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These cars were built to be reliable at their factory trim. Shoving horses into the backseat is what tends to kill these motors. They aren't as bulletproof as anything like a 2J or such.
Ah ha, but the one that compy posted has a reputation for engine failure in stock trim because of the lean factory tune. I can't remember which cylinder, I think its #4, but due to the location of being at the back of the engine and being closest to the turbo, it has a tendency to crack the piston due to the lack of airflow, the heat from the turbo, and lean tuning at cruise for fuel economy reasons.

If you don't mod them to death and/or drive it hard (or just richen the tune) I agree, you have less issues. I still kinda wish they offered a 2.0L in these because those seem to have less baggage / same tuning potential.
 

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Ah ha, but the one that compy posted has a reputation for engine failure in stock trim because of the lean factory tune. I can't remember which cylinder, I think its #4, but due to the location of being at the back of the engine and being closest to the turbo, it has a tendency to crack the piston due to the lack of airflow, the heat from the turbo, and lean tuning at cruise for fuel economy reasons.

If you don't mod them to death and/or drive it hard (or just richen the tune) I agree, you have less issues. I still kinda wish they offered a 2.0L in these because those seem to have less baggage / same tuning potential.
Hahah, thats ridiculous.

Factory P0171 :laugh:
 

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The C4 chassis has been around forever and I've never had an issue buying parts for it. 95% of the parts are common to the 100/A6 so they're super easy to find. Do you have any experience with this chassis or are you talking out of your butt?



K. here's an entire silicone hose kit for $64 with all brand new stainless clamps. I have this same kit on my car. It's great.
https://www.amazon.com/Silicone-Radiator-Hose-91-94-95-97/dp/B077Z3NZ3W



You just replace the pulley:
https://forums.quattroworld.com/s4s6/msgs/22579.phtml
I didn't need to, my pulley is still fine at 175k.



Like what? I've done practically everything for this car and it's all available. You can get new rods, pistons, rings, hardened crank pulleys, injectors, software, intake and exhaust manifolds, clutches, seals.... people build this drivetrain all the time. It's still really popular so I'm not sure where you are getting that parts are hard to find from. ???



Body and trim parts? Front bumper is hard to find. Everything else is shared with the Audi 100/A6. When I resprayed my car in 2012 I could still get everything I needed, new door gaskets, new hardware, new trim clips, etc. What are you getting at, specifically?



OP posted a GC8 Impreza as a consideration. The C4 chassis is INFINITELY safer than a japanese econobox. I'd rather get into an accident in this car than most smaller cars, the mass is an advantage and it holds up great in crashes.

You really don't seem to know WTF you are going on about.
Yes, I had a bunch of Audis and have friends who still have UrS cars. The tensioner is not available- did you even read the post you referenced? It mentions buying a bearing and replacing the bearing. Also, the person in that post doesn't sell tensioners any longer- I've met Fred, he's up there in age by now.

The front fenders and bumper are unique to the UrS. The rubber body rub strips and lower trim by the rockers is NLA. Unless they recently started production again.

That C4 would fail current crash tests- a new Honda Civic is far safer, you really don't know what you're talking about if you think that a 1995 Audi is safer than a 2020 car that's sold here in the US. I'm not talking about comparing your Audi to a GC8 Impreza. Furthermore, a Subaru is a pretty bad car to pick on for safety, considering they have an excellent track record for safety. It might feel like a tin box, but they're very good.

Again, you're talking about a 25 year old car as a daily driver- unwise. The electrical issues you had with failing tailgate wiring- that also happens in the driver's door.

You can't get a replacement head- you're going to be scouring junkyards for that. Also, no OE Bosch pressure transducers that work with that ECU. Rods, pistons, rings, injectors- those are all parts that can easily be made to order or are generic parts that have many, many applications.

It might work for you, but old, complex cars with limited parts availability and zero manufacturer support are difficult to keep running and on the road. I got rid of mine for that very reason; otherwise, I would probably still have it (sold in 2004).
 

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I'd go with the suggestions of a Toyota GX + S2000 or E36 M3 (the latter two will surely start appreciating and they should offer plenty of fun at lower speeds)
 

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Ah ha, but the one that compy posted has a reputation for engine failure in stock trim because of the lean factory tune. I can't remember which cylinder, I think its #4, but due to the location of being at the back of the engine and being closest to the turbo, it has a tendency to crack the piston due to the lack of airflow, the heat from the turbo, and lean tuning at cruise for fuel economy reasons.

If you don't mod them to death and/or drive it hard (or just richen the tune) I agree, you have less issues. I still kinda wish they offered a 2.0L in these because those seem to have less baggage / same tuning potential.
if you beat on them hard enough, they'll get hot...perhaps the older vintage ones (i had a hawkeye) might be a good fit and less reliability concerns.

that said, they're in no way worse than a 996 or E36 given the age of both. plus repairs on a subaru are going to be half or less of what repairs on a BMW or Porsche are in terms of parts.
 

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The front fenders and bumper are unique to the UrS.
The front bumper cover was the first thing I thought of when the discussion pivoted to C4 S_ parts availability.

OP, I'm not opposed to a two car solution if you want some variety in your life, but if the driving factor is to keep the GX nice, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me. You bought it to use and enjoy right? Anyway, I like the idea of the Sequoia better than a 4runner since they're a comparative bargain and you'll have more room for kids and other stuff if you need that type of thing. For the fun car, I'd love to have an E36 M to drive on nice days.
 

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that said, they're in no way worse than a 996 or E36 given the age of both. plus repairs on a subaru are going to be half or less of what repairs on a BMW or Porsche are in terms of parts.
I won't speak for Porsche parts availability/pricing in the aftermarket, since I have little experience in that field. But with respect to BMW parts, I think the E36 isn't a great platform to pick on in terms of replacement parts since a lot of the parts are shared across the line and quality aftermarket parts (see below) are fairly cheap to obtain.

One bone I have to pick with Subaru parts (well, Japanese brand parts) is that the OE aftermarket availability of parts - that is, parts made by the same manufacturer as the OE parts, but under their own brand - which seems to be less common than with Euro brands. So, to my point above, it brings the price parity down; not necessarily to the same levels, but it makes a better argument than trying to compare Genuine vs. Genuine (to which I agree, Genuine BMW parts prices > Genuine Subaru). I end up buying a lot more Genuine Subaru parts that I do Genuine BMW.

I haven't totaled what my replacement part costs were on my E36 M3 versus my Outback (or my '02 WRX that preceded the M3) but there are some decently-pricey parts that are standard maintenance items on Subarus that will get you - the timing belt and water pump, due every 100k on a Subaru EJ versus the chains (not really a maintenance item, but we'll make this an apples-apples comparison) and water pump on an E36 with an M52 or S52.

When I did the (overdue) TB/WP service on my Outback, you can get a ~$150 kit from Gates, which used to be a decent manufacturer but it seems they now outsource their idlers to another vendor and now have varying degrees of quality - and as you know, that's not where you want to cut costs. Thus, the cost for the Genuine Subaru parts was ~$350, but I was able to source a reputable kit from Aisin for ~$315 with good NTK bearings (same mfr as Subaru). Conversely, an E36 timing chain kit will cost you ~$150 and you only need to do it if the guides break/wear out - it's not a preventative item like a 12v VR6 - and a water pump with a metal impeller is $40. So even if you do it at the same maintenance interval, you're saving $100 each time.

In the Subaru's favor though, the engine architecture makes it much easier to work on, and when I did head gaskets on my E36, the machine work alone was $500 - even though that also included my machinist replacing the valve stem seals. When I did head gaskets on the Outback, he just skimmed the heads for me for $80. Head gasket kit prices (including cam seals for the Subaru, which I did buy separately to get Genuine ones) were $150ish each.

I've done the clutches on both the E36 (doing it now actually as part of the re-shell project) and my '02 WRX. A stock E36 clutch is more expensive than a stock WRX clutch, but in either case if you want to upgrade (and you will want to upgrade a stock E36 clutch due to the dual mass flywheel, and the stock WRX clutch doesn't really hold well past the stock power level) they're about the same cost.

Part of the price parity argument of a WRX vs. E36 is I think the Subaru also has more Achilles' heels, which require some moderate fixes to make it survive an HPDE day; ironically my last track day in the 220k-mile M3 was during a 'Subaru' day (Subarus got an extra 10% off) and despite the mix of cars there, there were a few engine failures that day and they were all Subarus. Once you iron out those issues, mildly-built Subaru motors can handle anything you throw at them. It just takes a bit of $$ to get there.

One advantage Subaru has is in the chassis department. BMW kills you with the number of bushings that wear out, but it's part of the tradeoffs, as the BMW has significantly better handling than the GD WRXs, and actually the GR changed over to a more complicated multilink setup that wears out bushings in similar fashion to BMWs. Haven't priced out what bushing replacement costs are like, but it's one thing to consider that's noticeably absent in older Subarus, which wore their suspension bushings like iron.

---

Sorry, gone horribly off topic. I think a GR WRX is not a bad buy and is probably close enough to the bottom of the depreciation curve to warrant mention in this thread. The styling got much better in the widebody, and I'm sorry to hatch fans but the sedan is better looking. The previous-gen GD's are certainly bottoming out also. Future-proof it with a safe tune, a slightly-bigger turbo like a 16G (anything bigger will probably break the 5-speed) and some oiling modifications, and you'll have a decent back road or HPDE stormer. Fuel, brakes, consumables will be on par with an E36 as they both take 17" tires, similar pad sizes/costs, and both take premium at an alarming rate when driving hard. And because I'm a snob, the interior in the GR is a bit of a let down, even compared to an E36 interior. The only redeeming factor of the GD was the seats in the Bugeye, but those were gone by '04
 

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I'm sure someone somewhere is thinking "oh man, the E36 guys piled into another thread" :) We've got danny_16v, Stevo12, x(why)z, and me coming in now.

OP: I have a similar sort of play. A nicer rig to be primary for the wife and kids, a do everything/get dirty rig, and a small/manual/fun car.

At one point this was a Gen1 Sequoia + Mk6 Golf R. Then it evolved to Gen1 Sequoia + Mk6 Golf R + E36 M3/4/5. The Golf R grew up into a BMW F31 wagon and then into a Gen2 Cayenne. The Gen1 Sequoia grew up into a Tundra Crew cab.


The Gen1 sequoia was an absolute gem. Never have I loved a car so much that I cared so little about. It just did everything. It got side swiped by an out of control dude a couple winters ago. While it was down, the wagon took over ski duties with a roof box.

If you have the space, a three car solution is pretty great. I take my time on projects on the M3. Have options if one of the other cars needs a little TLC, etc....

Right now I've got 8+ inches of snow outside. In this scenario my choice was to leave the summer wheel setup on the M3, because there will be a couple more weeks of dry road mountain cruises before the snow is here to stay. The other two cars are on snow capable tires, so I'm all good. Couldn't do that with just two cars around.

From a member of a Toyota + E36 crew, good luck!
 

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Gonna throw out another suggestion that I know nothing about...
Hyundai Genesis? On paper they seem decent, v6, manual, rwd, not terrible looking. Someone more informed can give the nitty gritty on then
100K on mine (2nd Gen 2.0T). It's been solid.

Biggest drivability improvements were upgrading the trans mount (only took a few minutes), and zeroing out the front toe instead of running the +0.14 per side that the factory recommends.

Water was leaking into my trunk when it rained or when I washed it. I replaced the taillight seal and the problem went away. This is something common with these cars.

On the 2.0T, you don't have full boost until the engine oil temp is at 150+. So even if the engine is nice and warm, it's not going to have full power for a bit. Good to know for test drives.

Stay away from modified examples. I'm seeing so many people who mod them with half-ass parts and skip out on maintenance.
 

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Yes, I had a bunch of Audis and have friends who still have UrS cars. The tensioner is not available- did you even read the post you referenced? It mentions buying a bearing and replacing the bearing. Also, the person in that post doesn't sell tensioners any longer- I've met Fred, he's up there in age by now.

The front fenders and bumper are unique to the UrS. The rubber body rub strips and lower trim by the rockers is NLA. Unless they recently started production again.

That C4 would fail current crash tests- a new Honda Civic is far safer, you really don't know what you're talking about if you think that a 1995 Audi is safer than a 2020 car that's sold here in the US. I'm not talking about comparing your Audi to a GC8 Impreza. Furthermore, a Subaru is a pretty bad car to pick on for safety, considering they have an excellent track record for safety. It might feel like a tin box, but they're very good.

Again, you're talking about a 25 year old car as a daily driver- unwise. The electrical issues you had with failing tailgate wiring- that also happens in the driver's door.

You can't get a replacement head- you're going to be scouring junkyards for that. Also, no OE Bosch pressure transducers that work with that ECU. Rods, pistons, rings, injectors- those are all parts that can easily be made to order or are generic parts that have many, many applications.

It might work for you, but old, complex cars with limited parts availability and zero manufacturer support are difficult to keep running and on the road. I got rid of mine for that very reason; otherwise, I would probably still have it (sold in 2004).
Yup. You just replace the pulley, if the bearing is shot. Mine is still fine at 180k. I guess if it went bad I'd ahve to part my car out because I couldn't just replace that pulley as described in that link ?

I mentioned the front bumper is hard to find. You can still find them. I know of several for sale. Fenders are pretty easy to find. Rubber door strips are being reproduced in Latvia. Pretty affordable. $70 or so for a whole set.

If you think a GC8 impreza is safer than a C4 Audi your opinion is worth literally nothing. In mass alone the C4 is far safer.

How often are you replacing heads on your vehicles dude? You said maintenance stuff, now you're going on about getting a new head?! like wtf? :screwy:

If OP was considering a mid 90s subaru, I am suggesting a mid 90s audi instead. I wanted an impreza just like that, but the value just isn't there. If it's a clean 2.5RS of that gen, people want 7500+, and that's for only 160hp, a penalty box interior, and tin can safety ratings. You can spend the same amount of money on an UrS4/S6 and get 230-280hp, much nicer interior, and way more safety, with basically limitless power potential.


The front bumper cover was the first thing I thought of when the discussion pivoted to C4 S_ parts availability.
Yup. That's why I mentioned it. They're hard to find, but not impossible. I know of a NOS one for sale in a box, and several used ones. Other than that.... really have had ZERO problems finding anything I need for this car. The community behind it is very active and helpful, and there are a lot of companies making aftermarket parts for it, often times improved from the original factory designs.
 

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I'm sure someone somewhere is thinking "oh man, the E36 guys piled into another thread" :) We've got danny_16v, Stevo12, x(why)z, and me coming in now.

OP: I have a similar sort of play. A nicer rig to be primary for the wife and kids, a do everything/get dirty rig, and a small/manual/fun car.

At one point this was a Gen1 Sequoia + Mk6 Golf R. Then it evolved to Gen1 Sequoia + Mk6 Golf R + E36 M3/4/5. The Golf R grew up into a BMW F31 wagon and then into a Gen2 Cayenne. The Gen1 Sequoia grew up into a Tundra Crew cab.
Hehe, in all my diatribes I forgot to mention that I am a fan of the 'fleet' approach.

It all started when I ditched my Mazda3 for a Miata. Being that it was rust-free, I also bought a $1000 XJ Cherokee (this was 10 years ago, mind you) as my homeowner/do-everything-else-the-Miata-can't special. Being that gas was $4/gal, I got tired of the Cherokee's fuel bills and swapped it out for a leased Mk6 JSW 2.5 with a manual, and a utility trailer (natch...)

Then I started commuting 100 miles/day, which the Miata took for a few years until I got tired of it. In the meantime, my need to get to the office even on the suckiest of winter days meant that ground clearance became an issue, plus I wanted to tow project cars, so I got myself a new Nissan Frontier which I held onto for about 5 years (great truck, BTW - if you don't want to pay the Toyota tax but still have a good all-arounder). Meanwhile, my wife was driving a manual Mazda3. And eventually I did the Miata -> WRX, which only lasted 6 months and then the final WRX -> E36 M3 switch.

So for a while, it was the perfect combo of Mazda3 for the commute and longer trips (even though the comfort sucked, fuel mileage was excellent), the Frontier for hauling and terrible weather (plus it was my wife's commuter when I wasn't using it to commute...yes, she had to borrow her own car!) and the M3 for 3-season daily driving and fun.

It has slowly devloved into the rather unimpressive fleet we have now - we swapped the 3 for the Outback when our son was born; the Frontier got traded for the Camry and I bought a cheap Silverado to take on the tow/haul duties; and the M3 is still being rebuilt (rear-end accident in '18 turned into a re-shell project).

But come next spring, I hope to have the M3 back and running as a daily driver to shuttle my son the ~5 miles to daycare, and if our current WFH situation doesn't change much in the coming years, I'd like to swap out the Outback and Silverado for a 2.7L F-150 crew cab, which should give me the tow capabilities of the Silverado and the mileage of the Subaru.
 

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If you think a GC8 impreza is safer than a C4 Audi your opinion is worth literally nothing. In mass alone the C4 is far safer.
Can you not read? I said pretty much any car sold new in the US in 2020 is safer than a C4 Audi. I said _nothing_ about the crashworthiness of a GC8 Impreza other than that Subarus have a pretty good safety record in crash tests as well as real-life.

As for the head comment, if you've been around these cars long enough, you know that the timing belts can break, they can skip time and damage the head, especially under high revs and a lot of power. I know enough guys that have toasted their head that it's not as uncommon as you think. Serpentine belt failure (often due to the tensioner) also can cause the car to skip timing and damage the head.

You're obviously biased toward your Audi, get defensive about any criticism about your car and can't think objectively, so there's really no point in debating a fanatic.
 

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Can you not read? I said pretty much any car sold new in the US in 2020 is safer than a C4 Audi. I said _nothing_ about the crashworthiness of a GC8 Impreza other than that Subarus have a pretty good safety record in crash tests as well as real-life.
I think you're the one that needs reading comprehension, bro. OP was considering a GC8, so this was my suggestion as I myself wanted an impreza of that body style but ultimately, for the reasons I described above, went C4 Audi. I've explained this several times now. I have no idea why the **** you keep talking about 2020 cars since those are at the very top of their depreciation curve, which is the exact opposite of the entire point of this thread.

Let me break it down for you another way:

C4 UrS vs Subie Impreza 2.5RS (stock)
Price: Even
Safety: C4
Comfort: C4
Reliability: Subies had head gasket issue back then so probably pretty even since they're both old cars
Performance: C4, easily. 230hp vs 160hp. And really the Audi is undertuned.
Rally Cred: Oooooo man. Tough. Audi I5 gets rally cred for the drivetrain. Subie gets rally cred for the chassis.

C4 wins

Modded UrS vs Engine Swapped 2.5RS
Price: C4 (cheaper than swapped 2.5RS in the same shape)
Safety: C4
Comfort: C4
Relability: C4 (factory engine has to be more reliable than a swapped one in the long run, I would think)
Performance: Tuned WRX in light body vs tuned AAN in heavier C4 chassis, probably about even


I still say C4 wins. Call me a fanatic all you want but I heavily debated between building a 2.5RS and getting an UrS car, and I went Audi on this decision for the reasons listed above.
 

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To comment on the UrS4 vs GC8 heated debate. I wouldn't choose either as a secondary fun car (definitely not the primary dd), because neither are an E36 M3 :p
 

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Can I just say.. I still really think my an S60R is a good idea. Want to talk about safety? Its a Volvo. Safest thing in this thread. Reliability? Fantastic, especially if you pick one that's just had a ton of money put in to it.. like mine. Comfort? Amazing. Best seats around. Performance? Well it's got more hp than a C4 out of the box so...
 

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To comment on the UrS4 vs GC8 heated debate. I wouldn't choose either as a secondary fun car (definitely not the primary dd), because neither are an E36 M3 :p
Correct ^^^^^^

20-25 year old cars are not suitable daily drivers. If you're going to get depreciated cars for daily use, better stick to something around 5 years old that has poor resale, like an Infiniti Q50, for example. Much safer and more reliable.

C4 Audi as a fun car? LOL. They're pretty comfortable and powerful, but far from being a decent "fun" car- very nose heavy with a long iron block hanging way past the front axle, lots of understeer. Seriously under-braked stock. You can do modifications to improve things, but you're stuck with a compromised strut suspension design, poor weight distribution, lack of space for wider tires (255 is about it unless you want the tires to stick out), poor aftermarket support (compared to BMW 3 series, Honda Civic, S2000, Miata, Porsche, etc.).

GC8 is better from a "fun" standpoint in that they're much lighter. The Subaru boxer engines aren't great from a longevity standpoint. The viscous diffs are weak and go bad; US never got the WRX/STI versions, so you're talking engine/drivetrain swap.
 

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Hey there's alot out there so there will be one when you're ready. Nice part about the GX460 is that it almost doesn't really matter what year you buy, you get the same 'hardware'. So no 4-5-6 speed transmission changes or VVTI motor hunting. Really just infotainment and little interior changes that happen.

We really only have big SUV's cuz they're great for road trips and now that we have two dogs, it's nice for them to get in the back and of course their 'go anywhere' capability.

The GX460 is the newer vehicle in the household though, and it's really the wife's daily. She likes having a vehicle that's 'higher up' and I kind of convinced her that GX460 would be a good route... even though not that great on gas, she doesn't put that many miles on it. Eventually I'll take it over and probably get an EV.

Until then, I have my RWD 4Runner and want something 4WD... the idiot in me wants a 100series LX or LC. But they're not cheap... especially if I want 5-speed and VVTi V8. Honestly, whatever I drive will be beat up more, carry the dogs more, and be generally dirtier. I also don't have to drive much for work so a 15mpg dinosaur wouldn't really kill me. And it is definitely a vehicle that's at the bottom of depreciation and really just 'worth what it's worth' and some are even gaining value due to supply/demand.
You're totally right. And regarding an ev, I'd love to get one eventually, but it'll be a while. We live in a small town and the majority of our driving is highways miles between cities. First a campervan, then a Highlander replacement, then an ev for around town.

I think you and I seem to think alike!
 

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Correct ^^^^^^

20-25 year old cars are not suitable daily drivers. If you're going to get depreciated cars for daily use, better stick to something around 5 years old that has poor resale, like an Infiniti Q50, for example. Much safer and more reliable.

C4 Audi as a fun car? LOL. They're pretty comfortable and powerful, but far from being a decent "fun" car- very nose heavy with a long iron block hanging way past the front axle, lots of understeer. Seriously under-braked stock. You can do modifications to improve things, but you're stuck with a compromised strut suspension design, poor weight distribution, lack of space for wider tires (255 is about it unless you want the tires to stick out), poor aftermarket support (compared to BMW 3 series, Honda Civic, S2000, Miata, Porsche, etc.).

GC8 is better from a "fun" standpoint in that they're much lighter. The Subaru boxer engines aren't great from a longevity standpoint. The viscous diffs are weak and go bad; US never got the WRX/STI versions, so you're talking engine/drivetrain swap.
If I couldn't afford to buy new cars, I'd dd a well kept 3800 powered GM car, Camry or Crown Vic from the mid-90s. An e36 or C4 Audi? Hell no, and I own an e36.

As for a C4 as a fun car, I'm with you. Why when you could have an e36? I guess if you just want to go fast and turbo it to the moon, sure. But they're kind of nose-heavy understeering lumps. I like them, but they're not really fun in the way an e36 M3 is.

A well prepped GC8 is a dang riot, but they are rare in decent condition and take some serious investment to live up to their potential in my opinion.

Just get an e36 M3 and enjoy your life. It and the S2000 are way too fun even though they're not insanely fast. Lovely things, both of them. And easy to work on.
 

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So many e36 fan bois on here.... I love them but I'll talk sh*t :p.



Have fun letting it sit half the year, I built mine to have fun year round. :D


As for being a nose heavy pig, yeah, it is, but somehow it still works, see Audi WRC domination. The UrS4/S6 is the closest thing to an RS2 that we got state side. Same block, same trans, same head, etc. RS2 > E36 all day erry day. E36 M3 sedan is still on my bucket list tho... but OP wanted a 2 car solution. If it was a 3 car solution than C4 for winter, E36 for summer, and fat boring tow vehicle for other stuff.
 

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Correct ^^^^^^

20-25 year old cars are not suitable daily drivers. If you're going to get depreciated cars for daily use, better stick to something around 5 years old that has poor resale, like an Infiniti Q50, for example. Much safer and more reliable.

C4 Audi as a fun car? LOL. They're pretty comfortable and powerful, but far from being a decent "fun" car- very nose heavy with a long iron block hanging way past the front axle, lots of understeer. Seriously under-braked stock. You can do modifications to improve things, but you're stuck with a compromised strut suspension design, poor weight distribution, lack of space for wider tires (255 is about it unless you want the tires to stick out), poor aftermarket support (compared to BMW 3 series, Honda Civic, S2000, Miata, Porsche, etc.).
Agreed on the first and second point. I can't believe there's been a multi-page discussion about it. A C4 Audi is not the car I'd be recommending for fun given all of the other choices out there.
 
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