Tuner Tuesday: 1993 Audi S4 Widebody

Virtually every week we feature some of the best and most memorable tuner cars in the German sphere in this time slot. Yet, while it’s rare to see the exact same configuration, it’s fairly predictable what will appear – AMG, Alpina, Hartge and Ruf. Sure, occasionally we’ll get a neat Brabus or something else rare, but infrequently do we get to take an in-depth look at an Audi. There are some notable tuners for the off beat brand, especially as its popularity has blossomed over the past decade. But older cars? Well, not only are they hard to find, but clean modded examples are moreso. It is interesting given that the C4 was such a popular and strong platform, but what was built around it was not a single tuning firm but rather a community of unique one-offs, now avidly supported by the internet fora and the next generation of electronic fuel injection modifications. They’ve managed to take the original S cars to the next level. Recently, it was an original S4 that set the world speed record for a sedan, besting 242 m.p.h. from a custom build. Others have developed monster power levels of their own, such as this impressive example that is claimed to churn out 500 wheel horse power:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Audi S4 Widebody on quattroworld.com

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Honorable Mention Roundup

Time for another Honorable Mention Roundup of the cars we just didn’t have a chance to get to this week. We’ve got quite a few reader submissions in this edition, and by chance it ends up focusing on some super sedans which are all quite affordable in their own ways. Which is the one we should have spent more time on?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Audi S4 on Denver Craigslist

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1989 Audi 200 Turbo

So synonymous with the Audi brand is the all-wheel drive moniker “quattro” that you’d be forgiven for assuming that the brand didn’t offer two-wheel drive vehicles in the same vein as Subaru. But before quattro fully gained traction, Audi’s bread and butter was the front-wheel drive market and they produced some great examples. In part, that was because unlike most other modern platforms that copied the Mini’s transverse engine configuration, in the 1980s and forward to the Golf-based Audi built their platforms to accept the rearward heading drive shaft which necessitated a longitudinal engine configuration. While this pushed the engine weight farther forward than most other front-wheel drive packages, it also balanced power delivery and the driving experience in all of the non-quattro Audis in the 80s was remarkably sprite. Models like my favorite Coupe GT have gained a popular following as great drivers, but the large sedans – especially in turbo configuration – are less frequently seen:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Audi 200 Turbo on eBay

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1997 Audi Cabriolet

The Audi Cabriolet might be the least popular modern Audi made in the used market. Considering the number of unpopular, or at least notoriously unreliable (correctly or incorrectly) Audis out there, that’s saying something. For one, I think it’s unjust, but I think it’s understandable. First off, the B4 Cabriolet only came to the U.S. with one engine configuration; the venerable 2.8 V6. That’s not much of a surprise, though, since nearly every Audi sold between 1993 and 1997 had that motor. But there was no all-wheel drive option, unlike the two models that replaced it (The B6 cabriolet and the TT cabriolet) – nor was there a manual option, which at very least was available in the sportier TT. On top of that, the B4 chassis was quite old by 1995, and Audi decided to retire it. Though refreshed in 1992, it was ostensibly the same chassis that had been introduced in late 1986 in Europe with the B3. Despite that, and the introduction of the new B5 A4 model in 1996, Audi had the B4 Cabriolet soldier on until 1998 in the U.S. market. As such, it’s often discounted as a soft, unreliable and old package when there were newer, flashier – and importantly for some, faster options such as the BMW M3 convertible. Yet, every time I see an Audi Cabriolet, I can’t help but stare a bit. Just like the Audi 90CS quattro Sport I wrote up a few weeks ago, it’s a lovely design; handsome and striking, yet understated and special looking. That was especially true of the late run Cabriolets with the optional 16″ Speedline-made “Competition” wheels. Add the optional and additional cost Pearlescent White Metallic and select the Wine Red interior, and this is a rare – and classy – package on a budget:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Audi Cabriolet on eBay

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