For some time, the B5 S4 was dismissed by a fair amount of enthusiasts as a heavy, complicated car. Truth told, the B5 seemed a bit of a let down initially compared to the already gone and instantly legendary C4 S4/S6 with the venerable inline-5 power plant. But Audi had a new range of motors when it came to the B5, and the inline-5 did not really fit under the more compact hood in the lineup. Replacing the single turbo 5-pot was a new 2.7 liter V6 with not one but two turbochargers. Despite that, performance seemed a bit tame; 250 horsepower was nothing to sneeze at, but it was only a bit more than the outgoing M3, after all. However, the B5 had a few trump cards over its competition. Of course, the major one was that quattro all-wheel drive continued to be the high-performance platform for Audi. In this guise, the lockable options were completely removed from the driver, instead having the computer’s brain work electronically locking differentials coupled with electronic stability. While the combination of these things didn’t sound like an enthusiast’s dream, out of the box the S4 was a quite competent performer. Of course, the big bonus with turbocharging was that there was a tremendous amount of performance potential on tap with some upgrades. Free up the exhaust and turn up the boost, and these Teutonic turbocharged wonders went from tame to terror. There was one other major trump card the B5 had over the competition; as with the last of the run C4 S6s, Audi finally allowed their fast wagons to come over to these shores. They were an instant hit amongst the Audi faithful, and brought many more customers over to the four rings from other marques as well. Arguably the most popular were the two wild color options; the ever popular purple-blue Norgaro Blue and the retina-searing shade of Imola Yellow. Only a reported 64 Imola Yellow Avants were imported between 2001 and 2002, making it one of the more rare B5s produced. Paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox, these Avants have stood the test of time and are still highly sought by enthusiasts:
All posts tagged 2001
The Porsche 996 is arguably the best deal going in the rear-engined Porsche world. I say arguably because there are many who utterly detest the water-cooled replacement for the venerable air-cooled 911. On top of the revision in power, the 996 power unit has come under scrutiny for potential failure of the intermediate shaft bearing. But let’s be honest for a second; Porsches are expensive cars that can be very expensive to maintain, regardless of chassis and configuration. And in terms of driving experience, the 996 was quite fun. It was not the fastest or wildest version of the 911, but in two-wheel drive Carrera form it was great fun. I was lucky enough to drive a brand new 40th Anniversary Carrera around a race track, and though it was certainly a road-biased machine, the brakes, suspension, transmission and importantly engine and soundtrack were a stirring experience. Add some real track-dedicated modifications to one, then, and it should be a great dual-purpose weapon:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Porsche 911 Carrera on eBay
Laguna Seca Blue is one of the most desirable colors for the future-classic E46 M3, and today we have an example that will probably spend most of its life parked as a preservation specimen. With just under 10k miles, it’s barely been broken in is priced as one of the best E46s out there. I can’t see anyone spending this much money on such a car and putting any considerable amount of miles on it. Alas, this Ultimate Driving Machine will not be driven, but in a few decades it will stand as one of the finest examples of one of the most venerated millennial sports cars. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this car, as Carter wrote it up back in July 2014 and from a previous seller and in unmodified form in May 2014. It has to be said that the price a year ago seems much more compelling and fitting.
Click for details: 2001 BMW E46 M3 on eBay
In the world of post A4 Audis, you’d be forgiven for thinking you went back to the old Westerns with tumbleweeds rolling across the screen when it comes to color selection. There are several different shades of grey or silver, a few whites, some blacks, and then occasionally a blue will pop up. Some really daring folks chose bright red or dark green, but unless you get into a “S” model, you’re not likely to see an unusual color. That’s unfortunate, because Audi actually offered you many very cool options in the B5 A4 throughout its run. However, if you lament the cool colors went away, it should be no surprise; very, very few people bought them. And given the A4s propensity for being discarded, they’re in most cases even more sparse than when new. Yet these special color cars tended to be bought by people who took good care of them, and usually come to market in fairly pristine shape – so I bet you can guess why this A4 is here today. A non sport package V6 tiptronic wouldn’t usually make the list, but a lower mile India Red Pearl Effect with Ecru/Onyx interior in very good overall condition? You bet:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi A4 2.8 quattro on eBay
I can’t shake dreams of the E38 as a great way to get mega luxury and sportiness for bargain prices. Today’s final-year example comes with the Sport package, forgoing the best suspension tweaks bringing the outstanding visuals of Shadowline trim and M-Parallel wheels. Your 6-foot-plus friends will appreciate the rear legroom while you can enjoy crisp handling, smooth V8 power, and a sumptuous leather interior with decent, pre-iDrive technology. Especially handsome in this Steel Blue metallic and practically new with less than 60k miles, you can get that CEO look for mailboy money here.