1992 Audi 100CS quattro

So on to the C4 chassis. Though it was instantly recognizable as an Audi, the all-new C4 bore little resemblance to the boxy C3 it replaced. Fluid lines and curves dominated the design, while new running gear and motors made a splash in performance. The C4 continued to stress Audi’s pioneering aerodynamic tradition, but the result this time was a car which seemed far less top-heavy than the chassis it replaced. It looked more trim even if it was a big bigger than the outgoing model.

On the fly, the 100’s new motivation was a revelation. The 2.8 liter V6 replaced the 2.3 liter inline-5, and though horsepower was only 172 and torque 184, both figures represented a nearly 30% gain over the 5-pot. New, too, was a 4-speed automatic transmission. And while the inside looked little different from the last of the C3, only switch gear was shared and the C4 brought a host of new safety and convenience features to the large-chassis Audi.

Strange, though, was the re-appearance of Audi’s earlier naming convention in the US. Back in the early days of the 5000, Audi had used the “S” and “CS” monikers to denote turbo and quattro models at times (but, again being Audi, inconsistently). Well, the S and CS were back after a four-year hiatus. Base model 100 came with steel wheels, while the “S” model stepped you up in options and gave you alloys. But outside of the 20V turbo S4 model, the 100 to get was still the 100CS, which was the most loaded and gave you the option for Audi’s quattro drivetrain. Fully loaded, they were around $35,000 – not cheap, but also not the most expensive in class, and were still pretty unique in offering all-wheel drive.

However, like the C3, the front-drive 100/100S/100CS outsold the quattro model by a fair margin. Audi claims they traded 2,230 of the new 100CS quattro in 1992, and here’s one of the nicest ones out there:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Audi 100CS quattro on eBay

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Forbidden Fruit: 1975 Audi 100 Coupe S

Were it not for the four rings on the front, it would be pretty easy to mistake the Audi 100 Coupe S for any number of other late 1960s – early 1970s GT cars. There’s a loose resemblance to the the second generation Mustang, for example, but a much stronger link to cars like the Datsun B210 and original Toyota Celica. Too pedestrian for you? How about the Fiat Dino, Jensen Interceptor, Ferrari 365 GTB/4 and Aston Martin DBS? Indeed, there were many coupes that shared the relative same profile in this era, though truth be told it’s not likely that you’ll mistake the Audi for a Ferrari once the curves beckon. Underneath, the Coupe S was – after all – a C1 Audi, not known to be the best drivers out there but good cars on the highway. With 113 horsepower, even with the 4-speed manual you won’t win any drag races. However, it’s a sharp looking and rarely seen classic, with only a handful in the Western Hemisphere (there are 5 known in the U.S., for example, since they were never imported). That makes this Audi even more rare to see on these shores than a Sport Quattro, for argument’s sake. Though it’s not as desirable, there is nonetheless a fanbase that love these very pretty early Coupes:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1975 Audi 100 Coupe S on eBay

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1991 Audi 100

Today’s car is going to start a bit of a series of big-body Audis from the 1990s for me. Why start here? Well, the 1991 Audi 100 was a end of an era for Ingolstadt’s products in the U.S. For a little over a decade the big-body cars had been powered by inline-5 motors, and the NG 2.3 liter unit under the hood of this 1991 was at the end of its life span. 1991 would see the introduction of the new V6 motor that would become the staple of Audi for the nearly decade and a half. Late 1991 also saw the introduction of the Type 44/C3’s replacement – the all-new C4 chassis. Well, I saw “all new”, but inside it didn’t really look like it changed much. Outside, though…

There were other changes to the new 100 that I’ll go through in the next post. But let’s talk about today’s 100, which was really just a dressed up 5000. Like all the Type 44s, it received a revised interior with the nomenclature swap in late 1988. Dynamically, though, there were basically no changes from 1987. In fact, the ’87 5000 front-drive shared more in common with the Turbo than the later model which shared many components with the small chassis cars.

The front-drive 100 soundly outsold its more expensive 100 quattro and 200 brethren. Somewhere around 5,000 1991 100 front-drive sedans and Avants were sold here, but finding them today can be a bit of a trick:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi 100 on eBay

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1985 Audi 5000S Avant

It’s hard to believe that only eleven years separate the genesis of the inline-5 Avant wagon design and its culmination with the 1995 Audi S6. Audi’s groundbreaking aerodynamic design for the C3/Type 44 looked from the start as if it were intended to be a wagon; a sleek, modern design with flush windows and a sweeping D-pillar. It would be two years until Audi’s quattro drivetrain would debut in the large package, which left you with the sole option of front-wheel drive for 1984 and 1985. Audi also opted to leave the KKK turbocharger out of the package until all four wheels could deal with it, as well – so basically this car was a luxurious 4-door Coupe GT for the first two model years. Thankfully, though you were only allowed about 110 horsepower, Audi allowed drivers to opt for a manual transmission even in front-wheel drive form:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi 5000S Avant on eBay

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1970 Audi 100 Coupe S

Last week we took a look at a 1973 Audi 100 Coupe S. It was a bit of a gamble, with photos from 1990 and a not particularly detailed description. It was also a 3-speed automatic, and though the 100 isn’t really known as a driver’s car I’d still wager that most enthusiasts would prefer the manual option for these vintage Audis. As if to rectify all of the faults with that listing, around the same time another 100 Coupe S popped up. Now, to say that these cars are rare in the U.S. is an understatement, so it was pretty cool to see a second and more detailed listing appear. With current photos, a fresh restoration, super low miles and a much more detailed description, it certainly looked like the one to choose between the two – except for two not so minor things…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 Audi 100 Coupe S on Chicago Craigslist

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1973 Audi 100 Coupe S

Were it not for the four rings on the front, it would be pretty easy to mistake the Audi 100 Coupe S for any number of other late 1960s – early 1970s GT cars. There’s a loose resemblance to the the second generation Mustang, for example, but a much stronger link to cars like the Datsun B210 and original Toyota Celica. Too pedestrian for you? How about the Fiat Dino, Jensen Interceptor, Ferrari 365 GTB/4 and Aston Martin DBS? Indeed, there were many coupes that shared the relative same profile in this era, though truth be told it’s not likely that you’ll mistake the Audi for a Ferrari once the curves beckon. Underneath, the Coupe S was – after all – a C1 Audi, not known to be the best drivers out there but good cars on the highway. With 113 horsepower fed in this case through a 3-speed automatic, you won’t win any drag races. However, it’s a sharp looking and rarely seen classic, with only a handful in the Western Hemisphere (there are 5 known in the U.S., for example). That makes this Audi even more rare to see on these shores than a Sport Quattro, for argument’s sake. Though it’s not as desirable, there is nonetheless a fanbase that love these very pretty early Coupes:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 Audi 100 Coupe S on Kijiji

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1972 Audi 100LS

I’m going to say something that’s probably somewhat shocking to many Audi faithful; the original Audi 100 was actually a sales success. Audi produced nearly a million of its new-style sedan, taking the company of a trajectory of innovative and aerodynamic family cars throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Of course, you’ll say, even if the C1 was a success in Europe, it wasn’t so much here in the U.S., right? After all, you see very close to zero of these handsome 1970s designs kicking around today. That would be a misstatement of the truth, since Audi original sold an astonishing 146,583 Audi 100s here. But since Toyota sells that many Camrys every hour, let’s put that into perspective. Some really rare Audis in the U.S.? How about a few of my favorites – 22,356 Coupe GTs sold here in total, and only 3868 V8 quattros made it to the States. Okay, neither the Coupe GT nor the V8 quattro was a particularly popular model for various reasons. How about a wildly popular model, then? Audi’s sales success with the 100 was on par with the company’s more recent star model, the A4 – Audi shifted 98,393 95-99 A4 models, and those are pretty common to see even if the newest of the B5 generation is 14 years old. A bigger perspective? Audi sold more 100LSs than it sold total cars (135598 total) between 1988-1995. I remember the 1980s, and even then – when these cars were newer than the current B5 generation – you just didn’t see them. That makes it especially neat to see one today, especially in the condition of today’s example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1972 Audi 100LS on eBay

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1973 Audi 100 Coupe S

One of the benefits to U.S. automobile enthusiasts of the recent global economic slowdown is the raise in value of the dollar relative to the Euro. For some time, the Euro was nearly a two to one ratio – it made contemplating importing vintage cars hard to stomach, because you needed to double the price and then deal with the headache and cost of importing the car. With it much closer to one to one as it is today, perusing the halls of German eBay suddenly becomes less of a pipe dream and more of a potential reality. Of course, if you’re going to be going through the difficulty of importing something, it better be worth it! For me, there are a plethora of rare Audis that I’d love to import. However, it does seem silly to import a S4 or S6, for example, since they were available here as well and you could get a pretty nice example. No, it seems to make more sense to look for something that you just don’t see on a regular basis – like this 1973 Audi 100 Coupe S, for example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 Audi 100 Coupe S on eBay.de

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1989 Audi 100 Avant

In yesterday’s post on a 1978 Porsche 930, Rob asked “What happened to Guards Red“? Well, I have a similar question – what happened to all of the front wheel drive Audi 5000s and 100s? Occasionally we see some turbocharged front-wheel drive 200 models come up for sale, but even they’re a rarity; yet, in the 1980s it was those front-wheel drive models that provided the revenue stream for Audi, who struggled to sell vehicles increasingly towards 1990. The 5000 and 100 were actually pretty popular, too – competent, quiet highway cars that looked much more updated than the rivals from Munich when they launched. Sure, they weren’t the best performing cars in their day, but they were a reasonable alternative to the Mercedes wagon, which was the only other big German wagon at the time. Despite that, there just aren’t many left – especially not in this condition:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Audi 100 Avant on eBay

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Heap of the Week: 1976 Audi 100 2-door Sedan

Let’s get this right out of the way – the first generation Audi 100 isn’t the most popular Audi ever built. It’s not even in the top ten most popular Audis. In fact, the Audi 100 is one of the cars that helped solidify the general automotive public’s belief that Audis were rusty, unreliable and unnecessarily complicated cars that you should stay away from at all costs. So what is a 1976 Audi doing on these pages, especially if it needs a restoration? Should it die the death everyone believe it should? We here at GCFSB say a resounding “No!” Why? Well, for the simple reason that too many of these 100s have already passed into the automotive underworld, leaving precious few in serviceable condition. And they’re not the worst cars ever made; sure, they’re not as iconic as the Quattro, but the 100 was a pleasant looking sedan that rode beautiful, was quite and composed. As effectively an entry into a new market for Audi, it was an impressive design. Last year, I looked at a restored 1972 100 LS that was asking well over top dollar; but this car is the more rare 2-door variant in need of a restoration:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1976 Audi 100 2-door on eBay

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