Feature Listing: 1994 Audi S4

They say lightning doesn’t strike twice, but we know that to be a fallacy. It’s just extremely unlikely for it to strike twice in the same spot – an improbability along the lines of finding two extraordinarily clean, original and unmolested Audi S4s from the same seller. Heck, let’s increase the probability slightly and remove the “same seller” part – it’s still quite unlikely to find two clean S4s for sale within a few weeks of each other. That’s not because the S4 is unloved – quite the opposite indeed, the S4 has remained one of the absolute Audi essentials for a large number of the four ringed fans. First, there was the aerodynamic C4 chassis; quiet, refined, luxurious and not at all ostentatious, it’s a good looking sedan that was arguably far ahead of its time compared to the competition from Germany in 1992. The S4 took that basic platform a step farther with subtle but certain fender flares covering one of the best looking wheels ever fit to an Audi, the Fuchs made 16″ x 8″ with meaty 225 section tires. The headlights were upgraded to projector-beam units with integrated fog lights, a change that would carry over to the A6 later. Inside the S4 also received a smart sport interior; the seats were a step up from the older sport seats and featured heavy bolsters and plenty of electric adjustability. But the true genius of the C4 lay at its heart where few saw; a stout all-wheel drive system featuring a Torsen center differential and electronically locking rear differential, the C4 was the next in a long line of over-built Audis. The engine also wasn’t entirely new, but it was understressed from the factory and subsequent years of boosted bliss later, the AAN engine is capable of not only stratospheric power levels but improbable longevity as well. There are many that argue that this was the best all-around Audi ever made and for good reason. Despite that, as we’ve seen, it remains likely the best performance value of any German marque – if you can find a good one:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Audi S4 on craigslist

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1991 Audi 200 20V Quattro Avant

Last week, I wrote up one of the nicest 1991 Audi 200 20V quattro Avants that has graced these pages. Lower miles, a complete rebuild and professional respray with some desirable upgrades meant it was no surprise to see the car sell immediately; the seller reported it took 4 hours to sell it at the full $10,000 asking price, and there was a line of bidders all hoping to get in on it. Has the time finally come for recognition of how great these cars were? Well, shortly after the last listing another 200 20V quattro Avant popped up for sale. The asking price was exactly half of the first one, at $5,000. So this one is a supreme deal, right? Let’s have a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi 200 20V Quattro Avant on eBay

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1991 Audi 200 20V Quattro Avant

Earlier this week, I wrote up dueling 5-cylinder automatic wagons in the “beige-off” between the 1986 Quantum Wagon and 1987 Audi 5000S Avant. The net result of that write up, effectively, was that if you really want to dive into the ownership pool of one of these wagons, most would prefer the more desirable versions of the car. For the Quantum, that meant the Syncro version, and unsurprisingly for the Audi that meant turbocharging and quattro all-wheel drive. In both cases, that raises the complexity factor a few notches – but there are still examples of these long-lived wagons making their owners happy today. I spent a few years with a 200 Avant, and loved many aspects of it; however, I came away saying there was only one way I’d get into an older Audi Avant again – if it was one of the limited run, 3B 20V equipped 1991 examples. Outwardly, you had to be a sharp eye to spot the differences. Some of them were quite subtle; for example, there were no badges outside of the front and rear rings and a subtle “quattro” grill badge on the ’91 200, unlike the previously badged 10V examples. From the roof down, there were no differences other than that until you got to the fenders, which were subtly but notably flared. The wheels were still BBS mesh wheels as they had been in 1989 and 1990, and though they were still 15″ in diameter, they were now 7.5″ wide instead of 6″. Those larger wheels also hid a new brake system dubbed “UFOs” by enthusiasts; the floating rotor design that was engineered to haul the heavy Audi down from triple digit speeds. And triple digit speeds it was now quite capable of, with a healthy 50 horsepower boost over previous 200s thanks to 10 more valves and electronic fuel injection in the new “3B” 20 valve turbocharged inline-5. Mated only to a manual transmission, less than 200 of these coveted Audis were imported at a time when they were both expensive and Audi was nearly on the outs with the American market:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi 200 20V quattro Avant on Craigslist New York

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Coupe Week: 1995 Audi S2

For many people, the third generation Audi Coupe wasn’t quite the match for the car that it replaced. Launched in 1988, even Audi would seem to agree; it continued to produced the original Quattro through 1991, alongside its seeming replacement. While the looks of that replacement – the 20V turbocharged S2 – were considerably more sedate than the Quattro, it was nonetheless a handsome car. Though the iconic flares and chunky styling was replaced by a more rounded look, there were many advantages to the newer cars. First off, they were considerably safer with a stiffer structure and passive safety systems to protect drivers and passengers (anyone else remember the seatbelt pretensioning “PROCON-10” system?). Additionally, the smoother styling meant the car was much quieter at speed than the Quattro ever had been. The drivetrain was nearly identical to the end of run “RR” Quattros, right down to the new Torsen differential in the rear with electronic lock. And unlike its predecessor, and though few people remember, there were three versions of the S2 available; the oft-emulated Coupe, the highly desirable Avant, and the quite rare sedan of which only around 300 were produced. But as this is Coupe Week, we’re taking a look at one of the 2-door variants, of course!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi S2 at Classic Park

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Wagon Week Leftovers: 1995 Audi S6 Avant

Let’s get right to the elephant in the room; this is not a perfect S6 Avant. It has high miles, the description is rather nondescript, the leather has some heavy wear, underhood looks tired and oily and the expensive front bumper has been smashed. What we do learn from the description is that the brakes are probably warped, the fan squeaks, some of the trim is falling off and if your knee what’s to know the current boost reading you’re in luck. Yet, to me this Avant is more appealing than all three of the decade and a half newer models in my “End of an Era” post. Why? It’s the platform that helped to make Audi what it is today – turbocharged, manual, mechanical quattro, with plenty of space and luxury outside and classic looks outside.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi S6 Avant on eBay

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Wagon Week: 1991 Audi 200 20V Turbo Quattro Avant and 1995 S6 Avant

What would “Wagon Week” be without some fast Audi wagons? Starting in the mid-1980s, Audi cornered the market with its turbocharged all-wheel drive fastback “Avants” – starting with the 5000CS Turbo Quattro. The 5000 was replaced by the 200 in 1989, resulting in effectively the same car – now with BBS wheels and a revised interior and lacking the manual differential locks, but otherwise primarily unchanged. There was a minor revision in 1990 – the engine code changed from MC-1 to MC-2; the cam was slightly different and the engine ran higher initial compression and a lighter flywheel in order to drop boost for quicker response – but ultimately, it wasn’t a major change. The big change came in 1991 with the release of the heavily revised double overhead cam version of the venerable inline-5. Dubbed the 3B, it gained about 50 horsepower over the standard 200 turbo. The 20V version also sported “UFO” floating brakes, upgraded suspension, 7.5″ BBS wheels instead of 6″ and some subtle flares. As I mentioned previously, the 200 20V was perhaps the ultimate “Q-Ship” – it had no external badges, so you had to know those flares and wider BBS wheels in order to differentiate it. The 200 20V was a one-year model, replaced in 1992 by the again heavily revised S4 with another revision of the 20V turbocharged engine. We didn’t receive the initial C4 Avant version of the S4, though it was available in Europe in both turbocharged and V8 form. Audi finally corrected the problem in 1995 by releasing the S6 Avant; again revised with temporary overboost providing a bit more power through the AAN version of the inline-5 and with freshened bumpers, the limited run S6 Avant has become just as much a legend as the 200 20V version – if not more so. Our reader John spotted the two good looking examples found here:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi S6 Avant on Craigslist

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1988 Italdesign Aztec #0001

You have to ask yourself when pondering the Aztec, “Did Italdesign really think they’d make 1,000 of these in the late 1980s?” Certainly anything seemed possible then – the world was in the midst of a supercar revolution. Porsche introduced the revolutionary Group B based 959, while Ferrari had the twin-turbo brothers GTO and F40. Then there were countless others on the horizon – Jaguar XJ220 and XJR-15, an all-new Lamborghini Diablo, the Bugatti EB110 and Cizeta-Moroder V16 – even some wild U.S. based creations like the Vector and Callaway Sledgehammer Corvette. But perhaps more wild than all of these was the wild “Aztec” from Italdesign. Giugiaro’s company had long been pioneers of advanced and cutting edge designs, but they really outdid themselves with the Aztec. As if taking inspiration from some of the best futuristic designs from the 60s and 70s, the Aztec looked part jet fighter, part rocket ship, and part Star Trek communicator. Indeed, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to have someone like Mark Hamill or Harrison Ford pull up in an Aztec at a movie premier; it was as otherworldly and futuristic as both Hollywood and the sets of Star Wars and Blade Runner. But even if there were more wild designs that you might have seen on the show circuit in 1988, Giugiaro – with the aid of some hefty backing from Japanese capital – was crazy enough to produce road going versions of these cars. What was not surprising, then, was that there was a market for them – though, admittedly, it was as limited as the daily drive-ability of the car.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Italdesign Aztec on eBay

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Heap of the Week: 1995 Audi S6 Avant

When opportunity knocks, sometimes you should answer the door; this may be one of those cases, especially if you’re a fan of fast Audi wagons. The Audi S6 Avant has been a cult classic since new; near bullet-proof engines capable of monster power, all-wheel drive in a slick package, a manual gearbox and room to carry enough to satisfy even Hannibal’s trips to Italy, the S6 is a unique package that relied underscored Audi’s mission in the 1980s and 1990s – they were different than everyone else, but in a very good way. Sure, if you want pure driving bliss on switchbacks or near-silent Autobahn cruising, BMW and Mercedes were better options in those specific cases – but as an all around package, the S6 Avant had no peers in the marketplace. That didn’t translate into overwhelming sales – but the exclusivity has if anything bolstered the legend of the Avants and artificially increased demand. How much has demand increased? Take a look at the bidding on this S6 Avant – at time of writing with 4 days left and the reserve still on, it’s $8,100. That may not sound particularly shocking until you find out that the motor is blown:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi S6 Avant on eBay

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Ersatz S2: 1990 Audi Coupe Quattro S2 Replica – REVISIT

About this time last year, a clean “Ersatz” S2 replica popped up on Quattroworld. With a tremendous amount of work completed, a collection of rare parts and very good condition, it was understandable why the asking price was a high $18,000. However, after 10 months and 3,000 miles, the new owner has chosen to list the car for sale. Condition is about the same as last year but it doesn’t appear that the new owner has sorted the air condition issue. As I said in the original article below and illustrated in my recent 20V Turbo 10K edition, I feel the market for these replica S2s is really about to fall apart. While it won’t be easy to import an original car, it will be possible and substantially cheaper than the asking price. Given the option, as clean as this car is I’d still sport for a real one for less money. How about you?

The below post originally appeared on our site November 22, 2013:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi Coupe Quattro S2 Replica on eBay

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1993 Audi S4

While there are more popular options in the large executive sports sedan market, there are few that are quite as well rounded as the C4 Audi S4/S6 twins. The C4 might have been slower out of the box than the M5 and 500E/E500, but as the only turbocharged version quick tuning meant it was easily capable of pushing the same power. The real key to driving these inline-5 wonders, though, is the torque that’s available once the turbo kicks in. A wave of power seemingly able to extricate you from any situation is suddenly available, picking that heavy nose up and launching the car forwards in a symphony of rally-inspired wooshes. Add to that the legendary quattro all-wheel drive and the Audi was a useable, year-round package that has maintained a serious cult following in all areas of the country. Especially sought after these days are clean, original examples that don’t carry the easy to show wear Ecru interior. Despite the all-too-predictable Emerald Green Mica of this example, the insides are Darth Vader’s own palace – black leather with carbon trim:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Audi S4 on eBay

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