Real Deal: Group B Audi Sport quattro S1 E2 Headed to Auction

Audi Sport quattro S1 E2

This legendary Audi quattro S1 E2 is one of the few in private hands, and it has an amazing pedigree.

The Group B era is widely regarded as one of the most exciting times in the history of rally. And if there’s one vehicle that’s synonymous with this wild, dangerous period, it’s the Audi Sport quattro S1 E2. This is the machine that proved that all-wheel drive was the future of the sport, and its arrival on the scene proved to be a pivotal moment for both rally teams and Audi itself.

In the years since, the legendary status of the S1 E2 has meant there’s been no shortage of clones and tribute cars. But opportunities to buy an actual weapons-grade example are few and far between. So if you’re the kind of gearhead who can’t see the bottom of your pockets? Prepare to be happy — because a 1985 Audi Sport quattro S1 E2 has come up for sale.

This example is one of the few in private hands, and was driven by Finnish rally champion Hannu Mikkola during the 1985 Lombard RAC Rally. Under the hood, it’s packing the familiar straight five engine, along with a massive — and unfortunately named — turbocharger which stoked output to 550 horsepower. That was an astronomical figure for the time, and allowed the S1 E2 to shoot from zero to 100 mph in just 8.9 seconds.

After the car’s competition days were done, it was purchased by Audi collector Michael Gabel, who wasn’t content to let it sit on display. Instead, Gabel added some refinements — like glass windows — and actually drove the car on the street. So if you’ve ever wondered how cool it is to be a wealthy gearhead who doesn’t care about pedestrian accessories like license plates? The answer is very, very cool.

Since Ingolstadt only built 20 S1 E2s, and five of them have crossed the bridge to Valhalla, that makes this example incredibly desirable. At this point, there are no estimates on the RM Sotheby’s site, so we’ll just have to see what it fetches when the hammer drops early next month. But one thing is for sure — this baby will likely crest the million-dollar mark almost as quick as it’ll hit 100 mph.

Photos: RM Sotheby’s

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Audi R18 e-tron quattro Up for Grabs

Audi R18 e-tron quattro

This 2015 R18 e-tron quattro represents the bleeding edge of Audi’s endurance racing tech at the time.

While corporate cousin Porsche remains the manufacturer with the most victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, no marque has dominated the modern era like Audi. In addition to Audi Sport’s three consecutive victories in 2000, 2001, and 2002, it proved nearly unstoppable between 2004 and 2014. Only a loss to home team Peugeot in 2009 kept the Four Rings squad from cementing a decade of dominance. Now, one well-heeled buyer has an opportunity to own a piece of motorsport history, in the form of a 2015 Audi R18 e-tron quattro.

To be clear, the example currently listed by specialist dealer Joe Macari didn’t campaign at the legendary French endurance race. But it did see action at the 2015 runnings of the 6 Hours of Fuji, the 6 Hours of Shanghai, and the 6 Hours of Bahrain. Over the course of its career, it never achieved a podium finish, but with fourth place finishes at Shanghai and Bahrain, it came tantalizingly close.  As the livery attests, it was also driven by current Formula E driver Lucas di Grassi, 24 Hours of Daytona winner Oliver Jarvis, and Loïc Duval, who brought another R18 across the line to win Le Mans in 2013.

This vehicle is chassis number 416, and the price — as you can probably imagine — is available only upon request. The rear wheels are powered by a 550-horsepower 4.0-liter V6 TDI, and the front wheels are driven by a 268-horsepower all electric motor.  According to the listing, the R18 benefited from improved fuel efficiency, a more robust cooling system, and aerodynamic improvements over it’s predecessor, the R15. Obviously, that’s the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the go-fast bits this weapons grade endurance racer is packing, as it represents the bleeding edge of Audi’s racing technology at the time.

Now, as cool as this machine is, what’s even more exciting is the fact that Audi is coming back to Le Mans. Almost exactly a year ago, Audi announced it had decided on a chassis partner and an engine concept. And if the timeline Audi Sport director Andreas Roos mentioned at that time is accurate, the testing is already well underway. Hopefully we’ll get more info on the new racer soon, but between this car and the just-announced Formula 1 program, the next few years are going to be exciting for Audi race fans!

Photos: Joe Macari

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Hot New Audi Option: ‘Semiconductor Shortage Package’

2021 Audi Q5

Some Audi buyers are being forced to read the writing on the wall. Or rather, the items on their Monroney.

If you’ve been shopping for a new car lately, well, you know how bad it is out there. Inventory is down, prices are way up, and scoring the vehicle you’re looking for, with all the options you want, is a longshot. Along with the pandemic, the semiconductor shortage has been wreaking havoc on global vehicle production — and now some Audi buyers are being forced to read the writing on the wall. Or rather, read the items on their Monroney sticker.

Because as AudiWorld member audixy noticed last month, some new Q5 45 TSFI premium pluses are being shipped with a “Semiconductor shortage package,” which deletes some pretty desirable options. Along with Adaptive cruise control with Traffic Jam assist and Audi phone box (which allows wireless charging and Apple CarPlay), the “options package” also deletes safety features like Audi active lane assist and side assist and rear cross traffic warning. Now, for the record, the sticker does reflect a $1,200 credit for the missing features.

Semiconductor Shortage Package

But as Wires pointed out, knocking $1,200 off the price of something that costs north of the $50k mark doesn’t seem remotely fair, and like a lot of other folks on the thread, figured that cars so “optioned” would take a bit hit when it came to resale value. At this point? I almost feel like joking about how Porsche is actually charging for this. But it wouldn’t surprise me if Stuttgart has figured out a way. After all, this is the crew that took a convertible, put a roof on it — and then upped the price.

Later in the thread, audixy posted a more granular explanation of the deletions, where they wrote:

Assuming VIN is continuous, so far, there are two deletion patterns across 45 Regular Q5 and Sportback with the last few digits of VIN# greater than 20 68200, everything before 68200 has been without deletion related to these features.”

  • For Premium, it is a $350 credit with “DELETE – Audi side assist & rear cross traffic warning”
  • For Premium Plus, it is the $1200 credit “Semiconductor shortage package”
  • Haven’t seen any 45 or 45 Sportback Prestige with VIN greater than 2068200, would expect the same credit for PP or no deletion at all.

It looks like 55 PHEV variant is not affected by this campaign yet; I see a few 55 PHEV VINs in the range of 2068200 – 2077700 without the deletion for both Premium Plus and Prestige.

Also haven’t seen any SQ5 variants with VIN greater than 2068200, so won’t know for sure.

Honestly, this is a killer example of just how awesome a resource the forum can be, and I heartily encourage you to give audixy some kudos. It’s also, unfortunately, an example of just how dire the situation with semiconductors is right now, and just how far automakers will go to continue shipping product. So if you did somehow mange to score the vehicle with everything you had on your checklist? Make sure to give it a through inspection before you drive it off the lot.

Photos: AudiWorld

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For Sale: 1990 Audi 200 Avant quattro With 190k

Audi 200 quattro Avant

There are lots of miles on the clock, but overall this Audi 200 Avant quattro looks to be in fairly decent shape.

When buying used cars, there are a couple of schools of thought when it comes to mileage. One is that it’s best to avoid high-mileage machines on general principal. The other is that a well-maintained high-mile example can be a screaming deal — and for the record, this the one I personally subscribe to. It’s also the reason my Los Angeles colleagues considered having me involuntarily committed. Because to some less-optimistic folks? Buying a late-1990s Jaguar XJ with over 100k on the clock screams lunacy.

That said, where you stand on the mileage question will likely determine just how attractive the 1990 Audi 200 Avant quattro I recently stumbled across on Facebook Marketplace is. Because along with attractive features like the turbocharged five-cylinder, a five speed manual, and Audi’s rally-tested quattro all-wheel drive system, this luxurious longroof has been around the block a few times. And when I say around the block a few times? I mean enough times to rack up 190,000 miles — which is most of the way to the moon.

Other than the mileage and basic specs, there’s precious little in the way of description in the listing. The seller simply says it’s fun, but that he doesn’t drive it enough, and — importantly — that he’s “just thinking of selling” the car. That lack of commitment leads me to believe that there’s probably not much wiggle room when it comes to the $4,000 asking price. So if you’re properly interested in this baby, I’d be prepared to lay down most, if not all, of the asking price. It’s still way, way, less than what you’d pay for a cream puff example.

In case you’re wondering, Montana does salt its roads. But aside from what looks to be surface rust in one of the photos, the undercarriage of this old Audi looks to be largely unscathed. From the pics, the interior seems to have weathered all the miles pretty well too, even if the liner of the sunroof is breaking free, and the leather looks a bit parched. So what do you think? Would you take a chance on this old Audi? Or does the does the potential cost of keeping this baby on the road give you pause? Hit me up and let me know!

Photos: Facebook Marketplace

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MR2-Based Audi R8 Kit Car is a Hard No

Audi R8 Kit Car

Who is both delusional enough to commission a terrible Audi R8 replica and flush enough to pay for it?

The automotive hobby is full of nooks and crannies, and gets stranger every day. I mean, the “Carolina Squat” is a thing, and given how stupid-dangerous it looks? I’m kind of glad it’s going to be illegal come December. That said, few corners of our world are stranger than the dark one reserved for kit cars. These bastard machines are the vehicular equivalent of Elvis impersonators, and I have to admit, I have a fascination with them. Particularly well-done, but still bad, examples like this fake Audi R8 which recently popped up for sale on eBay.

This poor thing began life as a 1993 Toyota MR2 — which, it should be noted — is already an cool car. Good looks, a mid-engine chassis, and Toyota reliability made it a darling of enthusiasts the world over. So it’s unclear exactly why someone thought it’d be a good idea to turn a great car into a bad approximation of an awesome one. Unfortunately, the listing is no help there, though it does reveal that the windshield is cracked, it’s a right-hand drive, and that you sometimes have to wiggle the driver’s window switch to get it to work.

The true shame here is that while the proportions are dead wrong and literally nobody is going to be fooled by this costume, a lot of effort went into this imposter. At least from the — admittedly crappy — photos the work appears to have been done to a high standard. That means it cost money. A lot of money. So the situation we’re left with is something akin to a doctor entering the waiting room to announce that while the surgery was a success, the patient died. Seriously, who is delusional enough to commission something, like this but flush enough to pay for it?

Now, I should be clear that I’m not against all kit cars. In fact, I’d happily rock a replica Porsche 356, Jaguar C-Type, or Lancia Stratos. I think they could be built to be far better than the originals, and still look the business doing it. But something like this R8? The only people who are going to be convinced are the automotive illiterate, and aficionados are going to snicker whenever you’re seen in this thing. Maybe the window tint is so dark because nobody wants to be seen in this thing. If you have another idea, let me know.

Photos: eBay Motors

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