1991 was the final year of the Audi body style that changed the world. In 1982, Audi took the long nose short rear concept pioneered with the Mercedes W126 sedans, smoothed it out, and brought it to the masses. In 1983 they introduced the “Avant” – Audi speak for station wagon. For one year only, Audi took the pretty wagon body, added the Quattro all wheel drive system, and topped it off with flared fender wells and their 217hp turbocharged inline-5 motor mated to a 5-speed manual transmission – the same combination Audi continued in the subsequent generation S4/S6 Avant. The result was a sleek and fast hauler any self-respecting Car Geek would be glad to drive.
Find this nice example here on VWVortex in Northern New Jersey for $4000 or best offer.
This car looks very Germanic and slightly sinister in its black on black leather, and appears to be in clean condition inside and out. We are fans of the later interiors in these cars with the expanded gauges and wood trim. We also like the thinner profile headlights that adorned the 200s versus the big, blocky units found on the contemporary Audi 100s. With 168K miles, this car has seen a lot of the world, but given the maintenance history reported by the current owner it should have a fair bit of life left.
The stock BBS alloy wheels suit these cars very nicely, although Audi “Avus” rims make a nice upgrade. This car reportedly has new tires in addition to a host of upgrades over the past two years – highlights include new UFO (read: expensive) brakes, numerous suspension and chassis mounts and bushings, water pump and timing belt, and all kinds of other stuff. It also previously received a popular software upgrade, and the seller reports that it pulls very strongly through all the gears. Having driven a stock one of these, I have no doubt that with the added power it’s a veritable rocketship.
Like I have mentioned in previous posts, we have a thing for station wagons here. Especially fast or unique ones. In its day, the only wagon available that would really give this car a run for the money would have been a Mercedes Hammer Wagon (which would have blown its doors off, but came with a $100K+ sticker price) and the Volvo 740 Turbo wagon, which was quick but no match for the Audi – unless it was equipped with the Ford 302 V8 out of a Mustang GT. Not until the Volvo 850 Turbo was the Audi unseated, and that’s when the wagon wars really heated up. They’re still going today in the form of cars like the Audi S6, BMW M5 (Europe only), and the Mercedes E63.
Station wagons get a bad rap as being fuddy-duddy kid haulers. I disagree. I look at station wagons as practical extensions of their sedan counterparts. And there are a number of wagons like this Audi that would leave their drivers with a huge smile plastered across their faces after a spirited romp through the mountains. Or the desert. Or the hills and valleys. Truth be told, every drive can be a spirited romp in this car.