Monday, November 11, 2013

Audi 100 Coupe S

In order to increase production volumes and to meet growing demand of VW Beetle model (also known as Käfer), Volkswagen corporation (hereinafter - VW) came into purchase-sales contract with Daimler-Benz in 1964 and acquired new factory in Ingolstadt as well as ownership of trademarks (Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer) of Auto Union GmbH. Since the "beetles" were stamped at a very high speed, working in one factory in several shifts, the main object of the mentioned contract was additional production line rather than increase of model line-up. On the contrary, VW boss Heinrich Nordhoff planned to discontinue further development of Audi and DKW, because the sales of DKW F102 and Audi F103 models were very low.

Dr. Ludwig Kraus held position of development director at Auto Union in those days. This man was initiator of development of new Audi model, which concept was unveiled for VW administration at the final stage only. Heinrich Nordhoff was fascinated by Audi future vision, and "blessed" developing model to see the day light. Since the model received 100 hp aggregate, the new Audi car was symbolically named as "100". Inside the company the model had C1 initials.

Dr. Ludwig Kraus is referred as to "dr. Audi" by some Audi fans, because they believe Audi could have been forgotten without efforts of this person. As the future will show, initiative of Ludwig Kraus inspired the appearance of one of the most successful Audi models ever built.

Closer look to Audi 100 Coupe S
Official debut of Audi 100 Coupe S (hereinafter - Coupe S) was held at International Frankurt Motorshow in 1969. The car featured four-speed manual gearbox and ventilated front disc brakes. These features were not unnecessary luxury components, since the car was able to make 185 km/h (115 mph) top speed what was high achievement at that time. The car also had wider tires, a variable-height steering wheel, tachometer, digital clock and upgraded interior equipment and trim. Power steering was available option from 1973. Though car specification showed Coupe S is a four-seater, the comfortable ride on the back seats was limited by car height (133 cm / 52,36'' ).

1 871 ccm, 4-cylinder engine (115 hp) with two carburetors was originally fitted into Audi 100 Coupe S. "Thanks" to carburetors, the appetite of the car was near 17 liters/ 100 km (13,84 mpg), while CO² emission didn't pass the standards set in certain countries. Starting from 1971, the same engine with one carburetor was offered, what affected lower fuel consumption and slight power decrease.

The car was in production till 1976 and 30 687 exemplars were built in total. The production was canceled due to low sales figures, what was influenced by price increase. Raising the prices was a must for Audi, since manufacture costs were constantly growing. The last Audi 100 Coupe S models were priced at 19.350 DM in Germany, what is ~ 4.000 DM more comparing to the prices in 1970.

Typical Audi 100 Coupe S problems
1,9 L engine does not require any serious investments up to 150 000 km (94 000 miles). Additional liter of engine oil may be necessary in-between changing periods from 100 000 km (62 000 miles); however this problem is solved after replacement of valve seals. The drivers should constantly check engine oil pressure. There were some accidents when the engine oil leaked out because the screws of oil pan got unscrewed. The engine is also sensitive to overheating.

Transmission is a weak point of the car. Synchronizer rings are often replaced within 100 000 km (62 000 miles). The very first sign of this defect is more difficult shifting from 1st to 2nd gear. It should be also taken care on brake master cylinder, which is prone to rust.

The body of Coupe S is Achilles heel. Typical places where rust can be found are: sills, beside the pillar A, metal part under the main console. Due to the moisture under the battery, which is located under the back seat, the floor often becomes rusty on that area.

1971-1973 models had sound insulating mat, which was fixed on the front side of the bulkhead between engine and cabin. After few tenths thousands of miles this mat "acted" as a bath sponge and reliably kept moisture, dirtiness. For this reason, the first work of restoration is the removal of this mat.

The rear axle of the car is also week in respect of corrosion. It is very likely that rust already done a great job and eaten all the mounting screws.

In accordance with the above stated, many technical defects can be removed at low costs, so the main focus should be on body condition.

About the value
About 90 percent of survived Audi 100 Coupe S can be found in Germany. Up to 100 exemplars belong to the owners from England, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland. Based on the existing offers in the end of 2011, mint condition Coupe S can be purchased for € 13.000-16.000 and model which require restoration are available for € 4.000-7.000.

Final word
This car undoubtedly brought Audi to the new level and when considering relatively low production volumes, current Coupe S owners may be proud of having the part of Audi history.