MRV the Audi - Greg's Audi 200 quattro - SOLD!!!
This is a fairly rare beast, a 1991 Audi 200 quattro. It's a unique-year car, a transition model between the earlier 200s and the '92 Audi S4.
Photo Courtesy Neil Swanson (select above for more photos)
A Brief History...
The 200q got the new 20-valve five-cylinder turbocharged engine, whereas all previous 200s had the 10 valve engine. This new engine pumped some serious ponies into the 200, upping horsepower to 217. This engine was a trial-run, you cold say, for the only other cars that got this engine were the 1992-1996 Audi S4 and S6, Audi's "sport" high line of luxury touring cars (Audi's "M" cars...). The only apparent difference for the "S" cars was a distributorless ignition with 224 hp.
The 200q20v came with a five-speed transmission only, lockable rear differential, and a switch to turn off the ABS, if desired. This performance package was also available in the Avant (station wagon or "Estate") and is truly a "q-ship".
As the prices of used Audis continued to drop, this unique-year car has become a favorite of the Audi enthusiast. There is a mailing list devoted to this car, as well as many web sites.
MRV the Audi...
I found my car, VIN WAUGE5448MN007634, after a brief Internet search via Traderonline.com. It was at Lakes Region Audi in Laconia NH, a town that it had spent its whole life. I had been searching for a 1983-1985 Audi Quattro Coupe, but once I heard about this 20v engine I decided that this was the car to have (this engine was not available in any other cars in the US, although it was widely installed in various Audis in Great Britain.)
MRV, as we came to call it (because of the license plate - 487MRV), was purchased in January of 1998 with 100,500 miles on the clock. There was nothing wrong with it, the previous owner saw the digits rollover and decided it was time for a new car; he traded it in for a new A6 quattro. Rumor has it that he wrecked the A6 a couple weeks later, and went to the dealership looking to buy the 200q back, but I had it 300 miles away by then...
The car was in really good shape. I had the dealership replace the timing belt and water pump as part of the sale, and it came with the original 15" forged BBS wheels with good rubber on them. The only problem we discovered during the initial inspection was a little rust in the wheel wells, but it didn't appear to be too bad. So, I paid for it and began to drive it home to CT.
I hadn't gotten halfway home when I had a problem: the brake warning light came on and the steering started to get hard. Turns out the power steering pump failed, puking the fluid overboard. Apparently it's a common them for these cars, right at about 100K miles. The selling dealership agreed to cover the cost of the pump replacement and sent me a check for it. I had an aftermarket pump installed at a local repair shop.
After I got it home I got a better look at the wheel wells, and they were in worse shape than I thought. The cancer was getting pretty bad, but was still only surface rust. I wanted to take care of it before it rusted through, so I took it to a local body shop and had them remove the fenders, blast the fenders and quarter panels, etch, prime, and reshoot them. Those guys did a really good job. Can't even tell.
Now it was time for upgrades. My luck took a turn for the better, as a friend of mine from Massachusetts, and a 200q20v owner himself, decided to sell his 200q20v and buy his wife a Mercedes. He removed his high-performance Hoppen computer (260hp) and his 17" wheels and tires and sold them to me for a bargain price. At about the same time, I decided to install a better suspension to get the leans and dives out of the car; you can see the details here.
The factory headlights on these cars were horrible. I installed European headlamps and made my own wiring harness with relays. Now I can see at night...
The last item to tackle was brakes; the big Audi sedans are notoriously under-braked. Frustrated with the brake upgrade offerings from other companies, I decided to design my own. I installed a front suspension from the 1995 S6 to get rid of the "UFO" brakes, and the BIRA brakes on top of that. The end result is the Brake Improvement Research Association, or BIRA. You can get the details on the web page.
I also installed a Blaupunkt Toronto AM/FM/CD player, so I can enjoy my audio collection instead of listening to all the yakking in the morning...
This is one fun ride.
Audi 200q20v, WAUGE5448MN007634
Stock and Factory Optional Items of Note
Color: Titanium (med gray metallic like the old stone gray)
Black leather interior with Sport Seats. Still in Prime condition with no damage
Sunroof (or did they all have that?
Bose factory audio system
Air bag disabled, easily re-enabled at buyer's request
Hoppen Stage 1 computer, 260 reliable (and torquey!) horsepower
European headlamps with wiring harness, 55/100W bulbs
Stoneguards over the expensive Euros
Borbet Type C 17x8.5 wheels, Dunlop SP8000 245/40-17 ties
Additional set of factory 1992 S4 wheels, 16x7.5 with Yokohama 225/50-16 tires
BIRA Brakes, both System 1 (for winter, 16" wheels) and System 2 (summer, 17" wheels)
ATE Super Blue brake fluid. Very fresh, and kept that way (I'm always flippin' brakes back and forth...)
Redline transmission fluid and rear end gear lubricant
Not installed but owned: Vortrag Euro harness, "GT" side skirts, original G60 brakes
Factory Bentley Manuals -- All three of them.
Timing Belt, P/S belt (100,500)
Power Steering pump (three times, last one at 135,000. Supposedly warranted for life...)
Turn Signal/Cruise Control switch (102,000)
Left Front Bose speaker (102,500)
Thermo/Time switch for coolant gauge (102,600)
All around body rust repair (06/1998)
Rear Track and Front Control arms - bushings worn out and ends rusted - couldn't align properly (106,500)
Left door lock arm - broken (11/98)
Left front door wiring harness - pinched and fatigued wires (11/98)
Timing Belt again. Got oil on it from Pump #1 dying (12/98)
P/S belt again - too tight after Pump #1 replacement, tossed it (12/98)
Sears Die Hard battery (01/00 - 115,000 or so)
A/C vacuum and recharge (08/99) - 125,000)
Starter (130,000 - 09/99)
Upper intercooler hose - failed at Lime Rock Park (130,000+ - 09/99)
Brake Accumulator - "The Bomb" (132,500 - 10/99)
New ignition distributor - easier than replacing the rotor, cap, and drive gear (132,500 - 10/99)
Left front seat heater - wire broken (11/99)
New spark plug wires, spark plugs, fuel filter, oxygen sensor, cleaned air filter (11/99 - 133,000)
PS Pump #3 installed. Next time screw the "lifetime warranty" - I'm buying OEM (01/00)
Right rear Bose speaker (03/00)
Oil and filter changes every 3-5K miles with Mobil One
New 17" Bridgestone RE71 tires, 04/00
New performance alignment, 04/00
New rear Kerr Friction race pads
Brand new brakes. Constantly.
No other problems; car is currently trouble-free (05/00).
Select this link for more photographs
Well, Chris Miller's Irish grandmother will be very disappointed in me, but I
have succumbed to my impulsive behavior and my base desires. I leased a new S4. I can't justify it financially, I can't
justify it due to dependability. I just want it. I feel like a heel, especially since
Well, Chris Miller's Irish grandmother will be very disappointed in me, but I have succumbed to my impulsive behavior and my base desires. I leased a new S4. I can't justify it financially, I can't justify it due to dependability. I just want it.
I feel like a heel, especially sincethere was NOTHING wrong with my '91 200q and I really liked it, but I'm sure I'll get over it. I planned on keeping the 200q for a while, but life and reality being what it is it's likely that the 200q would have sat around, especially during the week while I'm on the road. I'd preferred that it not become one of those "gonna get around to it someday" cars, so I reluctantly offered it to a good home.
George Fairbanks of Boulder Colorado bought it sight unseen, and his brother-in-law from Jersey drove it out to him. As far as I know, he's happy with the transaction, and I'm glad to see it go to someone as enthusiastic as him.
Vaya con Dios, MIRV!
George sent to me the following update with these funny photos:
"MRV and I were recently on a trip to the Grand Canyon and couldn't resist taking a few pictures with the very appropriate sign. BIRA even helped me avoid elk with death wishes. Car is working great with no unanticipated problems though it looks like I'll have to do that muffler work in the next month or so."