UK CAR Road Test

Audi 100 2.6 Sport

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Here's an unusual car - an Audi 100 sport with the full treatment - OZ racing wheels, lowered and stiffened suspension, yet it still would not merit a second glance from most passers by. Audi's A6 replacement for this is even better looking, yet that is criminally ignored too.
Audi 100 2.6 Sport 1994

I guess too many people just have a BMW 5 series fixation, which is a shame as in many ways these Audis run the BMWs very close.

The Plain Jane image probably does nothing to help its case but it  does mean that these cars are available without the over-inflated BMW type prices.

 

 

Those of us who have had the pleasure of an Audi A6 interior will immediately feel at home in the 100. The layout is virtually identical and just as classy even though this may be six years old. Which just goes to show that quality design ages very slowly whilst other more gimmicky interiors age very quickly.

The interior also shows itself to be remarkably hardwearing and from the driver's seat you would never guess the age of the car. The only thing which really gives it away is the excellent leather steering wheel whose elegant boss could not possibly hide an air bag.

 

Audi 100 2.6 Sport  The Audi V6 is as smooth in these earlier incarnations as it is in the later versions. When pressed it whips around the rev counter without you noticing the revs piling on until it comes to a rude and  abrupt halt just into the red zone and prods you into the next gear shift. Whilst it's hard pressed to turn a big, heavy car like this into a flying machine, it does at least pick up its feet quite smartly above 3000 revs and packs at least enough punch to never be accused of being sluggish.  

 

The gear shift is one area that Audi seem to have improved upon. This 100's shift did seem a little slack and imprecise, although not a nasty change by any stretch of the imagination, it was just not quite as slick as the newer cars.

Low profile fat tyred alloy wheels and stiff suspension point toward good grip and on smooth surfaces at least, that is exactly what you get . Positive steering allied to leech-like tyres inspire plenty of confidence to hurl it through the bends. The down side is, of course, a rather jittery ride.  The jolts may get transmitted through somewhat more than you would like but at least it doesn't spoil the handling by throwing you off line (very often).

Audi 100 2.6 Sport  At least the deep bucket seats grip your body well and, whilst the car may deviate occasionally over our  so-called roads, you don't get thrown about with it.

For long journeys these excellent seats have pull-out thigh supports. They may only have manual adjustment but they adjust in virtually all planes, so once you've got it set they are as comfortable as any BMW, Mercedes or Saab seat, electric or not.

Use this Audi to the max and you may find your pocket substantially dented. The motor may be strong enough and smooth enough to stand constant red line hugging but it does like to drink when pushed. The fuel computer on the dash may be designed to show you just how much the fun you're having is costing but as you rev it through the lower gears your head becomes filled with maths like "3 quid a gallon, 20 miles to home, current consumption 8 mpg...Whaaat?!". Cruise around in top gear and it settles nearer 40mpg; somewhere inbetween lies reality - probably low to mid twenties.

Audi 100 2.6 Sport  Going is all very well but you have got to stop too. The ABS assisted brakes do a fine job of pulling you up without trauma and are nicely judged so you can give them a good firm push and come to a squealing halt without having to resort to the ABS helping.  

It's always a shame to talk about practicality when Sport is included in the car's title but, yes, it's as practical as any Audi 100 saloon - big booted and generously seated. It's the kind of thing you can pretend to buy - to be the sensible sibling shifting saloon but still have a little fun with when you leave the family at home.

Specification
Engine 2598cc  V6 OHC
Max Speed 130mph
Max Power 150 bhp
Performance 0-60mph in 9.5 sec
Insurance Group 15
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