1990 Audi 100 Avant: Sub-£1K Quattro alternative?

You don’t have to spend shed loads of cash to find a ‘proper’ Audi. Here’s an old-school 100 Avant for less than £1k – take a look!

We know what you're thinking. Does it have six-cylinders or only five? Well, in all this excitement, we’ve kind of lost track ourselves. But seeing as this is a 100 Avant, the coolest estate car in the world, and could blow the cylinder head clean off, you have to ask yourself a question. Do you feel lucky?

Without sounding as though we’ve lost the plot; yes. The squared-off aesthetics and conservative stance offered by the Audi 100 may radiate hefty amounts of contemporary blandness, but back in the day Audi caused something of a revelation. Petrolheads worship the Quattro and grimace as asking prices push beyond Bob Marley-levels of high, yet the 100 Avant can provide just as much fun. Seriously.

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The 100 oozed an effortless tone, showcasing the ride quality and practicality of a Range Rover without the tendency to breakdown every Sunday afternoon. Especially in Avant estate form. You could easily cart five adults and a boot full of camping equipment at 90mph up the Autobahn without going deaf – something the coveted Quattro simply couldn’t manage.

To most drivers, the Audi wafted along at high speed without an ounce of protest yet, to those of an engineering persuasion, the Audi 100 remained something of a marvel. One of the first saloon cars to embrace the dark concept of aerodynamics, the 100 Avant boasted the lowest drag coefficient in its class – 0.30cd. That’s the same as a Ferrari LaFerrari.

To other drivers, the Audi appeared to prowl along with the grunt of Supermarine Spitfire. However, they were thoroughly disappointed upon cranking open the bonnet. For something that could outrun the Rover 3500 V8, only five cylinders appeared to power the 100 Avant in serene quietness. This was witchcraft at the highest order.

Audi’s longitudinally mounted engine and front-wheel drive layout was far from innovative when the model was launched in September 1982. Under the skin, this was much the same machine as the preceding generation of 100. It was therefore highly efficient and dependable, no matter what you threw at it. This machine didn’t understand the notion of mechanical sympathy, let alone encourage it.

Such a mantra has led to rock-bottom values, however. The bodywork and styling looks incredible when polished and trumpeting rude health, but if scuffed or down-at-heel then the 100 Avant takes on a different persona; it’s banger motoring personified.

As such, while better value, more practical, and easier to use than a Quattro, the market value has kept even the smartest of Avants within the grasp of banger racers. It’s not all bad, though – now the 100 Avant boasts more exclusivity than any production Quattro. If you can find one…

Luckily, this one has popped up for sale online. And she’s a beauty! Get a closer look here.

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