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THE NEW AUDI A5 / AUDI S5

Originally posted Feb 28, 2007 – 01:49 PM

INGOLSTADT, Germany – Audi is launching a fascinating new model series for its entry into a highly emotionally charged segment of the market: the A5 successfully unites the acclaimed Audi design language and thrilling dynamic driving performance, and combines generous refinement with the brand’s characteristic quality and sophistication. Its progressive design gives the new coupé an appearance that is both elegant and dynamic. With its muscular FSI and TDI engines, its entirely newly developed high-precision running gear, and a raft of innovative, luxury-class equipment features, the Audi A5 has been crafted to be a modern grand tourer, a touring coupé in the best tradition.

*NOTE: TDI models will not be offered in the U.S.

The Audi S5 is an extra sporty offering to complete the new series. A powerful V8 FSI engine gives the S5 a dynamic edge, which underscores its athletically accentuated design. The A5 and S5 are available to order from 6 March 2007 with the first vehicles due for delivery from June.

The Nuvolari quattro concept car of 2003 gave a first taste of Audi’s vision for a powerful and expertly styled coupé with a high performance potential and a progressive, sophisticated design – a bold step into the future.

Many elements from the Nuvolari have been adopted in the Audi A5. The new coupé is a clear and unique statement of sportiness and elegance. At the same time, the A5 offers a driving experience characterised by exhilarating dynamic performance and excellent comfort over long distances.

With a length of 4.63 m, the Audi A5 clearly belongs to a superior class of coupé. Four comfortable seats and a load volume of 455 liters make this car a comfortable long-distance tourer.

The engines’ power can be transmitted by either front-wheel drive or quattro four-wheel drive and a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox. The running gear developed for the A5 is entirely new and combines agile handling with the utmost driving safety.

The design

Quite simply a desirable coupé

For coupé buyers, emotion plays a major role in their choice of car; the most important reason to buy, in the case of a sporty two-door car, is the design. And o­n that point the Audi A5 genuinely speaks for itself – its design takes Audi’s progressive and stylish design language to new heights. The sporty silhouette, the precisely drawn lines, which gracefully interplay with the powerful surfaces, the expressive front face, and the equally distinctive tail end yield a wholly desirable coupé. “The Audi A5 is the most beautiful car I have ever designed”, says Walter de’Silva, Head of Volkswagen Group Design, with absolute conviction.

Sportiness, elegance and dynamic performance are characteristics common to all of today’s Audi models. Naturally the A5 is particularly rich in these elements of the Audi “genetic code”, and the design makes that immediately clear: the coupé’s proportions, for instance, are characterized by a very wide and low stance, a short front overhang and a long, flowing transition from the C pillar to the tail end.

Lines and surfaces play with light and shadows

An expression of determination characterizes the features of the front end: the face bears the hallmark of the new Audi in the form of the single-frame grille, and its right-angled headlights and large air inlets reinforce the architectural impression of breadth in the car’s face-on outline. The same holds true for the rear: the distinct horizontal lines and wide, powerfully styled tail lights, which seem to push outwards, underscore the sporting intent of the A5.

The side line is dominated by the mighty trapezoidal C pillar. This not o­nly emphasizes the car’s sporty appeal, but also creates a look reminiscent of the legendary Audi Ur-quattro.

A second stylistic tribute to Audi’s four-wheel drive pioneer model can be found in the marked outline of the wheel arches, with their curving contours drawn into the wide shoulder line. The lines and surfaces of the Audi A5 play with light and shadows, bringing its shape to life and endowing the body with the sculpted intensity that makes Audi design unique.

Audi’s customary devotion to detail is particularly evident in the headlights: their elaborate styling perfectly reflects precision and high-tech engineering. The daytime running lights, comprising a strip of eight LEDs o­n each side, make the A5’s xenon plus headlights absolutely unmistakable.

The interior

The luxurious perfection of an Audi

The interior, the interface between person and vehicle, is characterized by ergonomic design and functionality, and equally by the exclusiveness of the materials selected and Audi’s typically superb build quality. An atmosphere in which you feel perfectly at ease, even o­n long journeys – that is the key feature of the A5 interior.

Making interior design a high-quality tactile experience

The entire cockpit architecture is clearly focused o­n the driver and brings together the instruments and the center console to form o­ne unit. The animated shapes, the precision of the workmanship, and the sophisticated design of the controls – these represent a visual delight that is also a joy to touch. The interior design provides a high-quality tactile experience each time you drive the Audi A5. o­ne example of the all-encompassing design approach can be found in the door panel trim, where the controls, inlays, armrest and stowage compartment combine to form o­ne visually harmonious unit.

The instrument panel, with the characteristic droplet-shaped surrounds for the speedometer and rev counter, does feature typical Audi styling elements, but in all its details has been developed as a new design.

The A5 also has the screen of the MMI operating system positioned at an ergonomically perfect high position in the cockpit. A new advanced version of the acclaimed intuitive MMI operating logic makes the wide range of functions easy to understand.

Key with a sharp memory

The new key is another design item that also provides sophisticated functionality. With its soft contours and pleasant surfaces it sits beautifully in the hand. But above all, the innovative key dispenses with the conventional key bit. This is possible because it communicates electronically with the vehicle’s electrical system as soon as it is inserted into the cockpit. It can also store important information, such as the vehicle’s current mileage or warning messages from the Audi A5’s driver information system. The data are always up-to-date and available to allow after-sales staff at a dealership to receive the vehicle for servicing quickly and easily.

The engines

For powerful driving pleasure

A coupé with a distinctly sporty character requires powerful and highly efficient engines. For the Audi A5, power is provided by innovative technologies across the board. All engines supplied for the new model series feature direct fuel injection, for which the petrol engines employ the FSI concept and the diesels are equipped with common rail TDI. This gives all engines a thrilling free-revving character, allowing them to effortlessly unwind their generous torque with optimum energy efficiency. The refined TDI engines with their outstanding sporting talents suit the A5 just as well as the petrol units. Which type to go for is entirely a question of the driver’s personal preference. All of the engines impressively demonstrate that efficiency and driving pleasure are by no means mutually exclusive.

FSI – The high-tech engine with variable valve lift

The top-of-the-range petrol engine in the Audi A5 is a new 3.2-liter FSI with innovative valve gear comprising the Audi valvelift system. This innovation varies the valve lift between two levels. To achieve this, sets of sliding cams are mounted directly o­n the intake camshafts. These feature two sets of adjacent cam contours for small and large valve lift. Which cam is used to open the intake valves depends o­n the power demand at any o­ne time.

The effect is an appreciable increase in engine efficiency. The driver benefits from greater power and improved driveability, while enjoying a marked reduction in fuel consumption. At the wheel of an Audi A5 3.2 FSI there is a whole 195 kW (265 bhp) of power output available and a superb torque of 330 Nm in a broad rev band of 3,000 to 5,000 rpm, ensuring blistering acceleration at all times. Within 6.1 seconds the 3.2 FSI quattro with manual six-speed gearbox sprints from 0 to 100 km/h. The top speed is limited to 250 km/h. Despite this thrilling performance potential the car’s fuel consumption is o­nly 8.7 liters per 100 kilometers (3.2 FSI multitronic).

Thanks to a whole raft of technical innovations in the petrol engines, their fuel economy has been significantly improved, thus yielding a marked reduction in CO2 emissions.

TDI – Impressive performance combined with exemplary eco-friendliness

The V6 TDI units from Audi set the standards in their segment. Their copious torque and outstanding fuel economy accompanied by superb refinement mean that they score highly o­n all counts. In addition to all this, they offer eco-friendly performance that is hard to beat. The TDI engines fitted in the Audi A5, for instance, are equipped with a diesel particulate filter as standard.

The sporty top-of-the-range TDI in the new Audi coupé is the thoroughly revised 3.0-liter engine. It now delivers a power output of 176 kW (240 bhp) and its maximum torque is an immense 500 Nm. But that is not all: with its supreme 0 to 100 km/h acceleration time of 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h, the Audi A5 3.0 TDI quattro is o­ne of the sportiest vehicles of its kind. Added to this, it also offers an average fuel consumption of just 7.2 liters per 100 km!

The second TDI engine in the Audi A5 range offers even better fuel economy. The 2.7-liter V6 engine delivers 140 kW (190 bhp) and is an ideal complement to the multitronic gearbox for the comfort-minded coupé driver. Nevertheless, its performance figures are more than impressive: it offers a top speed of

232 km/h with an average fuel economy of 6.7 liters per 100 km. o­n top of that, its acceleration time of just 7.6 seconds confirms the sporty credentials of this version of the Audi A5.

The Audi A5 2.7 TDI multitronic is equipped with front-wheel drive, while the 3-liter TDI with manual gearbox constantly supplies power to all four wheels. As in numerous other Audi models, the quattro permanent four-wheel drive in the Audi A5 enhances driving dynamics by distributing 40 percent of engine power to the front axle and 60 percent to the rear axle at its basic setting. The system adjusts the power distribution depending o­n the situation and road surface grip.

multitronic with eight forward gears and sport mode

In the standard specification, the Audi A5 powertrain features a six-speed manual gearbox with sporty ratios. This gearbox offers uniform short gear lever travel and smooth, easy gear changes.

The continuously variable multitronic automatic gearbox, which offers unparalleled power transmission comfort, is available in conjunction with the

3.2 FSI and the 2.7 TDI engines. At the same time its high efficiency and tall maximum transmission ratio make it very economical o­n fuel, since it operates in the most efficient range at all times. Whenever the driver prefers a more sporty driving style, the gearbox can be switched to a manual mode with eight set speeds.

The running gear

Precise instruments for agile handling

Even when stationary, the Audi A5 makes a dynamic impression: the wide track, large wheels and short overhangs not o­nly characterize its muscular appearance, they also form part of the formula that produces its peerless active driving feel. The Audi A5 coupé defines the new standard in its class for precise steering response, outstanding directional stability and superb agility, while also offering first-class ride comfort.

The Audi engineers have achieved this with a completely new design of running gear: the front wheels are located by a five-link suspension arrangement with upper and lower wishbones. The wishbones are mounted o­n a subframe, which is firmly bolted to the body for high rigidity. Another completely re-engineered component is the rack and pinion steering. It is located in front of the front axle close to the wheel center line, and enhances the car’s very agile handling by its direct transmission of the steering forces.

Long wheelbase, short overhang

Overall, the front axle is located a long way forward for a longitudinal engine configuration with front- and four-wheel drive. This new vehicle architecture makes it possible to have a long wheelbase with a short front overhang, and to optimize the axle load distribution. These are all additional elements that enhance the supreme handling qualities of the new Audi A5. To accomplish this special design, the engineers used a trick adopted from the Audi A8: the front axle differential is located in front of the clutch.

A key element of the rear running gear is its trapezoidal-link rear suspension with completely new kinematics. It provides a high degree of ride comfort combined with excellent directional stability. At both the front and rear, the main components of the suspension are made of aluminum. The generous dimensions of the brakes are designed to match the car’s high performance ratings. The braking force can be precisely modulated and the kinematics of the new rear suspension significantly reduce the so-called braking dive effect.

The standard electromechanical parking brake, familiar from the A8 and A6, is activated via a button next to the gear lever. The A5 is also available with the option of Audi hold assist: this ensures that the car cannot accidentally roll back after stopping o­n a hill.

The body

Generous and superlatively solid

The Audi A5 is nothing if not generous to its driver and passengers. Its generosity begins with its luxurious spaciousness – not just for the front row. o­n the rear seats, too, the A5 is a full-size touring car. Likewise, with a luggage compartment volume of 455 liters, there is always space left over for a bit of extra shopping, even o­n a long tour. The loading width of o­ne meter allows easy stowage of large items of luggage, and even well-filled golf bags will fit widthways into the Audi A5 boot. The rear seat folds in two separate sections, and can be released conveniently from the boot.

The extremely high bodyshell rigidity, typical of an Audi, provides the basis both for the car’s crisp handling and its agreeable feeling of solidness and comfort. In the development of the A5 the engineers have successfully combined supreme sporty performance and agility with outstanding vibrational comfort. Its lightweight body construction was achieved using the latest technologies, such as metal plates with varying wall thicknesses (tailored blanks), combined spot welded and bonded joints, and the use of aluminum, for example, in the front wings.

The smooth surfaces of the additional underbody panel enhance the Audi A5’s inherently good aerodynamics. o­ne small but typical example of the extensive high-precision work carried out in the wind tunnel can be seen in the spoilers moulded into the sides of the tail lights.

The equipment

Luxury class high-tech features

Where equipment is concerned, the Audi A5 is characterized by a comprehensive standard specification. This includes 17-inch alloy wheels along with automatic air conditioning, the MMI information and operating system, an audio system with CD player and separate screen, and the automatically opening boot lid. The new comfort key and the electromechanical parking brake are also among the items included in the standard package.

The list of options offers even more luxury class high-tech: Audi adaptive light combines bi-xenon headlights with the dynamic cornering light system and the LED strip of daytime running lights. Keyless access for the doors and boot and keyless engine starting are all features of the advanced key system. The deluxe automatic air conditioning system with three temperature zones allows the passengers to adjust the climate for their individual comfort. The extra-large panoramic tilting roof lends the A5 an especially generous feeling of open space. The Audi parking system advanced features a rearview camera, helping to make tricky parking in cramped multi-storeys easily negotiable.

The infotainment system is a special highlight of the options range. Alongside the navigation system with DVD including MMI, DAB digital radio reception and DVB TV reception, this system also offers pure delight for the ears: the premium sound system for the Audi A5 is supplied by the Danish hi-fi specialist Bang & Olufsen. It comprises 14 speakers, 500 watts of music output, surround sound, active driving noise compensation and, above all, the expertise of a worldwide renowned specialist for high-end audio equipment, making every drive in the Audi A5 a delightful acoustic experience.

Customization

A made-to-measure coupé

The decision to drive a coupé is always a very emotional o­ne. That makes it all the more important for a coupé to reflect the personal wishes and express the ideas of it owner. If any coupé can fulfil special requests, it is the Audi A5: how about seat side sections in stone blue Valcona leather, accompanied by seat center sections in star silver leather, with matching interior headlining also in star silver? To go with that, you can add aluminum hologram inlays or maybe rather laurel wood? The customer has the choice: in terms of design variety, the Audi A5 is luxury class in the full sense of the word, with two types of cloth, two leather varieties, the combination of leather and Alcantara, five different inlays and a wide range of interior color schemes. Above and beyond that, the Audi exclusive program from quattro GmbH can fulfil virtually every individual wish.

For those looking for an even stronger sporting intent in the A5, the Audi S line offers an extra-dynamic look. The S line exterior package comprises, for example, more distinctive bumpers at the front and rear. The S line sports package includes items such as sports seats, steering wheel and gear lever in perforated leather, black headlining, and special inlays. Even here, there is scope for individual choice between matt aluminum, piano finish black or Vavona wood assam grey. The 18-inch alloy wheels and exclusive paint finishes underscore the look of the S line sports package, while the sports suspension provides a distinct driving feel.

In a league of its own

The Audi S5

The Audi S5 is a unique competitor among high-performance coupés, thanks to its combination of V8 FSI technology and quattro permanent four-wheel drive. The eight-cylinder engine with its superb power delivery has worthy counterparts in the specially tuned sports suspension and high-performance brakes. Subtle, but clear design elements inside and out serve to distinguish this coupé as a high performance athlete in a league of its own. The Audi S5 goes o­n sale with the launch of the Audi A5 series.

Engine and running gear

Fascination no figures can express

The figures alone are fascinating enough, but they o­nly hint at the impressive driving experience the S5 offers. The eight-cylinder engine has a rated power output of 260 kW (354 bhp). Its peak torque is 440 Nm, which it already delivers at 3,500 rpm. Within just 5.1 seconds the Audi S5 can sprint to 100 km/h. But no figures can adequately describe the supreme free-revving character, the spontaneous response, the continuous power build-up, or the thrilling sound of this eight-cylinder engine. The V8 naturally derives its enormous power potential from the innovative FSI direct injection technology with high compression and optimum fuel mixture formation.

The six-speed manual gearbox with its very precise guiding of the gear lever and short throw action makes every gear change a pleasure. The quattro permanent four-wheel drive of course provides perfect traction with variable torque distribution from its basic setting of 40 percent to the front and 60 percent to the rear axle. Within a fraction of a second, the dynamic drivetrain system adapts to the current driving conditions and constantly delivers the ideal distribution of drive torque.

The Audi S5’s sports suspension is tuned to enhance the coupé’s performance with particularly dynamic handling. The special high-performance brakes, recognizable by their black painted brake calipers, always ensure precise deceleration. And finally, the ESP electronic stabilization program can be deactivated in two stages whenever the driver wishes to exploit the potential of the Audi S5 to the full o­n a suitable stretch of road.

Design and interiors

Sporty aesthetics with clear functionality

While the design of the Audi A5 forms a balanced synthesis of sportiness and elegance, the Audi S5 displays the more vigorous features of a powerfully built athlete: the radiator grille possesses the specific look of an Audi S model – painted in platinum grey and fitted with vertical chrome inlays. The front and rear bumpers have a more pronounced outline and the air inlet grilles are more striking. The aluminum-look exterior mirror housings make an overtly sporty impression, as do the color-keyed door sill trim and the dual-branch exhaust system with four oval tailpipes. Nevertheless, the model’s sporty attributes always have a functional aspect: for instance, the more pronounced spoiler in the boot lid yields additional aerodynamic downforce.

However, true strength comes from within and the interior design of the

Audi A5 thoroughly underscores its athletic character. The sports seats, sports steering wheel, instruments with grey dials and aluminum door sill plates provide a dynamic and refined atmosphere. The program does, of course, provide ample scope to fulfill individual interior design wishes: the inlays are o­ne example – here the choice is between carbon, aluminum, stainless steel or wood. After all, the Audi S5 should perfectly match its owner’s individual ideas and expectations.

Alongside the coupé’s 18-inch wheels with the new S design and 245/40 R 18 tires, the standard equipment specification for the S5 features items such as xenon plus headlights with impressive daytime running lights in the form of an LED light strip, or sports seats with electronic adjustment.

The 1.8T Coil Pack Conversion for 1992-1997 Audi S4/S6

1.8T Coil Pack Conversion

1.8T Coil Pack Conversion

I’ve been developing this conversion in my head for a number of years because I always thought that, eventually, our OEM coils would no longer be made and I wanted a back-up plan for my car. In the last four or five months, I noticed that I was getting some missing/bucking under WOT, and high boost, at high speed. I figured coil (or POS) but I didn’t want to spend the money o­n replacing old (but perhaps robust) technology when newer technology is out there.

I know all about the 1.8t coil pack recall o­n some of the Bremi-made coil packs but I think that VW/Audi is through all that now. For whatever reason (excess supply, the need to do some good PR), these coil packs are now very reasonably priced. Since I had the need and the price was right (about $200 – $250 for the parts versus the OEM equivalent of about $900 for five coils, two OEM POS units and five spark plug connectors), I decided to make the conversion.

This conversion is intended as an alternative to the original equipment (OE) ignition system that uses two 3-channel power output stages (POSs) and five individual coils each with a replaceable sparkplug connector. The 1.8 t coil pack conversion described in the pdf o­n S-cars.org works but there are no guarantees about improved performance or freedom from failures. The 1.8t coil packs have built-in POS units as well as coils and plug connectors. At the time of writing this, these 06B 905 115L coil packs were about $30 each. In comparison, the OE POSs were about $150 each (and you need two) and the OE coils were about $115 each (and you need five). So even if the odd 115L coil pack fails every o­nce and awhile, they are far less expensive than the original ignition system.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE CONVERSION PDF FILE

Conversion story and PDF contributed by Dave Forgie

The C4 Audi S4 / S6 (UrS4/S6) Buyer’s Guide, 2010 Edition

Along with our new web site, the time has come for another revision of our long standing buyer’s guide for the first generation S4 and S6 model cars.

A lot has changed since I first wrote a buyer’s guide for these cars many years ago. Many (many) more miles have accumulated o­n the cars and age has taken a toll o­n them as well. Does this mean that the cars are no longer looking for o­n the used car market?  Not really! Quite the contrary in actuality.

Many of these cars are bargains these days as far as I am concerned. While our guide applies primarily to 1992-1997 North American model S4/S6 cars, it can also be useful for owners of European specification models.

UrS4If you are contemplating the purchase of a first generation (C4 chassis) Audi S4 or S6 then you’re obviously someone who has an appreciation for understated sport sedans. Part of the attraction of these cars aside from the rarity factor is that they are extremely comfortable and capable sport sedans that don’t typically scream “Hey look at me!”  They are also, for the most part, simple enough to work on for the average enthusiast.  While some aspects of the cars are best left to the professionals, a number of things can be done yourself making them more economical to own that the newer uber sedans.

Before beginning we should explain the ‘Ur’ prefix we often use when referring to these cars. Simply put, “Ur” is a German prefix meaning original. You’ll hear these cars referred to as UrS4/UrS6 or the original S4/S6. We’ve now seen four generations of the S4 platform yet there is still a core group of enthusiasts that swear by their UrS4/S6 cars. These cars are unique. Special. Limited production. Oh yeah, and they can be quite fast as well!

With that out of the way let’s take a closer look…

UrS4 badge

UrS4 badge

So where did the S-Cars come from anyway?

Germany of course! Historically speaking, the first generation S4/S6 models owe their existence to the hugely successful Audi Sport Quattro rally cars. After all, the 20 valve turbocharged five cylinder AAN engine found under the hood (bonnet for those of you across the pond) was developed and proven via the Audi rally program. Naturally, the engines found in the original Sport Quattro rally cars are not identical to those found in the average S4/S6 street car but the lineage is there. In fact, the Audi 200 20 valve with the 3B code engine was the first Audi sedan to be graced with the rally inspired engine. The combination of a capable 20 valve turbocharged engine, (which in the case of the 200 20V produced 217 HP) and a well equipped sport-luxury sedan was quite a hit. The cars received praise from the motoring press but the then sluggish U.S. economy combined with Audi’s then dismal sales figures meant that few of the cars were sold during 1991.

The S4 is born….

In 1992 Audi came back with a revised package for the venerable 20V turbo five. New for ’92 the AAN engine featured individual coils for each cylinder rather than the distributor and plug wires found o­n the 1991 Audi 200 3B engined cars. This enhancement helped boost horsepower from 217 to 227 horses. Performance was excellent for a moderately sized sport sedan. 0-60 MPH sprints required roughly 6.3 seconds which at the time was quite impressive (even today it is quick by sedan standards.)

Exterior visual enhancements included flared front fenders, 16×8” five-spoke forged Fuchs alloy wheels shod with 225/50-ZR16 rubber (later replaced by cast alloy 16×7.5” AVUS wheels o­n some S6 models) , ellipsoidal halogen headlights, and a slightly more aggressive stance than the standard issue 100/A6. Pearlescent white paint was the o­nly exterior option aside from the uber-rare sunroof delete option.

Inside the car potential buyers were treated to Recaro sport seats up front, heated seats front and rear (U.S. models), Audi/Bose sound systems, and pretty much every other creature comfort you might need including a hands-free cellular phone mounted in the center armrest. A 10 disc (6 disc o­n later cars) was the o­nly interior option. (Technically, a sunroof-delete option was also available for drivers seeking more headroom but to date I know of o­nly o­ne such car here in North America which is in the hands of a Canadian enthusiast.)

Once again the motoring press praised the Audi uber sedan… not o­nly for the performance but also for the price in comparison with competitors BMW M5 and Mercedes E400. The S4 did still cost nearly $50,000 U.S. dollars (1992) and the economy still wasn’t exactly booming. Audi dealers sold roughly 250 examples the first year and a little more than 500 in 1993 and following years. o­nce the word was out o­n these cars they became very difficult to find o­n dealer lots. I recall my father’s efforts to purchase a ’93 S4 during the summer of ’95… just as soon as the dealer would take o­ne in o­n trade it would be sold. It took nearly six months to find o­ne! Luckily, they are available o­n the used vehicle market these days and at bargain prices.

1994 UrS4

1994 UrS4

Buying a 1992-1997 Audi S4 or S6…

UrS4The time has come to buy your own 1992-1994 S4 or 1995-1997 S6? As these cars have gotten older, there are some additional areas that should be closely inspected when looking to acquire such a vehicle. Generally speaking, these cars were among the most reliable ever built by Audi and they remain great cars for daily service. Proper maintenance is the key to finding the right car.

All things get older and the S-Cars are no exception. The question is, do the original S4 and S6 models age gracefully or do they turn into nightmarish wrecks needing constant attention? Simply put, the vast majority of S-Cars remain solid and reliable despite the years and many many miles. The current market values for these cars make them a nearly unbeatable bargain in the four season family sized sport sedan category. The combination of size, luxury, and performance wrapped up in somewhat of an understated performance sedan package makes them enticing even against more modern Audi offerings.

A good S4/S6 candidate car would be o­ne with a full compliment of service records and an owner who appreciated the car. For this reason, buying a car from an enthusiast owner, such as an S-CARS.ORG member, would be a good place to start. Just remember that few cars are 100% perfect, so don’t expect perfection no matter how nice a car looks or sounds. It is normal to have a few things that need to be taken care of. Don’t let it scare you away from a car if everything else checks out. If the car you’re looking at has more than a few minor problems, make sure the price reflects it. Be very cautious if the car has any major problems (i.e.: transmission trouble, bad A/C system, power steering rack failure, or significant accident damage) Minor fender benders are probably OK as long as repair work was carried out by top notch professionals and there are no signs of rust or paint bubbling.

Now we’ll examine the cars more closely…

Body Structure:

All C4 chassis cars were double galvanized by Audi therefore body panel rust is generally not a major concern unless the car has been in an accident and improperly repaired. Areas more prone to rust include the wheel arches (specifically the bottom trailing edge of the front wheel arches) and the rear trunk lid above the license plate and under the taillights. Generally rust in these areas is limited to surface rust that can be managed. It should also be noted that the hoods (or bonnets) o­n many S6 models were prone to rust along the outer edges of the hood. This was an issue that manifested itself fairly early, so many were replaced by dealers under warranty. Check this area closely if you are considering an S6 model (and don’t overlook it o­n an S4).

S6 steering rack

S6 steering rack

Another area to check is the area where the steering rack is attached to the body of the car. In some cases, owners have reported cracks in the structure where the rack mounts. A creaking sound in the steering can be a hint that all is not well here. This issue was most likely found in the S4 and some early S6 model cars. Later S6 models had reinforced body structure at this area so perhaps Audi caught o­n to the potential for cracks developing here. This problem CAN be fixed in most cases. There is an F.A.Q. o­n the site that details the steps taken by o­ne owner.

The paint o­n these cars was high quality although the Tornado Red and Black cars would tend to oxidize a bit if not religiously maintained. I have seen some clear coat cracking o­n cars as well. If properly cared for, the original finishes o­n these cars can still look very good after the years. You will likely have some rock chips along the front edge of the hood and front fender flares. Watch for acid rain damage o­n cars from the Northeast and more severe rock chips o­n the cars from the Rocky Mountain region such as the Denver metro area. It is not uncommon to see NE and Rocky Mountain region cars with repainted front bumpers, hoods, front fenders, or mirrors due to this road rash. Make sure that any paint work was for cosmetic reasons rather than accident damage. Obviously you will want to make sure the repaint looks to be of good quality as well.

Cars from the Northeast and Midwest and other “winter salted” areas of the country will likely have considerable rust o­n the fittings underneath the car. In most cases this just makes them less convenient to work o­n but it can be a cause for more serious concern in terms of brake calipers or fuel lines. We’ll detail these issues in another section.

What to look for…

– Check all door and fender gaps closely for signs of panel replacement or repair. The gaps should all be uniform with no signs of overspray.
– Carefully examine the steering rack mounting points under the hood and in the front wheel areas. Some owners have experienced cracking in this area. It can be fixed but is best avoided.
– Check the seams along the edge of the hood for signs of rust. This problem was more common o­n S6 models and was often repaired/replaced under warranty by Audi.
– Wheels arches are prone to rock chips. The trailing edge of the front fender seems to be especially prone to damage and can start rusting if not properly cared for.
– Inspect the fuel lines under the car, especially at the points where they pass through the rubber mounting block with stainless clips. Water and road debris tend to collect at this points and may cause the fuel lines to corrode and eventually leak. This problem is most prevalent in the northeast and other “salted” areas of the country. Replacement lines can be obtained from an Audi dealer but they are by no means inexpensive.
– Bumper covers should be in good shape. Beware of covers with cracks or holes in them. Replacement bumper covers can be a bit difficult to locate and typically cost upwards of $600. Bumper covers that “sag” o­n the trailing edge likely have broken side mounting clips. Sometimes you can get lucky and pop them back in place. The majority seem to need new side mounts. Replacement side bumper mounts are not very expensive although often times it is the mounting point o­n the bumper cover itself that has cracked. You’ll have to do your own MacGyver (creative) repair o­n these unless you want to spent a lot of money and buy a new bumper cover.

Engine / Driveline:

The 2.2 liter 20 valve inline five is a time tested work horse that appears to have no set “expiration date”. There are many cars still o­n the road with more than 200,000 miles. Even more surprising is hearing how many of these high mileage cars still have the original K24 turbo working nicely!

Transmissions: All cars sold in North America were equipped with a 5 speed manual gearbox. Unfortunately, the early model cars had problems with pinion bearing failures which often resulted in a high pitched whine that would increase/decrease with speed regardless of whether the clutch was in or out.

Turbochargers: The original K24 turbochargers have performed very well in the long term. Even in Stage 1 or 2 chip tuned cars, these turbos were capable of racking up many miles of service. o­ne of the common upgrade turbos for these cars was the Porsche/Audi RS2 turbocharger. These turbos are even more robust than the K24 units and assuming proper care and engine software they should not be problematic.

What to look out for…
– Transmission noise: If the car you are looking at makes a whining sound that increases or decreases with vehicle speed (regardless of whether the clutch is engaged or not) it likely has a problem.
– Smoke from the exhaust o­n start up: o­n higher mileage cars, this is likely a sign that the valve guide seals have some wear. A small puff of smoke o­nce in a while o­n start up isn’t cause for major alarm but if you get substantial smoke each time the car is started or while driving there are more serious issues.
– Turbochargers: o­n a stock K24 car (engine cold) remove the intake hose o­n the front side of the turbo. You should be able to stick your thumb and index finger in to grasp the center shaft of the turbo wheel. Gently check the turbo shaft for excessive movement fore/aft or up/down. If it feels loose the turbo is likely getting close to needing a rebuild or replacement. “Tired” turbochargers often make more noise while driving under boost conditions as well. Really tired turbos may blow smoke out the rear of the car while driving.

Suspension / Wheels / Brakes:

The stock suspensions o­n the North American S4 and S6 were far too soft for many enthusiast owners. As a result, it will not be uncommon to see cars with Eibach or H&R lowering springs and sport shocks. This is not necessarily a bad thing unless you live in an area where roads are unnervingly harsh. The H&R springs are typically firmer riding than the Eibachs, so keep that in mind as well. Suspension bushings and bits don’t last forever, so by now most should have been replaced or upgraded. Be aware that o­nce these cars are lowered with either the Eibach or H&R sport spring kits, they will no longer be alignable to factory specs. You will need to purchase some adjustable camber plates from ECS Tuning in Ohio or 2Bennett in California to alieviate this problem. Another alternative would be to modify your existing plates via the Igor Kessel camber plate mod which can be found elsewhere o­n our web site.

The stock wheels for the UrS4 were 16×8” forged Fuchs (pronounced: “fooks”) five spoke alloys shod with 225/50-16” tires. The Fuchs wheels were generally strong and fairly light weight compared to aftermarket wheels. The clear coat o­n the lip of the wheel was prone to cracking and discoloring… especially o­nce the wheels had come into contact with a curb or other abrasive surface.

An optional six spoke 15×7.5” wheel made by Speedline was also offered by dealers in the snowy parts of the country as part of the all-season option. These wheels were often shod with 205 or 215 series snow tires for winter use.

Finally, the later model UrS6 and all UrS6 Avants were fitted with the AVUS style 16×7.5” cast alloy wheels. The AVUS styling of these wheels is something that has been carried over in some shape/form to the latest model offerings from Audi.

’17″Larger wheels and tires are not uncommon sights o­n UrS4/S6 models. Most owners opt for 17” wheels with tire sizes ranging from 225/45-17 to 255/40-17 depending upon wheel width. Keep in mind that larger wheels typically mean more weight and rotational mass which can affect your acceleration and braking. Lightweight plus size wheels such as the OZ Superleggera, SSR Competition, and other forged or light weight wheels are icing o­n the cake. Many big brake upgrades REQUIRE that 17” wheels be used in order to safely clear the brake calipers.

Got brakes?
Perhaps o­ne of the biggest areas of disappointment for owners is in the stock brake system. The North American model cars were fitted with Audi’s long used Girling G60 brake calipers. These brakes are certainly sufficient for stock street use however they are not well suited to track use where repeated high speed braking is the norm. As a result, you may encounter cars with upgraded front brake calipers and rotors. The most common upgrade path uses the Porsche/Brembo 4 piston calipers from cars ranging from the Porsche Boxster o­n up to the Porsche 993 and 996 twin turbos and every model in between. The Porsche 993tt/996tt “Big Reds” as they are often called are generally the most desired models with front wheel brake upgrade kits costing roughly $2500. It is obviously a nice “bonus” if the car you are looking at has been fitted with these uber brakes.

1994 UrS4 center console

1994 UrS4 center console

Interior Systems:

While the UrS4 and UrS6 had all the bells and whistles of the era, they are relatively simple in comparison to the more modern models.

What to look out for…
– Instrument cluster and switch bulbs: More of a nuisance than anything. These bulbs can be replaced with relative ease in the instrument cluster and climate control head for the do-it-yourself types although the switch illumination bulbs may require some soldering in tight spaces to replace. The good news is that the bulbs are relatively inexpensive and many owners opt to replace them with slightly higher wattage units (there is an FAQ o­n how to do this elsewhere o­n this web site.)
– Climate Control Units: It isn’t uncommon to see burnt out bulbs behind some of the buttons or LCD panels. This can be easily fixed with some new bulbs. Watch out for bad LCD panels however. If the car you are lookin