap enough for you to consider it, right?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Tiptronic on eBay

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1983 Volkswagen GTI Kamei X1

Volkswagen’s GTI is legendary on its own as a performance icon. It’s also got a deserved reputation as one of the most tunable cars out there; from turbos to suspension and everything in between, it’s no surprise that the basic GTI is actually hard to find.

One of the more popular visual tuners in the 1980s was Kamei. The company provided everything from hood scoops to spoilers, and headlight conversions to fender flares. While they have a decidedly 80s feel, that vibe is currently very much in vogue. So when an original GTI comes along with the full spectrum of Kamei accessories, it’s one to take notice of:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Volkswagen GTI Kamei X1 on eBay

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

Some situations in life you do even when you know it is a bad idea and you will probably pay for it later. Like going back for that second piece of cake or buying a 15 year-old Mercedes-Benz with 738 horsepower and 840 lb-ft of torque. Okay, so maybe not too similar a set of examples, but you get the idea. What I’m trying to say is if a 2005 CL65 AMG with a RENNtech tune came up for sale that had enough power to spin the rear wheels at 60 mph, would you consider it? I think that answer depends on what your needs of a car is, do you have the budget, and are you currently under the influence of psychedelics? Still, my chest gets tight when I have to break a $100 bill, but this car is just so much for so little. How little?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG on eBay

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2013 Volkswagen CC VR6 4Motion Executive

Over the past year, there’s been quite a bit of buzz about the Volkswagen Arteon. These reviews tend to focus around two main points; that the Arteon is quite nice, and that the Arteon is quite expensive – at least, for a Volkswagen. The model starts at $35,000 and if you add a few options it’s not hard to crest $40,000. I did manage to find a SEL 4Motion under $40,000 but it has few options. The 2.0T is rated at 268 horsepower in base form, and you can select front- or all-wheel drive variants and a ton of tech as the price climbs, but initially they’ll all be offered only with an 8-speed ZF automatic. Although outwardly it looks a lot like an Audi A7, and indeed features the same hatchback configuration, like the previous few Passats and Passat CC it is based on the Golf MQB platform.

All this got me to thinking; is it really that radical a departure from the last CC?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2013 Volkswagen CC VR6 4Motion Executive on eBay

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