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Old 03-22-2012, 09:29 AM   #1
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Default Audi's A4 Superavant





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Don't call it an MPV: Audi is preparing a new A4-based high-roof model that eclipses the current A4 Avant. It may be badged as A4 Sportback, or possibly as A4 Avantissimo, like the A8-based luxury wagon concept shown back in 2001. However, it will most likely be called the A4 Superavant because that's what it effectively is: a new type of estate car which is significantly roomier as well as more flexible but just as sporty, elegant, and driver-oriented as its more mainstream sister models.

In February, Audi designers and engineers met at the Italidesign Studio in Turin, Italy to check out a series of early proposals. If the board does give the still-technically-nameless project the green light, expect to see a concept car in 2014 that would be followed by the production version two years later. Although the project is still in its infancy, it obviously aims to plug the gap between the A4 Avant and the Q5 and forthcoming BMW X6-fighting Q6 crossovers.

The main force behind the new car is market research which points out that there is a growing demand for a premium MPV -- but only as long as it does not look like a tall, boxy, pseudo-commercial vehicle. Young families would only form a small portion of the target audience then; instead, Audi intends to attract DINKS (double-income no kids), Woopies (well-off older people), golden agers, and active leisured-oriented folks.

Common to all these groups is the desire to sit up high for a better surrounding view; to occasionally accommodate a couple of friends; and to load sports equipment, holiday luggage, or a few crates of wine purchased en route.


Definitely not a minivan

In 2006, the Roadjet show car conceived under Ulrich Hackenberg was Audi's second attempt to create a high-end holdall after the aforementioned Avantissimo. Why didn't the Roadjet make the grade? It looked a trifle homespun, it did not push out the envelope far enough, and it almost completely lacked that coveted sporty touch. In contrast, the proposed A4 Superavant is an XXL estate car that combines dynamic proportions with above average space utilization.

The crucial visual elements are the exact height of the elevated roofline, the relation between the wheelbase and the rear overhang, and the dialogue between body and greenhouse that maintain the A4 Superavant's sporting stance. "The last thing we want to create is a minivan," explains a project engineer. "Why? Because a minivan is incompatible with the Audi brand image. A minivan triggers all the wrong associations - like soccer moms, kiddy seats, and weekend groceries. In an ideal world, the Superavant addresses primarily lifestyle-related packaging issues. That's why two rows of seats are plenty. Those who need to carry more than five adults should consider a Volkswagen Sharan or T5."





Attempting to appeal to every market

Audi looked at three different donor cars for the Superavant. The A3 range could do with an Avant model, but not with an even bigger derivative that would cannibalize the A4. The A6 would have been an OK choice for Europe, but not for the rest of the world where 16 foot-plus hatchbacks and wagons simply don't sell. That's why product planning agreed on the A4 - even though Mercedes will derive its stylish people carrier and R-Class replacement from the next E-Class, and even though BMW will stick with the oddball 5 Series GT and add the upcoming 1 Series and 3 Series GTs.

The A4 and A6 will share the same MLB modular components set and there exists extended-wheelbase variants of both models developed for the Chinese market. But the Superavant will almost certainly be based on the smaller A4 L sporting a 2.4-inch stretch. The longer wheelbase and the more substantial rear overhang should create an extra-large cargo bay, as well as plenty of legroom for backseat passengers. As far as conventional drivetrains go, the must-have list for the A4 Superavant includes a more potent 255-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder and the long overdue high-end 2.0-liter TDI rated at 197 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

Like the rest of the next-generation A4 range, the good-looking high-roof holdall is part of the MLB components set which indicates a 220-lb weight saving, an enhanced structural rigidity, and more efficient engines. Perhaps the most noteworthy new arrival of the B9-generation A4 is the front-wheel drive plug-in hybrid that boasts a 226-hp 2.0-liter gas engine and a 35-hp electric motor integrated in the transmission housing. After that, we are going to see an even more sophisticated e-quattro application that employs two electric motors delivering a combined 136-hp to power the rear wheels. e-quattro also promises a zero-emission driving range of 20 miles.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:07 AM   #2
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Interesting, but I'd stick with a regular Avant.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:35 AM   #3
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No niche left un-probed must be the German luxury motto.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:41 PM   #4
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Subaru can't build an AWD coupe... but Audi can build the A4, A5 Sportback, A4 Avant, A4 Allroad, Q3 A4-based CUV, and now a Super-Avant?

Where the hell is the Quattro Sport Coupe, and the R4??????????
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:43 PM   #5
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No345
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by design1stcode2nd View Post
No niche left un-probed must be the German luxury motto.
I think that motto more applies to their porn industry.

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Subaru can't build an AWD coupe... but Audi can build the A4, A5 Sportback, A4 Avant, A4 Allroad, Q3 A4-based CUV, and now a Super-Avant?

Where the hell is the Quattro Sport Coupe, and the R4??????????
Haldex is ****.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:11 PM   #7
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I like it - I'd buy it.
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:32 AM   #8
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Haldex is ****.
Who ever said anything about Haldex?

1: Quattro Sport concept uses the A4/A5 family chassis, and longitudinal quattro AWD.

2: The R4 would be mid-engined. Even if they reversed the driveshaft direction of the haldex coupling, to go to the front axle... that solves the Haldex problem. It makes the car primarily RWD, with Front wheel assist, which is inherently better for dynamics, and much closer to the behavior of a Porsche Carrera 4, Audi R8, and Bugatti Veyron, which have rear-biased AWD systems with front axle variable engagement.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:56 AM   #9
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I doubt the USA will see this anyway.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare View Post
Subaru can't build an AWD coupe... but Audi can build the A4, A5 Sportback, A4 Avant, A4 Allroad, Q3 A4-based CUV, and now a Super-Avant?

Where the hell is the Quattro Sport Coupe, and the R4??????????
wasn't it canceled ??
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:14 AM   #11
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There were rumors of the R4 being on again, and off-again. I can't keep track of whether R4 and Bluesport VW roadster are go or no-go.

Quattro Sport Coupe concept was such a hit at the auto shows a year ago, that they were testing it for production... then *poof* it has not been heard from again.

A Quattro Sport, based on the A4 mechanicals... VW-R spec 275hp 2.0T engine, backed by a 6MT, AWD, and a rear torque vectoring diff... and a nice, but not overly luxurious interior... and a fastback hatch... Everything that is missing from the Genesis Coupe, being drop-dead good looks, a rear hatch, and AWD. I wouldn't care if that cost an extra 5 grand between the RWD Gen Coupe 2.0T and the production Audi coupe.

BRING BACK THE SUCCESSOR TO THE AUDI Ur-Quattro S1, and S2!


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Old 03-24-2012, 08:51 AM   #12
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^^^THIS I would buy in a heartbeat.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:54 AM   #13
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You and me both, brother.

I have been wanting this format for a VERY long time.

Affordable front-engined, longitudinal drive, AWD, manual gearbox, 3-door fastback sport coupe.

The concept was high-end... and I suggest would represent an -RS package. CF bodywork, all the high-end bits, and a 400+ horsepower Turbo I5 developed from one bank of an R8/Gallardo V10.

A version with standard bodywork (not CF like the concept), and Audi's 3.0T 350+ horsepower supercharged V6, with manual or DSG gearbox (Like S4, and A7) would be an -S model.

A version with steel construction, base interior, a 274hp 2.0T turbo I4 (VW's -R models have this tune already), with a standard Quattro 6MT, and a sport Differential. There is no reason that would cost more, and could possibly cost slightly less than an A4 2.0T sedan. 29-34K depending on options for the base model.

Nothing has been built even remotely like that since the demise of the DSMs, Talon/Mk2 Eclipse, Stealth, and 3000GT, SVX and GC Impreza coupes... and none of them combined every one of those traits. Audi TT doesn't meet the longitudinal criteria, and is quite expensive for what it is.

Audi S2 was the last vehicle to meet those standards that I remember, and those make my SVX seem commonly found on the roads.

Subaru AND Audi could do this SO easily... yet neither one will, for some inscrutable reason.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:14 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare View Post
Subaru AND Audi could do this SO easily... yet neither one will, for some inscrutable reason.
They've read your unending posts on the subject and they do it just to piss you off, that's the only reason, really. They both have 300/300 AWD 6mt limited slip diff RWD bias 2,400lbs $22,500 coupes in the pipeline with profit potential dripping off them, but they're holding them to drive you crazy.

seriously, make your own car or get a better paying job, no matter what they come out with it will never meet ALL of your mememe specific requirements.

and spare me the wall of text response, I don't argue on the internet, just sharing my opinion on your unending opinion of the super profitable cheap AWD uber coupe you require.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:42 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by SubaDuba420 View Post
They've read your unending posts on the subject and they do it just to piss you off, that's the only reason, really. They both have 300/300 AWD 6mt limited slip diff RWD bias 2,400lbs $22,500 coupes in the pipeline with profit potential dripping off them, but they're holding them to drive you crazy.

seriously, make your own car or get a better paying job, no matter what they come out with it will never meet ALL of your mememe specific requirements.

and spare me the wall of text response, I don't argue on the internet, just sharing my opinion on your unending opinion of the super profitable cheap AWD uber coupe you require.
1: I *never* said it had to be 2400lbs. 3400lbs is not that bad... a little less would be ideal. 3800lbs+ Like A5 and G37x is a bit much.

2: I never said 22K. I'd pay 32K if I could get it. I can't even get a used A5 with less power for that. Maybe a used G37x, but no stick shift, and still too luxo-heavy to be a great sport coupe.

3: One doesn't just "make your own car" Economies of scale don't work that way. I can't spend X amount of dollars to build or buy. To build ONE OF ONE, would cost more than a Porsche Carrera 4, not similar or under a WRX STI with fewer doors and better looks.

4: I am not the only person who would buy a coupe like that, as shown above. When did people become so ANTI-diversity, when it comes to vehicles, as to condemn people for wanting something a little different? Should I condemn you for disagreeing with me, and call you selfish for it? I didn't think so.

If you don't want to hear it... IGNORE IT. Nobody is forcing you to read anything against your will.

It isn't even as if this is something ground-breaking, but rather the RETURN of something that existed a significant time ago, and most people agree was VERY GOOD. The 'UrQuattro' is almost legendary for it's prowess.

Machines have a finite life, and have to be replaced eventually, though, too.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:35 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare View Post
You and me both, brother.

I have been wanting this format for a VERY long time.

Affordable front-engined, longitudinal drive, AWD, manual gearbox, 3-door fastback sport coupe.

The concept was high-end... and I suggest would represent an -RS package. CF bodywork, all the high-end bits, and a 400+ horsepower Turbo I5 developed from one bank of an R8/Gallardo V10.

A version with standard bodywork (not CF like the concept), and Audi's 3.0T 350+ horsepower supercharged V6, with manual or DSG gearbox (Like S4, and A7) would be an -S model.

A version with steel construction, base interior, a 274hp 2.0T turbo I4 (VW's -R models have this tune already), with a standard Quattro 6MT, and a sport Differential. There is no reason that would cost more, and could possibly cost slightly less than an A4 2.0T sedan. 29-34K depending on options for the base model.

Nothing has been built even remotely like that since the demise of the DSMs, Talon/Mk2 Eclipse, Stealth, and 3000GT, SVX and GC Impreza coupes... and none of them combined every one of those traits. Audi TT doesn't meet the longitudinal criteria, and is quite expensive for what it is.

Audi S2 was the last vehicle to meet those standards that I remember, and those make my SVX seem commonly found on the roads.

Subaru AND Audi could do this SO easily... yet neither one will, for some inscrutable reason.
$$$$ here is the only reason, wont sell enough to justify the expense of building it, lets wait and see what happens with the brz and youll see what i mean
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:54 PM   #17
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$$$$ here is the only reason, wont sell enough to justify the expense of building it, lets wait and see what happens with the brz and youll see what i mean
I've said it before, if the BRZ/FRS doesn't sell and the manufacturers turn around and start blaming the sports car enthusiast market as being a market niche no one can build for, I'll drop a nuke on them. If neither sells its their own damn fault for price to performance reasons and not getting it right; same with every main-stream intended sports coupe that fails/failed (note: meaning not 1-off porsches that can make 500 and sell at any price and people will buy regardless)
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:05 PM   #18
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Those old Audi's with the straight 5's were rugged and dependable machines. I had a couple.
The first pic you posted up there Hip- a local guy has one thats in MINT condition. I hope to someday see a for sale sign on that one.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:45 PM   #19
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Those old Audi's with the straight 5's were rugged and dependable machines. I had a couple.
The first pic you posted up there Hip- a local guy has one thats in MINT condition. I hope to someday see a for sale sign on that one.
The drivetrain and body were rugged, the rest of it was a wreck. From Team Door Handle quality to vaccuum and hydraulic failures, the i5 Audis were tough to live with outside warranty. I learned a lot about repairing cars because they were always broken.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:48 PM   #20
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Mine were all high mileage and driven hard. Even had a VW Quantum Wagon with the I5. Loved that thing.
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:51 PM   #21
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Hip, buy a used Carrera 4 and be done with it. Or buy whatever you consider your dream car used enough to fall into your 32000 dollar figure. Nobody is ever going to make a:

new (read as expensive and heavy)
AWD (read as expensive and heavy)
grand touring (read as really expensive and really heavy)
coupe (read as expensive with limited practicality)

for $32k and 2800lbs. Keep in mind the BRZ weighs 2765 lbs. It is tiny, unpractical, moderately powered, RWD only, with few bells and whistles. You want all that other stuff for 35 extra lbs?

The reason nobody is making the car you want is because It CANNOT BE DONE at the price point you want. It is an impossibility. A non starter, a never gonna happen scenario.

Buy a Carrera 4
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:04 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare View Post
You and me both, brother.

I have been wanting this format for a VERY long time.

Affordable front-engined, longitudinal drive, AWD, manual gearbox, 3-door fastback sport coupe.

The concept was high-end... and I suggest would represent an -RS package. CF bodywork, all the high-end bits, and a 400+ horsepower Turbo I5 developed from one bank of an R8/Gallardo V10.

A version with standard bodywork (not CF like the concept), and Audi's 3.0T 350+ horsepower supercharged V6, with manual or DSG gearbox (Like S4, and A7) would be an -S model.

A version with steel construction, base interior, a 274hp 2.0T turbo I4 (VW's -R models have this tune already), with a standard Quattro 6MT, and a sport Differential. There is no reason that would cost more, and could possibly cost slightly less than an A4 2.0T sedan. 29-34K depending on options for the base model.

Nothing has been built even remotely like that since the demise of the DSMs, Talon/Mk2 Eclipse, Stealth, and 3000GT, SVX and GC Impreza coupes... and none of them combined every one of those traits. Audi TT doesn't meet the longitudinal criteria, and is quite expensive for what it is.

Audi S2 was the last vehicle to meet those standards that I remember, and those make my SVX seem commonly found on the roads.

Subaru AND Audi could do this SO easily... yet neither one will, for some inscrutable reason.
Engineering them and building is not the problem, but the major concern for the companies is to sell them and make a good profit while at it.

It sounds like you want an R8 for $30K. It just not possible (business wise). A car like that is niche, low volume, and high R&D cost.

There is a reason why those high end cars and its parts are expensive. Low volume.

I would wait for what to come in the next WRX/STi. No way Audi can sell a premium sports car for that low of a price. Not even a steel Quattro Sport.

Or wait some decades and get an R8.

Or work harder.

Or win the lottery.

Also I have a feeling the WRX/STi will cost more, considering they were always based off a mass produced economy car chassis.

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Old 03-28-2012, 05:04 PM   #23
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I've said it before, if the BRZ/FRS doesn't sell and the manufacturers turn around and start blaming the sports car enthusiast market as being a market niche no one can build for, I'll drop a nuke on them. If neither sells its their own damn fault for price to performance reasons and not getting it right; same with every main-stream intended sports coupe that fails/failed (note: meaning not 1-off porsches that can make 500 and sell at any price and people will buy regardless)
I can't disagree.

If the manufacturers cannot see the way to refine and hone their products, and instead just take wild shots at things, and hope they stick...

They can't blame enthusiasts for treating a near-miss as if it were a bullseye simply because the shot was taken.

Audi is talking about yet another 5-door wagon body style in that segment, where they already have several models. Subaru has now 3 5-door Impreza models, in addition to Forester and the larger Outback and Tribeca.

They can offer 31 flavors of CUV... but neither one wants to offer a single affordable AWD Sport Coupe on a shared chassis platform? I don't buy it. TT is not affordable, as it is even more expensive than the expensive A5.

I want to like the BRZ. I can't justify the cost for such a narrow purpose, when I already have a Miata in the garage, and the wife likes the top down aspect. If they produce a BRZ drop-top, I might consider it as a Miata successor.

I need an SVX successor, but they won't build it. I would buy that.

If they don't meet my needs, I can't spend $30,000 for their benefit, on something that doesn't do what I want it to do.

It is not my fault, or anyone else's, for wanting something OTHER than what is being offered.

It is not my fault for Audi or Subaru not building what they KNOW they can platform-share and bring to market more effectively than any other companies, due to their AWD systems that are already in place.

The Audi Quattro Sport concept was a HUGE, HUGE autoshow hit, and they were talking production. If they didn't consider scaling it down to steel construction, and a 2.0T engine, like the base A4, that is not my problem that they didn't see that opportunity, and decided that S5, RS5, and TT-S, TT-RS, and an expensive Quattro Sport coupe would be too crowded... That is their short-sightedness.

If Subaru can't see that WRX STI mechanicals in a sleek, sexy, modestly road-practical coupe would sell against the fair-weather limitations of Mustang and Genesis' two wheel drive behavior... their short-sightedness is not my fault. There was some significant disappointment when BRZ was found to not be AWD, and not be competitively powerful, like something with more than 250 horsepower, and thus a better power to weight ratio, closer to it's competition.

It is very hard to quantify opportunities that are not explored. Sales that never happen, because they are never offered, are never accurately counted.

Not every little nook and cranny can be explored, but there is a giant freaking hole in the coupe market for an AWD affordable sport coupe that people who deal with weather can drive very confidently all year, and not put away for the winter to keep from risking bad or scary low-traction behavior.

The market has changed since the late 90s. SUVs have waned, and coupes are coming back a bit. All except sporty AWD coupes that aren't luxo-cruisers. Or even just affordable if they are nearly luxo-cruisers. SVX would not be a uniquely built subaru now. Legacy, Outback and Tribeca now have everything that SVX used to be uniquely and expensively equipped with, tech-wise, including a good H6 engine. SVX didn't platform share then, and cost accordingly. It could very well platform share today.

Last edited by HipToBeSquare; 03-28-2012 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:47 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO
Hip, buy a used Carrera 4 and be done with it. Or buy whatever you consider your dream car used enough to fall into your 32000 dollar figure. Nobody is ever going to make a:

new (read as expensive and heavy)
AWD (read as expensive and heavy)
grand touring (read as really expensive and really heavy)
coupe (read as expensive with limited practicality)

for $32k and 2800lbs. Keep in mind the BRZ weighs 2765 lbs. It is tiny, unpractical, moderately powered, RWD only, with few bells and whistles. You want all that other stuff for 35 extra lbs?

The reason nobody is making the car you want is because It CANNOT BE DONE at the price point you want. It is an impossibility. A non starter, a never gonna happen scenario.

Buy a Carrera 4
Don't you dare bring rational, realistic thinking into this discussion!
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:53 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Snowphun View Post
The drivetrain and body were rugged, the rest of it was a wreck. From Team Door Handle quality to vaccuum and hydraulic failures, the i5 Audis were tough to live with outside warranty. I learned a lot about repairing cars because they were always broken.
My 86 5000CS Turbo Quattro is very reliable. New in 86 have over 300K on it. Replaced clutch at 180K, rear caliber and rewound the alternator myself. Tires brakes battery oil that's it. No rust at all (galvanized body). No electrical problems except the window switch in the back, f it, it's not the drivers window..
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