[s-cars] Purchase '91 200 20V?
Calvin & Diana Craig
calvinlc at earthlink.net
Tue Oct 1 20:54:17 EDT 2002
This is kind of funny because I have almost 180 degree out of phase opinions
with Keith on a lot of this. But that's why opinions are like belly buttons
I own a '91 200, an '89 200, and a '92 S4.
The '91 I bought with 96k miles on it and the S4 I bought with 80k miles on
it, both were one owner, so roughly the same.
Several other people that also own '91 200's have commented that the one I
have is one of the nicest driving stock examples they have driven so I think
I am comparing a good car to a good car, if you will.
I have a definite opinion on this one. While the '91 200 has been a nice
enough car there is absolutely no comparison in driving one vs. the other.
The 200 is a luxury car that goes relatively fast in a straight line. The
S4 is MUCH sportier. Maybe this is just because mine is a '92 with the
stiffer suspension, etc. I have identical tires on the '91 and the S4 since
I have the all season 15" rims on the S4 and the difference is still huge,
especially on corner exit and overall body roll.
I have the sport seats in both the '91 200 and the '89 200 I have and
although nice seats do not compare to the S4, in my opinion.
I'm not torn at all on the styling. The '91 looks 10 years older than the
other in my opinion.
These 2 cars, at least at 6k feet, are definitely different in straight line
performance as well. the '91 dies off much more after 3-4k rpms whereas the
S4 just keeps pulling. A lot of this is accounted for in the fact that the
controller is backing the boost off on the '91 much more vs. rpm than the
S4. My '91 drops about 5 psi (1.7 Bar vs. 1.4 Bar at 6k feet) between 4k
and 7k rpms whereas the S4 only drops about 2 psi when not in "overboost"
and starts about 2 psi higher as well. Overboost is another area where they
differ as my stock '92 hits 20 psi at altitude...you will never see that
from a '91 200. When you chip the cars, though, the '91 200 gets the
advantage because of the intercooler and mostly lighter weight, since the
boost becomes equal.
Headlamps are a huge plus in favor of the S4 if you are like me and can't
see spending $500 on headlights to fix a problem with lighting that is
inferior to the sealed beams on my 1972 Pontiac!
The brake feel is very similar to me, I have UFO's on the '91. The problem
here is you are always worried about the damn rotors because of the repair
bill if you screw one up.
The biggest difference I have experienced is reliability, which of course is
case by case specific. At any rate, though, I have dumped $6500 into my '91
200 over the course of 34k miles...that's a hell of a repair bill in my
opinion. This does NOT include normal items like brakes, timing belts, etc.
This is stuff like transmissions, distributors, HVAC repairs, etc.
In comparison the S4 over 30k miles has needed a $35 fuel pressure regulator
and a $20 bypass valve. I also replaced the fuel pump because I
misdiagnosed the fuel pressure regulator problem. This is much more like
the repair bills I expected.
Both cars are nice cars but when I get in and drive the S4 the smile is much
From: s-car-list-admin at audifans.com
[mailto:s-car-list-admin at audifans.com]On Behalf Of Keith Maddock
Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 1:34 AM
To: 200q20v at audifans.com; quattro at audifans.com; cgharibo at usa.net
Cc: s-car-list at audifans.com
Subject: Re: [s-cars] Purchase '91 200 20V?
Having previously owned a 91 200q20v, and now owning a 93 S4, I offer the
following opinions / comments in addition to the good ones already mentioned
by other listers:
(Flame suit on!!)
- About 1500 200q20v's were sold in 91, compared to about 3000 92-96
S-cars, so parts shouldn't be a problem.
- The 200q is more of a Q ship, but the S-cars have more modern lines and
look more sporty. I'm honestly torn which one I prefer from a styling
- The 200q is a good 200 lbs lighter than a S-car, I can feel the difference
between the two. Definate 200q advantage here.
. The S-cars do have a stiffer body though, but to ME, my 200q felt
"tighter" than my S4. I think, though, my 200q had a good life, where my
S4 had a rough life before I bought them...
- S-cars have more modern looking seat and HVAC controls. The ones in the
200 looked like they were from a 85 DeVille, but worked fine.
- The 200q sport seats are just as good as the S4's normal seats. (Avoid a
200q with the barcolounger seats). I think the 200q sport seats may be a
bit more comfortable with the same amount of support.
- S-cars have more hp with the Stock ECU but this is mostly absorbed by the
- Both engines can be upgraded with the ECU
- The S-cars have the electronic coil-on-plug ignition, compared to the a
distriubtor ignition on the 200q
- The 200q has a stronger transmission than the early (pre 95?) S-Cars.
Early S-Car transmissions have both a 1st gear reliability problem, and a
pinion bearing reliability problem.
- I think the 200 seems to have more electrical problems/gremlines than the
S-Cars (dashes, speakers, fuel pumps, etc)
- S-cars have a nicer sunroof control system (glass for 93 and up)
. Stock, I think the 200 had far-superior brake feel to the S-Car (both my
cars had G-60's). I had to upgrade to big-reds on the S-car to get the same
confidence inspiring brake-feel that the 200 had...
- S-cars have the cool projector headlamps, 200q has dim headlamps. I
upgraded my 200q to the european headlamps and they were amazing though.
Still running stock headlamps on the S4, but it will get Euro's soon...
These things do make it a tough decision, but since you already said you
like the price and body style of a 200q, sounds like that is the better
choice for you, IMHO.
If I ever buy another S-Car for myself though, it will be a S6A. (either
that or I have to find a way to steal Jim K's awesome new avant.. hehe)
93 S4 (RS2-ish engine upgrades, Big Reds, Eibach/Bilstein) (Oregon)
RIP 91 200q20v (Stage 1 ECU upgrade, G60's, Koni/HR)
95 968CS (Germany)
Keith Maddock, TRW Automotive, Koblenz, Germany
Slip Control Systems, Systems Design, Traction Control
+49 (0)261/ 895 2474 - - keith.maddock at trw.com
>>> Christopher Gharibo <cgharibo at usa.net> 04:06:27 01.10.2002 >>>
I am debating on whether if I should buy a '91 200 20V or an 92-95 S4/S6.
I like the 200s body style and price, but I am concerned about parts
availability for this rare 11 year old car. Is this a valid concern?
The S4/S6 have better parts availability but higher prices.
Is the performance for the 200 vs S4/S6 similar?
Is saving money by going for the '91 200 smart or am I really getting a much
better car by going for the S4/S6?
Thanks for your thoughts.
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