Back in the 1990s, Audi had assembled their own internal skunkworks and incorporated at its own entity. quattro GmbH was born, and with it came the first in a line of the highest performance and highly tailored Audi exclusive vehicles. First out of the gate, after a restoration of a Sport quattro for a wealthy client, was the development of the S6 plus that hit the market in 1996.
Based on the C4 generation S6, this car received some fundamental changes. Most noteworthy, this meant swapping out the standard S6’s 2.2-liter turbocharged in-line 5-cylinder for Ingolstadt’s then latest 4.2 V8 with variable intake manifold that produced 326 hp at 3500 rpm and 400 Nm of torque. A 6-speed manual was the only transmission offered, while other elements like the suspension and larger 16-inch (old German measurement noting smallest possible wheel fitment) were also fitted.
Changes to the outside were subtle, but substantial. This included a new lower chin spoiler with ventilation for better air flow, plus blacked out chrome trim for a very early black optics package. Unique 6-spoke alloys were also added, plus slight flaring of the fenders helped house the wider wheel and tire setup. Finally, a discreet S6 plus grille badge finished off the changes.
There were also bold color choices. These included Nogaro Blue pearl effect, Misano Red pearl effect, though you could specify any color as you might expect for quattro GmbH’s first such offering.
Inside, the car received additional upgrades. Seats were fitted with Alcantara for better grip of occupants, Carbon fiber trim replaced wood in most A6 and S6 models unless you opted for burr walnut trim, and chrome elements such as door handles were also anodized black. Even a unique instrument cluster was fitted with colored gauge faces (blue, light grey or anthracite) and an S6 plus logo.
For this #ThrowbackThursday feature, we’ve scanned in the 1996 Audi S6 plus German market catalogue. Photos used in this layout came from those scans, but those looking for more information and wanting to see that catalogue first hand can check it out embedded below, hosted by our Audi PDF Library over on Scribd.
Audi S6 Plus German Market Brochure (1996) by Fourtitude.com