While Iâ€™m a big fan of the Audi B2 chassis, I donâ€™t spend much time looking at or for the low man on the totem pole â€“ the 4000S. Audi’s badging in the post-facelift B2 was odd, as there was no model below the â€œSâ€ 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 yearâ€™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 werenâ€™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!
Tag: Titian Red Metallic
No, it’s not a misprint. Though you may not have been able to buy an Audi 90 in the United States until the B3 in 1988, in the rest of the world the same model you could buy here as the B2 4000S/CS quattro was marketed as two different models – the basic 80 quattro, and the more upscale 90 quattro. Differences between the two were bumpers, lights, wheels, and interior options as well as different power plants. The 90 was closest to the more “loaded” U.S. spec 4000S/CS quattro, and in fact looking through this model you’d be hard pressed to see many differences – consequently, few even ponder importation of a European model. However, differences are there – so let’s go through them and see if this B2 is worth the steep asking price:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi 90 Quattro on eBay
Boy, this is a trip down memory lane for me. My second car was very similar to this 1989 Volkswagen Golf in many ways; mine was also a base model with air conditioning, cloth interior with manual windows and Titian red. There were some important differences; I had a 1986 Westmoreland Golf which had CIS injection rather than the later Digifant electronic injection this car has, mine was a 4-door instead of two and when I bought it, it had somewhere around 190,000 miles on the clock. On paper, this is pretty much the car I would have liked to have; a lower mile, clean example of a basic transportation with flare – the Volkswagen Golf is a great hatchback that looked and functioned miles better than most of the competition at the time.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Volkswagen Golf GL on eBay
The Type 44 Audi was an impressive advance for German automobiles, a huge leap forward for Audi in a new marketplace – but also nearly the cause of its demise. It was an aerodynamic, futuristic sedan when both BMW and Mercedes-Benz seemed to be producing cars stuck in the 1970s. It was the blueprint for most modern luxury sedans from not only German companies, but many of the advances were copied by the Japanese, Italians and Americans for their large sedans. Yet, by 1990 Audi nearly pulled out of the American market thanks to some creative journalism from 60 Minutes, who in their effort to prove Audi was at fault for some unintended acceleration cases nearly killed off the company entirely. In part as a result of their efforts, it’s become quite rare to find clean examples of them today – but it’s also because they were such good, long-lived and solidly built machines that few have lower miles today. While I recent featured a few 20V turbocharged examples in the 20V Turbo comparison, today we’ll look at a few of the lesser appreciated examples, starting with a clean 5000CS quattro Avant in Canada:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi 5000CS Quattro Avant on Hemmings
Back in 1989, if you showed me a brand new diesel Jetta, there is zero probability I would have been excited about anything regarding it. Gas was relatively cheap, so having a diesel getting great mileage was really for fringe people. There were no spoilers, great alloy wheels, or even mud flaps to get excited about. The diesel Jetta was pretty basic transportation by even 1989 standards; plus, it was noisy, stinky and slow. Park it next to a GLi 16V, and it would be a no-brainer which one would be my choice to check out. But 25 years on, I was genuinely excited to find this listing pop up on eBay. Isn’t it crazy how time changes your perception? Finding a mostly or fully original 1989 Jetta that isn’t a rusted, beaten basket case with lower miles has become such a rarity that it makes me smile to see one, especially when it’s the same color combination as my 1986 Golf was: