The Type 44 Audi was an impressive advance for German automobiles, a huge leap forward for Audi in a new marketplace – but also nearly the cause of its demise. It was an aerodynamic, futuristic sedan when both BMW and Mercedes-Benz seemed to be producing cars stuck in the 1970s. It was the blueprint for most modern luxury sedans from not only German companies, but many of the advances were copied by the Japanese, Italians and Americans for their large sedans. Yet, by 1990 Audi nearly pulled out of the American market thanks to some creative journalism from 60 Minutes, who in their effort to prove Audi was at fault for some unintended acceleration cases nearly killed off the company entirely. In part as a result of their efforts, it’s become quite rare to find clean examples of them today – but it’s also because they were such good, long-lived and solidly built machines that few have lower miles today. While I recent featured a few 20V turbocharged examples in the 20V Turbo comparison, today we’ll look at a few of the lesser appreciated examples, starting with a clean 5000CS quattro Avant in Canada:
As enthusiasts, oddly we often lament new cars. Undoubtedly, newer models turn better, stop better and accelerate faster than most of the cars that they replace. They return better fuel economy, have more gears, and are generally more reliable. In a crash, they’ll save your life and some will even call the police for you. Impressive? Sure, without a doubt. But if I had a nickle for every time I heard how some enthusiast would rather have a brand new example of a car from their youth, I’d be a rich man. I’ve heard it from all sources; desire for a bullet-proof reliable new W126 S-Class, longing for a return of the real Quattro with locking differentials, dreams of finding a new E30 M3 or 3.2 Carrera. But if you’re a bit different, perhaps you’re one of the devoted Merkur fans – and your dream could be realized:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Merkur XR4TI on eBay
If you’ve been watching in dismay as E30 M3 prices have gone through the roof, there’s still two ways to get your 1980s German touring car fix. If you’re unconventional, you do what Audi did and choose the V8 quattro, the dark horse (and two time champion, don’t forget) of the DTM. People that complained that Audi “cheated” to create the winning force obviously aren’t familiar with the creative race constructions of Porsche, BMW or Mercedes-Benz. The latter, in fact, employed Formula 1 in the last of the barely-recognizable 190E racers. But the legend that was Mercedes-Benz created a lesser-known and generally lesser appreciated legend in those 190E racers; powered by Cosworth Technology-designed twin-cam 16 valve engines and originally intended to replace the 450SLC 5.0 in the World Rally Championship, the 190E 2.3 and 2.5-16 Valves found themselves at home on the track, and consequently with an enthusiastic fan base. Today, the 190E 2.3 16V can generally be had for significantly less than their more famous counterpart, the E30 M3. Take a look at this example:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16V Cosworth on eBay
When it first arrived on the scene, the Mercedes 190 ruffled a few feathers, as traditional Mercedes buyers were fearful that a small Benz might cheapen the brand image. Fast forward 30 years since its arrival on the scene, and itâ€™s hard to imagine this conservatively styled, if compact sedan, offending anyone who is a fan of the marque, such has been the proliferation of new models in the lineup. Having grown up with a 190E 2.6 in our family, Iâ€™m a big fan of this carâ€™s competent performance and classic build quality. Itâ€™s a car that did everything well yet didnâ€™t shout about it. This 190E for sale in Germany isnâ€™t a 2.6, but comes with a decent amount of kit and a 5-speed manual gearbox to get the most out of the powerplant.
Today, we’re featuring two four cylinder 190Es, one here in the US and another for sale in Germany. First, let’s take a look at a 190E 2.3 for sale in Kentucky.