In last week’s 10K Practical Performance Edition, a question arose of what was the best ‘Bahn burner for under $15,000. My immediate answer was the Audi S8. It might not be as powerful as the E39 M5 or a slew of Mercs that are available for around the same amount, but the combination of the all-aluminum engine and space frame gives the large executive a smaller feel on the road – and with 360 horsepower, it’s no slouch. It’s also got a great all-wheel drive system; quattro purists don’t love the electronic differentials, but truth told on the fly they work reasonably well and you don’t have to muss and fuss. This isn’t a rally car, anyway. But it is a great looker – the interior and exterior are a beautiful combination of style and presence that few others match. There just aren’t any awkward angles on the D2 in my mind. So, today I’ve rounded up a few examples with the help of our reader, John. Ranging from a first run 6-speed through a last of the D2 2003 model, which would be your color?
All posts tagged 2001
We’re suckers for a sharp wagon here on GCFSB and fewer do it better than BMW with their Touring formula. One of my favorites was the E46 Touring. This was the first 3 series Touring to appear stateside, offering customers a bit more of a compact wagon format than the previous E34 and E39 Tourings that preceded it. These days the E46 Touring is an affordable proposition and a great choice for the young family or outdoor recreation types seeking a bit of sport in their hauling mix. This 2001 325i Touring for sale in Florida has a 5-speed manual gearbox and sits pretty on 17″ Style 44 alloys, giving it a distinct look over your cooking variety E46 Touring.
Click for details: 2001 BMW 325i Touring on eBay
Audi loves to do things outside of the norm, and one of the odd things that they seem to do is to upgrade a car and then immediately discontinue it. Why they do this is beyond my level of comprehension, but it means that if you know what you’re looking for you can get a slightly more special version of the car you’re after. These half year models, known as the “.5″s, aren’t always the same – nor are they always well documented. The first I can think of is the 1987.5 Coupe GT; also dubbed the “Special Build”, it featured some serious upgrades including a larger 2.3 liter inline-5, 4-wheel disc brakes and a few trim differences from other GTs. Arguably, they’re the most highly sought after GTs with only a few hundred still kicking around. The same goes for the 1995.5 S6; minor trim and some mechanical changes, such as the change from a mechanical locking rear differential to the newer electronic system Audi would use in newer cars. But it didn’t end there, as in 2001 Audi upgraded the outgoing B5 A4 to 2001.5 specs. The changes were subtle; the A4 already had a refreshed front and rear lights in 1999, so you had to look underneath to find the reinforced front strut housings and changed ECUs. While the S4 didn’t exhibit any exterior differences, though, the A4 Sport package was different. Launched in 1999, the Sport package A4s initially had Ronal made “Swing” 7 spoke wheels that were replaced in 2001 by Speedline-made 7 spoke wheels that had a more square design and a center lug cover. But the 2001.5 models gained the “Celebration Package” as well, featuring 17″ wheels for the first time on the regular A4. It was, for all intents and purposes, the beginning of what would become the “Ultrasport” package on the B6 A4 in 2002. The “Celebration” wheels, as on the A6 2.7T and S8, mimic the RS4 design and became a signature wheel for the early 2000s Audis:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi A4 1.8T Sport on eBay
The Z3 Coupe is an oddball in the history of the BMW range. Sure, we’ve seen some intriguing cars like the M1 and Z1 come and go, but these vehicles had a definite purpose. While this car’s sibling, the M Coupe, is revered for its unabashed performance, the slightly softer Z3 Coupe seems like it would have limited appeal. Or would it? After taking a trip up north to see family over the Thanksgiving holiday, I was thankful for my R53 MINI Cooper S and it’s ability to hold a folding bicycle, multiple suitcases, grocery bags and sundry other things (with the rear seats folded flat, of course). While the cargo hold is a bit smaller in the Z3 Coupe, you still have more practicality than the Z3 Roadster offers, with unique styling to boot. This Z3 3.0i Coupe for sale in Florida has the desirable 5-speed manual gearbox and has covered under 70,000 miles.