Seeing Red: 1987 Audi CS 4000 quattro

Caution: red car alert. There are red car fans and there are those folks who would rather not draw that much attention to themselves. I think of myself in the latter category, but then why do I own so many oddball, eye-popping unusual vehicles? Maybe I secretly want to own a red car, and I sure would love to own this great looking 1987 Audi 4000 CS quattro! What a beauty, but I’m a huge Audi fan and an Audi owner (and it has a red interior, hmm..). This red hot AWD machine is listed on eBay with a buy it now price of $5,995 or you can make an offer. It’s located in the Gateway to the West: St. Louis, Missouri.

I’m actually glad to see a car in this bright Tornado Red instead of the boring tones of today: white, black, silver, and gray. Ok, occasionally someone will go nuts and buy a navy blue or a maroon vehicle, but that’s about it for most car companies other than Subaru, Fiat, and a few others that still make goofball colors. I’m not usually one to say that a particular car looks like another car, but in this case I get a Saab 9-5 feel about some views of this car. And, speaking of views, this seller has provided a treasure trove of photos!

What a car. Audi didn’t invent AWD but some would say that they perfected it with their quattro system. I have an AWD Audi but I have never driven it in the snow, we have Subarus for that. Since our state uses more salt on the roads than a chain restaurant puts in their french onion soup, it doesn’t pay to drive a really nice vehicle here unless you don’t want to keep it forever, which I usually do with my vehicles. I can’t imagine driving this gorgeous red 4000 quattro on slushy, salty roads. Bbbbbbb.. scary.

The interior looks pretty crisp and clean, other than a wear spot on the driver’s side seat bolster and some faded floor mats. But, there’s that all-important 5-speed shifter. I know, we sometimes (always?) put too much emphasis on having a manual transmission when after all, wasn’t the automatic supposed to be an almost overt luxury option when it first came out? Now everyone wants manual transmissions again just when the majority of car makers aren’t even offering them anymore? GAA.. my head hurts. In any case, this car has one. And, you have to love, or hate, that 30-year old dash and switchgear! Actual knobs! Nobody under 30 years old even knows how to operate one of those “turney things” anymore, do they? Just kidding, of course, sort of.. The back seat looks great and it almost looks like a 6-footer could fit back there? The trunk isn’t huge but it has enough compartments and molded pieces and textures to be hanging on the wall at the MoMA.

This 2.2L inline-five cylinder would have had around 130 hp and 140 ft-lb of torque when new. It now has over 156,000 miles on it but I’m guessing it still has enough power to make for a fun grocery run with that 5-speed. The seller says that this 4000 CS quattro is an “Incredible survivor, 1 owner all records, maintained well. …. drives very well, cold ac, all windows work, no issues. Has some minor dings etc. from normal driving. New trans mounts, new clutch, new tie rods and aligned and ready to go.” It all sounds great to me! Have any of you owned an Audi quattro?


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  1. Marc

    Thanks for sharing, This does look like a nice car, but as an recent owner of one (lost to a drunk driver) your hp numbers are for the 2.3 motor, the 2.2 has 115hp, all 4000 quattro’s came with the 2.2 motor from the factory. I did look over the photos, based on what I noticed, idle is off and it looks like the odometer is still working (they do fail based on age, plastic gears), the rest looks like simple cosmetics. I do wonder what the undercarriage/ sub-frame looks like.

  2. slickb

    can I rally it or would that be frowned upon?

    Honestly I don’t even know if it could rally, but I would try!!!!

  3. Miguel

    This is funny. There is one of these cars parked near my house on the street rotting away. It has been parked for a long time in the same spot.

  4. James

    Im James and Im an Audi addict…

    Now that ive got that out of the way.. I used to own one more than a few years back ( possibly more than I care to remember ) and yea I loved it. its known as the 80 over here in the UK though. I know where one has been sitting for several years not turned a wheel and I pop in every few months and ask him if its for sale.. he wont even take my number as hes going to put it back on the road!!! its been sitting in the same position for the last 7 years!!!
    My current Audi is a slightly newer A4 1.9tdi quattro.. Ive owned 2 of them. the blue one is my current car and my brother now has my old green one.

  5. Patrick D.

    Hooning potential = off the charts.

    You can have this baby make all the right rally noises and still retain the ability to carry your children (and your dog) in the back seat.

    Like 1
  6. AF

    money pit…….runnnn!

  7. David Miraglia

    Always liked Audi. But then I also like Volkswagen. Always wanted one of these.

  8. Derek

    The other thing that you can do with one of these (and a coupé body) is build yourself a short group B Quattro replica. Quite involved, but look at the end result…!

  9. BOP Guy Member

    I really like this one!

  10. Connbackroads

    Never owned one of these . . . but I owned two Quantum Syncro wagons (silver and tornado red). They were AWESOME in the snow. Same drivetrain as this, just wagon sheetmetal.

  11. Rudy

    I had one brand new in 1987 it was an awesome car. Drove is skiing many times. With 4 good snows it was almost unstoppable. It was also red

  12. Peter R

    I owned one back then. When I brought it home to show off all the features to my now ex-wife she said “so many things to go wrong” which upset me at the time. But she was right – they all failed in the next 12 months – I was glad to be rid of it and have never bought another althought the S5 is very tempting

  13. Mike Reese

    Never had a Quattro, but always wanted one, especially after Audi spanked both American and European makers in racing when they brought it out … my drooling dried up when I thought back to the cost of maintaining the 5000 I once owned. Loved it, but almost nothing was low cost about owning it..

  14. Jeff McGrath

    That car was a roach when new, nevermind with 156000 miles on it. Underpowered and mainly respected by people with European envy. Not dependable, cheesy materials throughout.

  15. Terry B

    I owned an Audi exactly like this in the day, bought it new for about $22,000, I think. Mine was red with gray leather interior. It was a fun car to drive, really quick and handled beautifully. The 5 gave the power of a six and the economy of a four on regular gas. The car felt like it had more than 130 HP and could travel all day at very high speeds. More than once the speedo bounced off the 130 mark. It handled so well I used to say you could climb a tree with that car. Traded it for an Audi 100 five years and 130000 miles later. That was a fun car, thanks for the memories.

  16. Ronald G Bajorek jr

    Had one of these, Audi was at an all time low for quality back then, front of the motor (harmonic balencer?) feel off because someone forgot to put the key in the keyway, 200 miles from home, all sorts of problems with heat and a/c, owned it for 8 weeks,4600 miles, traded it in on a 1987 Mercedes 300E. Now THAT was a great car

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