They have a reputation for being a bit heavy, underpowered and prone to understeer – all things that make track enthusiasts cringe. But let’s not forget that the B5 Audi A4 carried on a proud tradition of successful touring cars; it was entered into nearly every series and notably won a few championships – the ’95 and ’96 Italian Superturismo Championship and the ’96 British Touring Car Championship, besting the popular favorites BMW and Alfa-Romeo. Such was the continued dominance of the quattro drive system that in every successive championship the Audis were entered in, they were eventually banned from the series. But the resurgence of Audi to the forefront of Touring Cars proved to be a boost for sales of the popular B5 chassis, making it an instant favorite amongst fans who traveled to the track. While Audi changed priorities in the later ’90s from the BTCC and ITC, there were nonetheless several teams who ran examples of the A4, notably in the “World Challenge” sanctioned by SCCA. With liveries inspired by the classic A4 Super Touring, the more production-based A4 World Challenge gained mostly safety equipment and competed in the lower “Touring” class against the likes of the Acura Integra and BMW 325i, while after 2001 the S4 was introduced to run with the big boys. While not nearly as fast or special as the STW A4s which carry unique Audi Sport chassis numbers, an example of these lesser A4s captures the look at a fraction of the price:
Tag: track car
A funny thing happens when you go to the track often. People arrive with generally a slower car in stock form. The immediate experience most have, once hooked on heading to the track, is that their driving is not the limiting factor, but the speed of their car. So the story goes, with searches of the internet resulting in stiffer suspension, chips and exhaust, engine mapping and dyno runs, camber plates and coil-overs, sticky rubber and the lightest wheels possible – even if they’re ugly. Why? All in the quest of speed. However, once those drivers get towards the top, a few strange realizations occurs: first, there will always be someone with more money (often, a lot more) who will turn up at the track with a weapon capable of making your turned up and tuned up ride look positively slow. The second is more profound – the guys in the slow cars are coming off track with bigger smiles. It’s simply very satisfying to drive a slow car fast, and it turns out that those drivers get closer to the edge and experience a more pure driving experience. Anyone can plunk down $110,000 at your Nissan dealership and go and let the car set fast lap times. But it takes panache to take a step back and enjoy an older, slower car – to hone your skills and make yourself a better driver. While there are several cars from the 1980s that will afford you that opportunity, arguably the most popular in the German car realm is the venerable E30:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 325i on eBay
The 1992 Volkswagen Corrado track/race car that I wrote up back in September is back up on eBay, this time with a lowered “Buy It Now” by a thousand dollars to just below $6,000. This really strikes me as a fantastic bargain for the track; less money than some people put into modifying their daily drivers for track duty by a long shot!
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Volkswagen Corrado SLC Race Car on eBay
The below post originally appeared on our site September 22, 2014:
The wild LS2-swapped M Coupe has popped back up on eBay, now with a substantially lowered price to $36,500. There’s a lot of custom engineering that you’re getting for free at that price, and it all looks very well executed. I originally incorrectly believed the car was vinyl wrapped but was corrected by the seller that it is in fact painted matte orange. I love the audacity of the build and it’s just not possible to get more speed for less money in the German car world. This is one really cool setup for a track car and much more unique than the typical M3 or Porsche Turbos!
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 BMW M Coupe LS2 on eBay
The below post originally appeared on our site September 15, 2014:
For a long time, enthusiasts have claimed that you need to have rear wheel drive to enjoy a car’s dynamic abilities or have a successful race car. However, while limited in their application, front-drivers have a very long and successful track record dating back to the 1960s. Let’s not forget the Mini, SAABs and even some early Audi rally efforts which used front-drive platforms and were winners. In touring cars, Audi ran Coupe GTs and front-drive 4000s in Group 5 and later Volkswagen took the idea of the performance hatchback to their Golf platform in the GTi. Wildly popular as a budget racer since new, the Golf’s basic layout and platform evolved into the Volkswagen coupes – both Scirocco and later Corrado. While the early Sciroccos also gained much success in SCCA racing in the 1970s and early 1980s, the Corrado introduced a new level of performance with the VR6 engine. While the torque-laden application would seem on the surface to be a bad match for a front driver, the Corrado when properly set up is truly an impressive car and massively quick – a great alternative to the E36 chassis, for example: