I think that’s a really tall order. Don’t get me wrong, DSM cars are great, but I think in order for them to be more sought after than an M3 would require a seismic shift in collecting habits. That said, I do think that they’re confusingly cheap for what you get if you can manage to find one that hasn’t been modified then beaten into the ground.
If you can find a clean one get it now. I don't think many exist. I had a 1990 Eclipse GS with the 4G63 non-turbo motor as my first car. I traded it in for a 1997 Eclipse GSX which I eventually sold for my 1997 Supra Turbo in 2002. When I had the Supra that first winter I got a 1992 Talon TSi AWD. I loved the cars, they were great, easy to mod and make fast, good handling. The GSX was a blast in the winter to drive and unstoppable. I love them but the Audi is the big dog of 80's and gave birth to the rally beasts. Not surprised these are going up in value.
Honestly, no matter how innovative a design in mechanics, if a car has no attractiveness, I wouldn't own it. Like they say, "there's one born every minute", but in this case the infliction seems to be catching.
80s cars are becoming collectible because those are the what the 30 somethings, who now have more "play money" grew up with. That and 60s-early 70s car prices are going through the roof. Even some "malaise era" cars are starting to be collected...
US availability of the Quattro ended in 1985, not 1986. '85s have the updated dash, electrical system, diff controls and a myriad of other small details, just like the difference between the '84 4000 quattro and the '85 4000 quattro.
BTW, it's a little disingenuous to use a Euro-spec car as the primary visual for this article- the US-spec cars look a lot more like the white Geneva car that you have at the end- quad headlamps, Fuchs wheels, just with the bigger bumpers and no driving lights in the bumper.