58k-Mile 1993 Audi 90 CS

Remember Audi cars before they were cool? For a while they were still in the shadow of Volkswagen. In the 80s, sales in the US plummeted after 60 Minutes fabricated a report about unintended acceleration. 1990-91 was their all-time low.

Audi spent the rest of the 90s were making a slow but steady comeback. Part of that was accomplished with the 80/90 model. The "90" was an upmarket version of the 80, which was released in the mid 1980s. The B4 generation for sale here debuted in 1991.

The styling is a revelation in today's sea of bulbous, over-styled designs. Lines are straight, shapes gently squared off,  and planes are long, flat, smooth and simple. The greenhouse glass is enormous thanks to thin pillars and allowing for terrific 360 degree visibility. US versions have slightly longer bumpers.

Inside offers a peak into equally old-school but still fresh interior design. Audi have nailed interiors for a long time and the 90 is no exception. Materials are high grade, gauges are clear, easy to read and within reach, and a spattering of wood accents here and there.

Part of what helped Audi stand apart from BMW and Mercedes was their patented Quattro system of all-wheel drive. Unfortunately, this is just a front-wheel drive version. I always thought non-Quattro cars were a bit of joke, because without the unique system you're basically getting a fancy front-wheel drive car along the lines of a Volvo or Saab.

To make up for matters this one is equipped with a 174 horsepower V6, so that highway onramps and passing traffic won't be too difficult.

I've seen this seller before, they're out of New York and have a knack for finding unusually low mileage European cars of the 80s and 90s. This is another odd find. It's not particularly remarkable or fast car, but the mileage is low and condition really clean. I'd prefer it over a Camry, Accord or Volvo of the same era, though.

This one is low-mileage enough that if it's driven pretty carefully it could last for a while, but keep an eye out for rust and electrical gremlins. Also, Volkswagen/Audi automatic transmissions have terrible reputations. A 5-speed swap down the line may make things significantly cooler.

Available here for $4,400.

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