Now that we’re into 2023, we can consider what new cars can come into the country. For me, that last few years has been spent pondering pre-facelift Audi S8s. Although we got the S8 here in “plus” form between 2001 and 2003, and it’s still one of my favorites, there’s some allure about the 1996-2000 cars in Europe. Why? Well, that was the model used in 1998’s Ronin and, for many, our first introduction to the model that at that time was not available here. The styling is slightly more subdued, as well – there’s less chrome, and especially in silver, the design closely resembles the polished-aluminum Audi ASF concept. In fact, it’s nearly identical. Under the hood was a development of the ABH (V8 quattro and C4 S4 V8), ABZ (A8), and AHK (C4 S6 Plus) 32-valve 4.2-liter V8. The AHC/AKH was utilized in the first S8s and cranked out 335 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque; down slightly on the “plus” 40v version in the US market, but still plenty. But there’s one more special reason to look at European-market S8s – the transmission.
Tag: rare Audi
Back in July, I took a look at a pair of Audi 4000Ss, the easy-to-forget lightweight brother of the 4000 quattro and Coupe GT:
The S package actually rolled out the year before with the pre-facelift model, though, and Audi steadily increased the appeal with the Type 81 four-door with the GTI-sourced 1.8L engine, a close-ratio 5-speed, alloy wheels, and a chin spoiler. Although these cars didn’t have the visual appeal of the GT, the rally-inspired drivetrain of the quattro, or the thrum of the 5-pot, they were nonetheless attractive cars that were fun and economical – and it helped that they were also several grand cheaper than their more illustrious counterparts. Today’s example is probably one of the nicer ones left:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Audi 4000S on eBay
Even though Fall has just crept into our lives, it’s not too early to start thinking about what this winter will look like. While my son has been convinced that global warming will mean that our New England outlook will be more like Florida’s forecast this year, the reality is that…well, it won’t. So why not consider a winter beater to survive the (lack of) roads around here?
Today’s 1995.5 Audi S6 Avant is, you’ll know if you follow these pages, quite a rare bird. Unfortunately, it’s seen better days in New England along its 272,000-mile journey, and consequently it’s rusty, crusty, and a bit worse for wear. But it’s got some neat engine upgrades that are keeping the ticker ticking – plus those knarly three-spoke wheels! So let’s take a look: