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:
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!
This slick ’85 Quattro is still available, now with much better photos and an asking price that dropped to $75,000.
For U.S. Quattro fans, ’85 models are a bit special as they held numerous upgrades over the prior models. Like the rest of the Type 85/B2 lineup, those included revisions to the exterior, most notably the slanted grill and color matched spoiler, but also inside a new dashboard and revised seat fabric patterns. Like the ’84s, wheels were 8″ Ronals, and the more reliable fuse box was also carried over with the upgrades.
A few unique colors were offered on the ’85 up models, but since importation ended after one ’86 made it here, all colors are a bit special. Unique too was the headlight treatment, which had chrome aero bezels to match the grill. A total of only 73 of these upgraded 85s (plus the one 86) made it to the U.S., and they’ve pretty much always been the most sought of the scant 664 original Quattros sold here. This particular ’85 comes to market looking minty fresh in what appears to be Tornado Red.
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?
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.
2021 can’t close without me taking a look at an Audi S8. The last one I took a look at was just over a year ago, and it was a doozy:
2002 Audi S8 Final Edition
Since then I’ve looked at both LWB and SWB A8s recently, but no S8s. Well, as luck would have it, a 2002 popped up for sale. It’s fairly common Light Silver Metallic outside, but inside we’ve got the optional partial Alcantara seats. It looks to be in good and mostly original condition, so let’s take a peek:
Back before Thanksgiving, a slightly crusty 200 20V quattro Avant popped up in the Northeast:
Winter Project: 1991 Audi 200 20V quattro Avant
It sold for relatively short money, though it also clearly needed a fair amount of work. But, as I said, these are fan favorite cars – so when another turns up in short order, it’s still worth taking a look. Today’s Lago Blue Metallic example has black sport seats, the correct BBS wheels, and European headlights thrown in, too boot!
This Type 44 sold for $2,773 on November 21, 2021.
No stranger to these pages, you’re already likely familiar with why this car is here. But if you’re new to GCFSB and would like a quick overview of what was special about the early 90s Audi/Volkswagen lineup, I dove in a bit in May 2020:
1991 Audi 200 quattro Avant
Of the 149 200 20V quattro Avants originally imported here, it’s safe to say a fair number have gone the way of the dodo. So while today’s car is far from pristine, it’s still worth a look. And, as a plus, it’s also no reserve!