The Audi 100 was originally launched in 1968 and its roots go back to the time when Volkswagen purchased Auto Union from Mercedes Benz. In fact, ex Mercedes engineer, Ludwig Kraus, was brought over from Auto Union to design the 100 and in November ’68 it was revealed to the press. Its ‘100’ moniker originates from the 100PS (99hp) power output from its original 1.8-litre engine and little did Audi know that by 1971, 500,000 units would have been produced.
Audi 100 C1, 1968–1976
The success of the 100 moved the German manufacturer into the all-important US market and in 1976 it was available with the in-line 5-cylinder engine that powered the classic Quattro rally car. The ’76 model became a huge success and remained as a 4-door saloon spawning, amongst others, a limited run of a 170hp turbo model in 1979 with only 200 produced.
Audi 100 C2, 1976–1984
In 1982 when the Audi 100 won the coveted Car of The Year award in the UK, just edging ahead of the Ford Sierra, it suddenly became a serious alternative to the much more expensive BMW 5-series and owed a lot of its huge success to its modern design and safety record.
By late 1984 Audi launched the Avant (estate) and the 100 became the choice for the more affluent customer giving it superior status against the competition. With over 100,000 Avant’s made, the latest generation 100’s had a lot to live up to.
Audi 100 C3, 1982–1991
With success both in here the UK and in the US, Audi introduced the V8 engine in 1988 and mated it to the proven Quattro all-wheel-drive system. With 21 engine-power options it went from strength to strength and was still more affordable than the powerful competition. But the 1984 Avant was the model to own and with one more generation launched in 1991, it was one of the most practical prestige cars to own with only VW offering an estate in the same price range. The ‘100’ moniker was dropped in 1995 and replaced with the A6, but Audi’s 100 Avant became a rare sight in the classified ads with owners preferring to keep hold of them because of their impeccable reliability and spacious practicality.
Audi 100 C4, 1991–1994
As other prestige models became more expensive, the 100 Avant was seen as an affordable alternative with prices remaining buoyant on the used car market. It was rare to see one for sale and demand outstripped supply with production ending in late 1994. With so few available even today, a well looked after Audi 100 Avant is still very much sought after.
Choices are limited and those that are for sale are mostly very high-mileage 2.5-litre turbo diesels, but if you are in the market the excellent 2.8-litre V6 model is the one to have. Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system was a factory option on higher-spec models and finding a V6 Quattro would be like discovering gold dust. Not only did it have 170bhp but it drives exceptionally well even by today’s standards combining a strong engine and great handling mixed with practicality rarely found on modern cars.
As most are not in the best of conditions nowadays a low mileage example is even harder to come by. Prices are more than reasonable starting at £800 and barely exceed the £1,000 mark for a late 1994 car. One quick look on the internet turned up this sought after 1993 2.8 Quattro. With 176,000 miles – 11,000 a year in thirteen years, and up for sale for just £995, it’s an opportunity not to miss. If you want a cheap practical second as your daily driver, then there aren’t many that can tick the same amount of boxes as the Audi 100 Avant.
5 Doors, Manual, Estate, Petrol, 176,000 miles, Metallic Green. ABS, Alloy wheels, Adjustable seats, Central locking, Child locks, Cloth upholstery, Electric mirrors, Electric windows, Electric sunroof, Foglights, Front armrest, Full Service History, Head restraints, Folding rear seats, Immobiliser, Metallic paintwork, Power assisted steering, Rear armrest, Roof rails, Radio/CD, Rear headrests, Sports seats. Insurance Group:15, This rare large load carring 4×4 estate example is super for its age, Could become very collectable. Viewing essential. £995