The D2 Audi S8 is one of the very rare models from the company that not only excites fans within the marque, but indeed automotive enthusiasts in general. That’s pretty strange for a sedan that most non-enthusiasts would probably not give a second thought to; it’s not a rakish coupe, it doesn’t have a million horsepower, and it doesn’t even have very modern tech. But thanks to a very notable movie appearance and its understated good looks as well as solid performance, the S8 is still a car that draws universal praise.
Some 20 years old now, these models are on the verge of being considered “antique” in many states. Yet they still look pretty modern, the clean design hiding its age well – especially considering that at in eight months it will be 30 years since the ASF hit the show circuit. Let’s take a look at this Brilliant Black ’02 up for sale in Florida.
Though it was instantly recognizable as an Audi, the all-new-for-’92 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 bit 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 switchgear 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. But like the C3, the front-drive 100/100S/100CS outsold the quattro model by a fair margin and are more common to find still kicking today. Audi claims they traded just 2,230 of the new 100CS quattro in 1992, only portion of which were wagons, so let’s take a peek at this Avant:
With only around 1,700 imported over 30 years ago, your odds running across an Audi Coupe Quattro any day of the week are…well, exceedingly low. With a sweet 7A 20V inline-5 under the hood, robust build quality, just enough creature comforts, and Audi’s legendary quattro all-wheel-drive system underneath you, there’s a lot to like if you do find one. I took a look at a nice example back in December:
1990 Audi Coupe Quattro
It was not for the faint of heart, with bidding in the mid-teens. Today’s example is a bit more affordable, if you’re looking for one of these:
The 1984 Audi 4000S quattro is a bit of a unique beast. Though it appeared for all intents and purposes identical to the 4000S Limited Edition from the same year, underneath the two shared little in common. Indeed, when you lifted the covers much more of the quattro model was shared with its bigger brother, the exotic Quattro – the so-called ‘Ur-Quattro’ by fans. Herein lies part of where things get confusing in Audi history, since the actual development mules for the boxflared rally wonder utilized the 4000 (née 80). You could make a pretty convincing argument that the small sedan was the original, but that’s neither here or there at this point and is generally semantics (though, it’s occasionally nice to splash the waters of reality on enthusiast’s ill-informed fires of unshakable belief). Whoever was technically first, there’s no denying that the 4000/80 model brought the idea of permanent all-wheel drive to a much more affordable market of rally-bred enthusiasts who eagerly snapped up the roughly 4,500 examples of the first year model. Radical-looking changes came for the 1985 model year with a thorough refresh, and there are those who love both generations with equal aplomb. Admittedly, I’m a fan of the post-’85 models, sometimes referred to as the ‘sloped grill’ cars. But you don’t have to go far to find fans of the more square ’84 model. One reader of ours tasked me with the goal a few years back of keeping an eye out for a clean ’84. Easy, right? Not so fast!
Back in November, I took a look at one of the more slick 8Ns out there – the ALMS Edition:
2002 Audi TT Coupe 225 quattro ALMS Edition
Today we’re back with a similar model, but this one has been turned up quite a few notches with some high-dollar parts from a veritable who’s who in the Audi/VW tuning realm. Does it retain the great aspects of the original?
The B5 Audi RS4 Avant was my first realistic dream car. Back when I was 18 years old, I scratched together all $10,000 I made over multiple summers washing cars and cutting grass and a bought a 1998.5 (that half year is important) Audi A4 1.8t. I loved that thing. I had it for nearly nine years and the whole time I owned it, the RS4 was the forbidden fruit. Back then, you had to get by with some grainy videos on YouTube and totally legally download episodes of Clarkson’s Top 100 Cars where he tested this car. I even remember ordering the OEM RS4 grille from Suncoast Porsche and installing it, sans badge of course. Now, we are almost knocking on the door of them finally legal for 25 year import if you don’t want to spend a ton of money for a car that is already federalized.
Today, we have my favorite colors that I looked at a few years ago, Goodwood Green. Although when you look closely at this one, you can see something a little different. That being the steering wheel on the other side. Why I am featuring a right-hand-drive UK car? A very good reason. Price.
After showing it sold for just $520 back in January, this Audi Sport 90 quattro is back with a $1,200 Buy It Now.
The 90 quattro was long derided as underpowered compared to the competition, but in ’93 that was at least partially rectified with the addition of the 2.8 V6 motor. Though the power output wasn’t outrageous at 172, it was a robust and torquey motor that was easier to run around town than the peaky 7A 20V. Change from the B3 to B4 chassis also included substantial revisions outside, giving the 90 a new lease on life. They were well built, well engineered cars and have stood the test of time very well. Unlike their E30 ix competition, the B4 quattros were manual only. On their way out (to be replaced by the mechanically similar A4), the 90 got a special package in the “Sport 90”. Renamed from the previous 90CS models, externally there was only a subtle change to body-color side molding on the Sport models. Available in either front drive or quattro configuration, the latter included Jacquard quattro-script cloth that helped to set it apart from the regular 90s. This one is rough around the edges and needs work, but looks worthy of saving and it’s quite cheap:
After B5 production ended, Audi continued to widen the pool for its small chassis. Joining the lineup for the B6 model was a new Cabriolet, and of course returning were the dynamic duo of the sedan and Avant models. Power now came from the BBK 4.2 liter 4 cam 40 valve all-aluminum V8. Fitting the motor into the small chassis necessitated dropping the belt drive in favor of the infamous rear-mounted chain. Still, though, with 340 horsepower on tap and weighed the same as the outgoing 250 horsepower V6 twin-turbo, with instant torque, the S4 seemed top of the heap. But it was still playing catch-up with the outgoing E46 M3, so when it came to the B7, Audi offered even more spunk, bringing for the first time after three generations their first top-tier offering in the small chassis – the RS4.
At the heart of the new addition to the fleet was, of course, a special motor. Dubbed the BNS, Audi ditched the 5 valve heads but added FSI direct fuel injection. In reality, little was shared or untouched between the seemingly similar 4.2 V8s in the S4 and RS4, but the result of the fiddling was impressive. The engineers at Ingolstadt managed to crank a 420 horsepower screamer out, and coupled with the revised, more rear-biased quattro drivetrain in the B7, a completely different beast was born.
Today’s example comes from the 2007 model year and looks great in Daytona Gray Pearl Effect over the light gray interior – and it’s about as cheap as I’ve seen one of these come to market, though there are a few reasons for that.
Back in 1986, Audi did something fairly unorthodox. It probably shouldn’t have been particularly surprising coming from a company that had established a trend of unorthodox designs, but as the Group B era closed the company turned its attention to sedans. They ran a 200 quattro in Group A in 1986 with Hannu Mikkola, and the Finnish driver actually achieved his last podium in the same car in 1987. But it was with another famous racer that Audi made an even bigger splash in 1986. The company took a 200 that they rebadged as a 5000 and stripped it out, installed a racing suspension, a roll cage, kevlar body panels, and huge center-lock BBS wheels tucked under fender flares, and popped Bobby Unser in the driver’s seat at Talladega. Of course, to go fast at the NASCAR track, Audi needed a serious motor – and a serious motor they had. Most would recognize the 2.2-liter displacement and inline-5 cylinder configuration, but the Talladega motor boasted a five-valve head – and effectively everything on it was unique compared to earlier Audi motors. It also had titanium connecting rods and pistons, ten fuel injectors, dry-sump lubrication, and 2.0 bar of maximum boost pressure. The result was around 650 horsepower – reliably – and it was no surprise that it pushed the relatively slippery Audi to an impressive 215 mph, with an average lap at 207 mph.
One lap was impressive, but Mercedes-Benz had famously lapped Nardò with its performance sedan – the 190E 2.3-16 – at over 150 mph for long distances. The company decided to give this a go, as well, and turned up in 1988 with no less than three Audi 200 quattros converted in a very similar way to the Talladega car, only one of which is claimed to have had the same 650 horsepower 5-valve motor. These cars did differ slightly; they had revised wheels and no flares to make them more aerodynamic, and auxiliary lighting was added as they were meant to run more than one lap…a lot more. They did not turn down performance, however, and on the more open Nardò test track the revised 200 hit an astonishing 400 km/h (248.5 mph). Even more impressive? Audi redesigned several maintenance aspects to allow them to do quick service – including the ability to do a driver change, swap wheels and tires, and change the engine oil AND refuel the 340 liter tank in 25 seconds. The result was amazing; Audi lapped the track for 500 miles at 324.509 km/h (201.6 mph) and did 1000 km at 326.403 km/h (202.8 mph). One car then crashed, and later another was destroyed. But the sole remaining record car – the most powerful of the trio with the 25-valve motor – is now for sale:
I’ve spent some time in the past dissecting the neat C5 A6 4.2 sedans and what made them special:
2000 Audi A6 4.2 quattro
The C6 model debuted in 2005, and it was a little more subtle (aside from the grille) but still packed a punch. The front end was stretched out 3.3″ to make more legroom in the cabin, and the whole car was wider as well. The standard A6 came with a 252 horsepower 3.2-liter V6, but you could opt to move up a liter and two cylinders to the 4.2 model once again. Now with a healthy 330 horsepower from a de-tuned version of the S4’s motor and a six-speed automatic instead of the outgoing five, the A6 4.2 was pretty quick – 6.1 seconds to 60, but like a freight train, the real speed was on-the-fly acceleration.
As usual, there were a bunch of grays, silvers, and blues along with white, and black on the outside, but if you wanted to stand out there was one pretty splashy color – Canyon Red Pearl Effect: