The last few C4 Avants we’ve looked at have been of the European flavor, so let’s head back to what was available to us. The S6 Avant launched with the host of C4 changes for the ’95 model year – smoothed out bumpers, color-coded trim, and sometimes (but not always) new cast Speedline Avus 16″ wheels. That model was again almost immediately replaced with the ‘95.5’ model, with a revised transaxle, closed headrests, the move from infrared remote locking, and the big one – the rear differential lock switched to electronic function, meaning it was utilizing the brakes rather than the manual differential lock that had existed for low-speed engagement since the end of the Type 44 production.
Regardless of how you feel about those minor changes, all of the C4 S6 Avants are pretty highly sought. A nice Magnolia example just traded on Bring a Trailer for $19,000 even though it likely had over 200,000 miles. Today let’s look at a more stock example with lower mileage:
Predictably, as it did with Mercedes-Benz Pagodas, Porsche 930s, 80s BMW M products and the original GTI, the quick rising of selling prices for the Audi Quattro has continued to bring good examples to market. Where we used to wait seasons between seeing any at all, today you seem to be able to view at least one pretty good one on the market at any given time.
There are those that say you can’t really compare the Quattro to the M3, or even the 911 – though the pricing was quite similar. But isn’t that the point? In period, the other car you could have bought for the same money as a Quattro was a basic 911. And the market spoke: in 1983, Audi sold some 240 Quattros in the U.S.. Porsche, on the other hand, traded 5,707 911SCs between the Coupe, Targa and new Cabriolet models. There was basically no market overlap with the other two major contenders – the 944 Turbo and the M3. Both those cars, and the 911, were finished to a higher level of quality with better components, arguably, but the real difference was the type of owner who bought the Quattro versus the 911. These cars were built to be used and abused, and many were.
Today’s example wears LA3A Mars Red that was shared with the A1 and early A2 chassis Volkswagen GTI and GLIs (along with a few others), but is less frequent to see on the Quattro than the color that replaced it in 1984 – LY3D Tornado Red. It appears to defy the odds and be a survivor worthy of a closer look: