By on October 4, 2012

The 1984 Audi 5000 Junkyard Find reminded us about the nightmare faced by Audi after 60 Minutes framed the 5000 as a an unintended accelerator in 1986. Audi sales took a real beating in the late 1980s, but some 5000s (renamed the 200 in an attempt to banish the stigma of a car whose greatest sin was the proximity of the brake pedal to the gas pedal) were bought in 1989. Here’s an optioned-up example that I found in the same Denver junkyard as the ’84.
You didn’t have a lot of options for all-wheel-drive sedans in the late 1980s; the AMC Eagle’s last year was 1987, Subarus were still primitive and cramped, the BMW 325iX made no sense, and Camry shoppers fell asleep before the salesman could even show them the All-Trac version. The 200 Quattro, on the other hand, just glowed with technological complexity sophistication, and it was big and comfortable.
I might need to go back and get this cool DIFF controller switch.
162 horsepower from a turbocharged five-banger mounted way forward in the engine compartment.
The best part is that you could get this car with a 5-speed.
Just 120,146 miles on this one. The interior is very nice, too; it looks like a single fender-bender that banged up a few body panels doomed this car to the automotive equivalent of the glue factory.

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29 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1989 Audi 200 Quattro Turbo...”


  • avatar
    car_guy2010

    Are you sure it wasn’t a Cash For Clunkers victim?

    Looks too damn nice to be in that junkyard.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    What a frickin’ waste…

    • 0 avatar

      Lets get serious…the frickin’ waste is ALL WHEEL DRIVE or “quattro” or what ever you want to call it. Needed by virtually NO one, maybe a couple of hours a YEAR. The only bigger waste of time and money is SUBURBS.

      A twenty-three year old car in Denver that only went 120K miles? Do the math. What garage was this thing sitting in?

      • 0 avatar
        icemilkcoffee

        Back before every car has traction control and ABS built in, AWD really was a life saver.

      • 0 avatar
        chrishs2000

        Sounds like someone who has never lived in Upstate NY (or along any of the great lakes) and dealt with unpredictable 2″ per hour lake effect snow bursts…that couple hours per year can mean all the difference between moving, or not.

        For the record, I’ve never owned an Audi or Subie, but wished I had a 60 mile daily commute in NY with annual snowfall totals of 150-250″. Now that I live in SE Michigan there is definitely not a need; I could easily get through the “winter” here in a Mustang GT on performance all seasonals.

  • avatar
    Syke

    Probably a victim of crashing resale value, more than an oncoming car, thanks to 60 Minutes. Ah, yes, the joys of unbiased journalism.

  • avatar
    epsilonkore

    What? No mention of the direct GM attack on this car? If you mention the AMC you need to mention the Pontiac 6000STE! My family owned the AMC, and Pontiac for a long time, my aunt had the Audi. We loved our compact-midsized AWD cars!

    • 0 avatar
      Watch Carefully

      Dad drove an STE…a white 1985 example. I had it airborne many times and even got it up to 115 mph* drag racing an Olds Cutlass V-8 (edged it by a nose, actually). The 6000STE was not available, to my recollections, with AWD. Purely a FWD car.

      *According to the Olds driver…IIRC, the STE had a ditigal speedo that ‘pegged’ at 85mph.

      Nice Q-ship, that 200, especially with the 5-speed. My A6 Avant, built 9 years later, only had about 170-180 hp from the 2.8l V-6. I bet the 200 was a great highway cruiser and still fun on the twisties.

  • avatar
    skor

    “it looks like a single fender-bender that banged up a few body panels doomed this car to the automotive equivalent of the glue factory.”

    That’s why I warn people against putting too much money into old cars, even if the body/interior are nice. Insurance companies will pay nothing on an old car like this….they’ll send you a check for $800 and a tow truck to haul the thing to the bone yard. That banged up door is probably $2K in body work. No, they don’t care about how much money you put into it, receipts or no receipts.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Its nice when you can buy the car back for some money, I never did care for how easily cars are written off after little dents.

      Especially with todays drivers.

    • 0 avatar
      Lt.BrunoStachel

      You can always take out an “agreed to price” policy. I have them on all of my “classics”. I’m not talking Haggerty here. Allstate is my insurer. If they decide to write off my claim than I pocket what is agreed to in my policy. If they decide to repair than it’s covered up to my agreed to price. If you’re an old white dude with no tickets and don’t drift like you have a GoPro mounted on your car than the rate is really cheap. Oh and you can get away with driving it everyday so long as you keep the miles realistic. None of that Sunday morning and car show BS. Now if the car was your typical DD than just the basics. Who the heck puts full coverage on a car that’s over 10YO and isn’t used as collateral on a loan?

  • avatar
    halkyardo

    Not only could you get it as a 5-speed, IIRC, the Quattro version was ONLY available as a 5-speed. Something to do with the autobox being too big to fit in with the 4wd bit, I think.

    My parents used to have a 100 Avant – the non-turbo, FWD wagon version of this. Great car – certainly not fast in NA form, but very civilised. The Avant looked great, too – it was more a big fastback than a wagon.

    Last we heard, it was still on the road, with some unknown, but massive mileage on it (the odometer broke years ago). It did have the typical electrical gremlins of Audis of its time (the electronic climate control had a mind of its own, and the power windows would operate only on their own terms), but that’s easily surmountable with a bit of electrical know-how.

    Now that I’m living in the Frozen North, I’d love to pick up a 200 Avant Quattro. A turbocharged, 4wd wagon with a manual gearbox and, crucially, a galvanised body, would be perfect.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      Is this still the GM automatic climate control as people mentioned for the Audi 5K? I’ve never been in an Audi of this vintage, but the climate control unit looks very familiar to me.

      Those turbo 5-bangers are still popular these days for track cars.

      • 0 avatar
        halkyardo

        Yes, it was – they used it until the early ’90s, I believe. It looked completely out of place in that interior, too.

        They had some great gadgets that, although they’re common now, must have been pretty cool when they were new. The dashboard had a graphical display that displayed little icons instead of warning lights, and also acted as a duplicate of the radio display. The power windows would stay active for a while after the ignition was switched off (at least in theory!). It even had an option of a timer-activated combustion heater that would preheat the car for you in winter!

        Electrical gremlins aside, they always struck me as very solid cars. The build quality was impeccable, and I certainly have heard good things about their engines. People may rubbish the mechanical fuel injection system that they use, but in most cases, so long as you don’t touch it, it’s fine! It’s when people start messing with it without knowing what they’re doing that makes it go wrong.

  • avatar
    BigMeats

    “the stigma of a car whose greatest sin was the proximity of the brake pedal to the gas pedal”

    Anyone remember the Geo Metro? Pedals not only close together laterally but all in the same plane. Size 12 work boots gave the interesting experience of always hitting the brake and accelerator together unless you used an angled edge-of-the-sole approach.

  • avatar
    WRohrl

    Normally aspirated 5000’s were renamed the 100, their turbocharged ones became the 200. The V8 was originally going to be called the 300.
    In 1992, the turbo car became the S4 along with the restyle. In 1995, the naming conventions were changed again, the standard car became the A6 and the turbocharged one became the S6.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    Am I the only one who looks at that engine bay and thinks that they’re watching the ending to “Akira”?

  • avatar
    doridori240

    The note/sticker on the driver’s window that says “Vehicle Starts” and the other paperwork on the windshield tell me that the yard got this bad boy at a salvage auction.

    The local auction in eastern NE has a min bid of $600 per car, because one of the scrap companies has a flat $500 bid on any vehicle that crosses the block. Tack on Copart fees and what not, and you are looking at nearly a grand for a car that is still wrecked, likely has a salvage title, and is well pas 20 years old.

    No wonder it is doomed…

  • avatar
    Stevo

    Had an 89 200 TQ Wagon – 5 speed. Wonderful car. Great rush when the turbo kicked in. 217 hp as I remember it. Expensive to maintain and the 2nd kid sealed its fate. Sold it when we bought our 2002 Odyssey. I switched to the wifes 97 Accord which is just fine for dense traffic and a short commute (still driving it today). I look forward to another wagon or hatch in the future, but the van was and is our ideal car for our 3 kid family with carpools, dogs, etc.

  • avatar
    mpresley

    I had an ’89 Audi 90-pearl white. Mostly the same interior as this one, and one of my favorite cars of all time. The underpowered non-turbo 5 cyl was not very well balanced and shook the car at idle, but the interior was lush with zebrano wood, soft leather, and real analog gauges for just about everything.

    But by then, you couldn’t give an Audi away due to the bad publicity, and everyone wanted an Acura, or something from the Orient. After a few years and major body damage from a hail storm we traded it for a Maxima. The Nissan was about as fun as a glass of homogenized 2% milk, and after a few more years it was back to the newly designed A4. God I hate Japanese cars.

  • avatar
    DPDISXR4Ti

    These cars have one of my favorite little bits to grab at the junkyard when I haven’t found anything else. There’s a blue silicone cap on a ~10mm vacuum line on the outer side of the intake manifold. You can see it clearly in the 4th pic above – it terminates that goose-neck SS vacuum line you see sticking up just behind the throttle body – that line is always capped off, never connected to anything.

    Any way, it’s a heavy-duty “forever” piece of silicone rubber, and can be used for capping of water and vacuum lines in the 3/8″ I.D. neighborhood. Twice now I’ve gotten someone out of a jamb because I had one in my glovebox as well as using them myself.

    I’ve got a few in reserve, so I figure I might as well let you guys grab the rest of them. ;)

  • avatar
    snabster

    Yep. My dad was just talking about this one as the greatest car he ever bought.

  • avatar
    woodly97

    I loved this car so much. I loved the style and the way it drove… I hated that it broke down all the time. I had to sell it at 120,000 because it became to much. I still miss it and dream of it.

    • 0 avatar
      silverkris

      Your experience mirrors my past MY2000 A6. Beautiful car – sleek exterior lines, beatifully done interior. But really expensive to maintain. Finally what did it was spending around 6 weeks in the shop for a bad cat converter and sensor. My mechanic was pretty embarrassed and gave me a lot of price breaks.

      Disposed of it for a boring, appliance DD – a 2009 Camry. Nothing exciting but it won’t break the bank.

  • avatar
    Seanpg

    I had the last and best of the model a while back – a 1991 200 20v. One year only model before morphing to the UrS4. With a chip it was good for somewhere north of 250 HP. Biog fast and smooth, although the brakes always felt way too weak for the car. I recall that these originally had “UFO” disks up from which were almost like big drums with an internal disk (which allowed a greater disk size to fit under 15″ wheels but was way too complex). Most, like mine were retrofit with conventional brakes.

    You could also lock the rear diff under 15 mph and shut off the ABS.

    I miss that old boat…

  • avatar

    I will take a slant-6 over a slant-5 any day and nights, too.


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