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Tag: rare Audi

Winter Beater: 1995.5 Audi S6 Avant

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:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995.5 Audi S6 Avant on eBay

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1987 Audi 5000CS quattro Avant

One of the reasons it’s hard to get excited about the Type 43 Audi is just how far forward the bar was moved with the Type 44. Similar to the leap from the 6-series to the 8-series BMW, the Type 44 was a radical departure both in style, aerodynamics, and chassis dynamics. The basic Type 44 chassis would endure a remarkable run, too – from its basic layout in the Forschungsauto FV Auto 2000 from the 1981 Frankfurt Auto Show right through the derivative D11 V8 quattro through the 1994 model year. The C3 was revolutionary in its incorporation of modern aerodynamic devices, helping to drop drag coefficients to a then-excellent .30 cd. The Audi design prompted many copies, the most notable of which was the very popular Ford Taurus.

But the C3 was about more than just a slick body. Underneath it continued the C2’s turbocharging on top-tier models. With the addition of intercooling, power was up quite a bit from the prior model. Where the 1983 5000 Turbo generated 130 horsepower and 142 lb.ft of torque in U.S. trim, the C3’s MC1 brought 158 horsepower and 166 lb.ft of torque to the party. It was good enough to prompt notoriously BMW-friendly Car and Driver to name it to its ’10 Best’ list for the first time. In the later 200 20V, it also brought a tamed version of Audi’s Sport Quattro motor to market. The Ingolstadt company also pioneered full body galvanization, something that would become the norm for many newer cars moving forward. That body also grew, as Audi added its signature ‘Avant’ model to the lineup. But of course the big news was the 1986 addition of the word synonymous with Audi in the 1980s and ever since – quattro. Combine them, and you’ve got a reason to click!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Audi 5000CS quattro Avant on eBay

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Double Take: 1985 Audi 4000S

While I’m a big fan of the Audi B2 chassis, I don’t spend much time looking at or for the low man on the totem pole – the 4000S. Audi’s badging in the post-facelift B2 was odd, as there was no model below the “S” offered here – so the 4000S was the base model. Although these were the least powerful B2s on offer, in manual form they could just about keep up with the Coupe GT and 4000 quattro because they were also the lightest of the chassis offered. Power came from a 1.8 inline-4 borrowed from the GTI and GLI Volkswagens, but it was mounted longitudinally like all B2 motors. Even though they were down on power to the 5s, the inline-4 also had 20% less motor hanging out front, making them fairly nimble. Like their 5-cylinder GT brethren, you had a choice between a 5-speed manual or the venerable 3-speed automatic that appeared in everything from the Vanagon to the Porsche 944. Visually the wheels looked the same as the bigger-brother GT and quattro, but they were actually a different version of the R8 hiding smaller brakes. They were also the cheapest Audi you could buy in the 1980s. Though we often look at 4000 quattros, the reality is that about 75% or more of any given model year’s sales were front drivers. 1987 saw 9,043 out of 11,972 sold in this configuration. These appeared to be bought primarily by older women who wanted a more refined sedan but weren’t ready to buy the W201 Mercedes-Benz or E30 BMW. Much more often than their all-wheel drive counterparts, or even the GT, clean examples of the prolific 4000S pop up for sale. To prove my point, there are no less than two on offer this week!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi 4000S on eBay

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1979 Audi Fox Turbodiesel

For such an important vehicle, there’s very little fanfare that surrounds the Audi B1. Badged the 80 in Europe and the Fox in the United States, Audi’s small front-drive sedan was a complete transformation for the brand which was emerging from the reshuffling of DKW and Auto Union. Mercedes-Benz had a hand in bringing 4-stroke engine technology to Auto Union in the 1950s and early 1960s, and but freed of their reigns, the Audi engineers produced an all-new motor for the clean-sheet B1. It was the EA827, and it (and the B1) would go on to be the basis for basically every Audi/Volkswagen product since 1972. The 80 was the first to launch, but quickly the 80’s platform would be used to produce the first Volkswagen Dasher (née Passat) and, engine turned transversely, then the Golf and Audi 50. The Golf’s platform created the Scirocco and Jetta, while 50 was then the basis for the Polo, and the all-new Volkswagen lineup was complete. So while most internet comments will sometimes dismiss modern Audis as little more than re-badged VWs, you can now remind them that historically it was the opposite. The 80s traditional longitudinal engine layout ended up being convenient a few years later to help spawn the mighty Quattro, too.

Motor Trend (and noted automotive historian Karl Ludvigsen) called the 80 the “best new affordable small sedan in the world” in May 1973. Horsepower was modest from the 1.5-liter version of the EA827 at only 75, but then the weight was quite modest, too – curb weight of the sunroof-equipped model was still under 1,900 lbs and fully laden the 80 weighed less than an empty B2 4000CS quattro. Capable of over 30 mpg, the Fox sold surprisingly well in the gas-crunch era as a result – Audi sold 142,511 of them here. While that number sounds modest by today’s standards, consider for a moment that Audi sold only 123,764 of the Fox’s successor, the 4000, in total.

Yet today, finding an Audi Fox seems like something of a minor miracle – and this one looks serviceable, with a turbodiesel swap thrown in for good measure. Hey, gas is expensive these days!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Audi Fox Turbodiesel on eBay

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1995 Audi RS2 Avant

Why would anyone even contemplate paying over $70,000 for a 27-year-old, complicated, and turbocharged Audi wagon? Because of the badge that adorns the front – the magical ‘Renn’ added to the S2 badge, along with the legendary name Porsche scripted below. That meant that this relatively unassuming Audi 80 quattro Avant had been produced in Zuffenhausen on the 959 production line rather than Ingolstadt or Neckarsulm and had added a healthy dose of even more “Sport” to the small chassis. Ostensibly, though the Sport Quattro was the first RS vehicle, the RS2 was the first to wear the badge which has become synonymous with Audi’s speed department. For many Audi aficionados, though the RS vehicles have become much faster and more luxurious, just as the with W124 500E and the E30 M3 Audi has never made a car better in its overall execution than the original. Not that it was slow by any means; Porsche’s massaging of the ADU inline-5 resulted in 311 horsepower – even more than the Sport Quattro had from essentially a very similar motor.

So despite being much heavier than the Sport had been, the RS2 wasn’t much slower; sub-5 seconds to 60 and a top speed north of 160 mph. Along the way, it was capable of bullying everything outside of a supercar; yet this car also established the move from Audi’s 2-door halo vehicle to a long line of fast five doors. Porsche also upgraded the brakes and wheels with Brembo units and 17″ Cup wheels creating a signature look, and tacked on 911 mirrors for good measure.This car was legendary from the start, and the upgrades to the motors and wheels spawned an entire generation of enthusiasts to turn up their inline-5s stateside. Now that these cars are legal for importation, though, it’s possible to find the forbidden fruit already imported:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi RS2 Avant on eBay

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