Such is the pedestal AMG products are placed upon, perhaps it’s only Ruf that is better regarded as the leading tuning firm from Germany in the 1980s. Combining revised suspension, special exhaust and warmed over motors, AMG managed to straddle the line between outrageous and tasteful in the 1980s perfectly with wild body modifications that somehow worked just perfectly. Inside, they were the most opulent German cars you could buy with power seats and all the luxury items you’d expect from a top-tier luxury manufacturers. But the bad boys from Affalterbach, like the Ruf cars, managed to be more than the sum of their parts – a total package that is still stunning today. They didn’t just bolt on a bunch of bits to make a go-faster car. AMG redefined the packages of the car, bringing them to another level. Today we have two examples to consider from the end of AMG’s independence – which is the perfect creation from the 1980s for you?
Time for another Wednesday Wheels Roundup, and I have a few neat sets of wheels I stumbled across. First is the super rare and super awesome (but also super priced) Speedline 3-piece wheels for Porsche Turbos. Though they’re listed as 930 wheels, I more often associate them with the 993 Turbo model. They’re not exactly like the Supercup wheels, but they’re not far off. Next is a non-German set of wheels, but a pretty spectacular one – the Clio Williams is one of my favorite hot-hatches, and these would really suit a BMW or Volkswagen 4-lug well, in my opinion. How about the 7 1/4″ width? Next are some rare Carlsson and Abt wheels that need some work but are both hard to find, and we round out the review with some show-ready Style 29 BBS BMW wheels. What are your favorites and why?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: Speedline 5×130 18×8/10 Wheels on eBay
In yesterday’s S4 post, I covered many of the special items that made the ’92 model unique for the U.S. market; in fact, I said that in many ways it was the most highly sought of the C4 models. Well, that probably was a bit of overstatement in at least one regard, because while it may be true for sedans for many the Avant model from 1995 was much more special. 1994 to 1995 saw some major changes for the C4; the most obvious being the model designation change from S4 (1991-1994) to S6 (1995-1997). European models had some additional drivetrain options that weren’t available in the U.S., and indeed the Avant had previously been available in S4 form, but the 2.2 liter turbocharged inline-5 carried over largely unchanged into 1995. The big news was the addition of the Avant to the U.S. lineup; at the time, as expensive as an Audi got here. There was also the obvious external refresh; smooth body-colored bumpers and wider side trims eliminated the rubberized black moldings. The hood and lights were lightly re-sculpted too, along with the change (rolling, for some models) from the Fuchs-made 5-spoke alloys to the Speedline-made 6-spoke Avus wheels which would be the signature S-wheel for the next decade. Gone were two staples of the Audi lineup from the 1980s – Procon 10, the seatbelt pre-tensioning safety system Audi highly marketed in the late 1990s disappeared with little fanfare, but also, perhaps more strikingly, S cars would no longer be branded with “quattro” badges – a change that would carry on nearly until today’s models, where models like the RS7 re-introduced it in the grill. Inside minor changes were introduced; a revised dashboard, shift knob, along with the introduction of the most notable change (once again, rolling) to a 3-spoke sport steering wheel. It was a tremendous amount of minor changes that in sum resulted in a slightly different feel for the S6; slightly more polished and grown up, carrying the new design language for Audi that would remain for the next decade. Audi wasn’t done, though, because in “1995.5” Audi once again changed several items on the then-still-new S6. This included a major change moving forward – the elimination of driver control of the rear differential, a hallmark of Audis since the introduction of the original Quattro. Audi opted for an “electronic differential lock”, which in reality was a system which utilized the ABS system to detect wheelspin and apply the brakes. This major change resulted in some minor interior tweaks, such as moving the cigarette lighter, and there were additional revisions to the radio. The transmission’s traditional weak first gear was also addressed, as well as adding infrared locking and some other minor trim changes. All of these changes – some of them running changes – give the limited production S6s, and especially the Avants, a bit of a bespoke feel. With numbers produced only in the hundreds, these are special and coveted cars that are very capable – and highly sought:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995.5 Audi S6 Avant on QuattroWorld
Today I have a few more rare sets of wheels to check out. On the bigger and newer front are some brand new OZ Racing Superleggeras for Mercedes-Benz or Audi fitment. They’ve never even seen the road, but are a stellar deal at only $900. A much more expensive but equally large set of Speedline Alessios for BMWs are next; at $3,300 they’re staggeringly expensive but quite impressive looking on that E34. Next we travel back in time to when 13″ wheels were something that was the norm; equip an early A1 Volkswagen or 2002/320i BMW with these BBS RA wheels, though, and it’ll be sure to standout even with small rubber. Lastly are a set of the ATS made Porsche 924 Weissach Edition wheels; they’re slightly different than the normal ATS wheels that were optioned onto the 924 because the Weissach had machined faces and graphite inserts instead of being all silver. These need some work, but would make an early 924 or Audi look pretty special if so equipped. Both of the smaller wheels are pretty affordable at less than $500. What’s your favorite?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: OZ Racing Superleggera 5×112 18×8 Wheels on eBay
I have another few rare sets of wheels to check out this week, starting with some polarizing but cool Brabus wheels. They’re pricey but quite a way to set your Mercedes-Benz apart. There’s also a set of BBS RX wheels which remind me of some of the great designs gone by since BBS switched hands. This week I found another set of Rial wheels, this time slightly different with a large offset. There’s also a rare set of Volkswagen Votex wheels. And if you’re feeling ridiculously rich and have an early 911 that you want to have a race look, there’s a set of ultra-rich magnesium Minilites that is priced around the cost of most cars I look at. Enjoy!