2001 Audi A4 1.8T quattro Avant

2001 Audi A4 1.8T quattro Avant

Time does funny things to how you view cars. In 2001, I couldn’t have been less excited to see an A4 1.8T, especially in Tiptronic form. It was the car that finally made Audi solvent, granted – and as an Audi enthusiast, that should have made me happy. But it also brought a group of Johnny-come-latelys to the brand, steering BMW 3-Series buyers away from their tried and trusted steeds. I don’t know why this should have bothered me, but it did.

As a result, I sort of swore off the A4 for a long time. It was too heavy, too underpowered, too round. The 1.8T, even rated at an upgraded 170 horsepower later in the run, felt pretty underwhelming to drive even compared to the glacier-slow inline-5s I grew up with. The seats and interior felt cheap even though they looked more modern than the E36 and certainly more so than the B4 and B3 generation. In short, the A4 felt like a gimmick, and while the market bought it, I didn’t.

Fast forward now 21 years since the launch of the B5, and I have a much greater appreciation for the model. It’s on the verge of being vintage in some states (or already may be, depending on your local laws) which is about as boggling to the mind as considering a billionaire a “populist”. The popularity of the A4 led it to be the first “disposable” Audi, so finding a clean and lower mile A4 has become difficult. But they’re out there if you look, and even the ‘lowly’ 1.8T model has its appeal:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi A4 1.8T quattro Avant on eBay

Feature Listing: 2000 Audi S4

Feature Listing: 2000 Audi S4

Circuit Paul Armagnac probably isn’t a name which is familiar with you. It’s not even a particularly famous race track, if I’m honest. But the city where that track is located will be suddenly make sense in the context of this post – Nogaro, France. It was the name of that small city in Southwestern France that was made famous when it replaced the moniker “RS Blue” in Audi’s go-faster lineup. The result was a color synonymous with speed, though few fans of the shade know the origination of the name. Blue was, of course, the racing color of France, so in a departure from the typical country-color orientation, Audi popped the obscure name onto its purpley-blue missiles starting with the B5.

That the tone had previously been assigned only to Audi’s skunkwork quattro GmbH (recently renamed Audi Sport) S6 Plus and RS2 was an indication of the sporting potential of the new S4. Power came from not one, but two KKK turbochargers feeding a 250 horsepower 2.7 liter V6. That power was delivered via a 6-speed manual transmission through all four wheels utilizing a center Torsen differential and rear electronic locking unit. Though the new S4 was neither the first fast Audi nor the first to wear the “S4” badge, it was a departure in that it was the company’s first attempt to really take on the M3 head-to-head. It was comfortable, quiet, and quick in all conditions, and while it may not have been a huge threat to BMWs on the track, in the real world the S4 was arguably a superior car:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Audi S4 on eBay

2001 Audi RS4 – REVISIT

2001 Audi RS4 – REVISIT

After trying for a few months to shift this RS4 over $40,000 back in the Spring, this awesome original Avus Pearl Audi RS4 is back on the market at a discount. The seller’s highest auction bidding reached $26,000 but failed to hit the reserve. Now it’s back up for sale at $36,000. For our friends in the Great White North, this car offers a lot of future collectability but for U.S. fans, you’ll have to go through some Federalization work to get it here. The good news is that others have already done this, so it is possible to bring this Euro-only wunderwagon stateside. While $36,000 sounds like a lot, the hand-built, exclusive nature of the RS4 coupled with performance that is still not far from cutting edge the best part of two decades later seems like a deal. However, since no one has snapped this one up it would seem to indicate the lack of appreciation for the RS4 at this current time – surprising, since we’ve seen replica RS-inspired models in the U.S. come close to the asking price. Is it just that it hasn’t been brought to the U.S. yet?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi RS4 on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site February 3, 2016:

2001 Audi S4 Avant

2001 Audi S4 Avant

I remember a time not that long ago when everyone basically swore off the B5 as being too complicated, too prone to failure, and without enough pizazz. The funny thing was that these judgements were all levied in comparison to the B5’s replacement, the B6. Sure, the BBK 4.2 V8 stuck under the hood was a sonorous revelation of sorts. Gone was the timing belt and the “you’re going to have to replace them at some point” not one, but two turbos stuck in back of the motor that basically necessitated dropping the engine for replacement. The BBK brought nearly 100 more lag-free horses to the party, too, and better-looking interior bits with the promise of more build quality.

What happened?

Well, the reality is that Audi just punted the ball down field. The transition between B5 and B6 marked the real death toll in the long-term Audi for many, as complicated electronic systems really began to outweigh lifetime engineering designs. I love Audis. I really, really do. But it seems like every single system on every single Audi produced after 2002 is so unnecessarily complicated that I can’t imagine how anyone with even a minuscule amount of sense could look at the design and say “Yup, that’ll never go wrong”. They’re engineer’s wet dreams. In the case of the BBK, in addition to eating starters and prodigious amounts of expensive synthetic oil, there is the notorious timing chain guide issue. Since Audi opted to move the timing devices from the front to the back of the motor to fit into the snug B6 engine compartment, pulling the engine apart means taking it out. Finally get it out of the car and pop the covers off, and it looks like a Swiss clock underneath. And there’s one more secret about the B6 4.2 – sure, it’s fast and it feels shouty.…

Tuner Tuesday: 2000 Audi S4 RS4-spec

Tuner Tuesday: 2000 Audi S4 RS4-spec

Finding a modified B5 generation Audi S4 isn’t exactly a hard thing. Finding a good one, though, arguably is. The B5 generation brought Audi into a new scene of tunability and off the bat was a hugely popular platform. However, from salvage titles, high mileage, dubious modifications and poor condition to the big one – neglected maintenance – sorting through the plethora of “Stage X” S4s out there can leave one believing there just aren’t many top-tier examples left. But then you set your eyes on this retina-searing Imola Yellow sedan, and your faith in the platform is restored. With 44,650 miles on the clock, it’s one of the lower mileage B5s I’ve seen recently, but what really sets it apart besides the color are the RS4 body modifications. That, and 650 wheel horsepower:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Audi S4 on eBay

Widened Wagon: 2001 Audi S4 Avant RS4-spec

Widened Wagon: 2001 Audi S4 Avant RS4-spec

After a string of quick Mercedes-Benz wagons, it’s time to take a look at the maker most associated with bonkers 5-doors. While Audi may have never imported any of their fastest wagons into the United States, since the 5000CS quattro Avant the maker has been intrinsically linked with speedy family rides. While we got some good ones in the former, the 200 20V quattro, and the C4 and C5 S6 Avants, the real speed was always in the “RS” line. With the exception of the S6 Plus, all of the top-tier models have carried the RS moniker and traditionally have been the engine blueprint many Audi fans have followed to get the best speed. If they’re really devoted, they take it to the next level and copy the look as well. The result can be very impressive, as shown in this RS4-spec 2001 S4 Avant:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S4 Avant on eBay

2000 Audi S4

2000 Audi S4

Fans, I have to apologize. I’ll happily admit that there are huge gaps in our daily lineup of cars. When I think of the numerous models that we skip over on a daily basis I genuinely feel a tinge of regret. First off, we really don’t feature much from before 1980 often, and even then it’s limited generally to the more expensive cars that survive such as Porsches or Mercedes-Benz models. Then there are plenty of obscure models we just overlook in our searches. I mean, when was the last time that we wrote up an Audi A3, for example? I’ll save you some time – nearly two years ago was the last time an A3 came across our pages. Or an Audi A2? I’m not sure one has ever popped up here, despite them being a very interesting and cutting-edge car. We rarely look at BMW Isettas or Mercedes-Benz SUVs – actually, come to think of it, pretty much any SUV despite their massive popularity and the reality that quite a few of them are nice trucks (and by trucks I mean cars). How about Porsche 914s, Karmann Ghias and pretty much any newer Volkswagen that isn’t a Passat wagon (sorry about that)? There simply isn’t enough time and space to cover all the models that are out there. As such, we often focus on the cars that interest us, and I’ll admit that since there are only a few writers here that means that we see a lot of the same things day in and day out. So, I’m sorry. But I promise, we do try to vary it up as much as we can!

In that vein, I want to look at a very nice Audi S4 today. The S4 itself is no stranger in any of its several generations on these pages, but often we either focus on the C4 generation or the B5, B6 and B7 Avants.…

4 Turbos, 10 Doors and 12 Speeds – Double Take: 2001 S4 Avants

4 Turbos, 10 Doors and 12 Speeds – Double Take: 2001 S4 Avants

With recent looks at both B7 and C4 S-cars, it was time to take a look at the middle child of the run – the much loved B5. For some time these were considered too heavy and complicated for long-term enjoyment, but a resurgence of interest in the model has been driven by a very active aftermarket that supports them. In the U.S., the most loved models are the 6-speed Avants and we have two to consider here today for a double dose of forced induction family fun. Which would be the 5-door you’d choose?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S4 Avant on eBay

2001 Audi RS4

2001 Audi RS4

Although Audi had launched the idea of the super wagon with the RS2, by the late 1990s they didn’t have anything near as impressive. Sure, the S4 Avant was quick, but with 250 horsepower it was substantially less powerful than the 315 horsepower RS2 and the 322 horsepower S6 Plus. Something needed to be done to live up to the reputation of quattro GmbH, and that something involved Cosworth. Taking the basic twin turbocharged V6 from the B5 S4, Cosworth Technologies thoroughly rebuilt the motor. Now dubbed the ASJ (later AZR), the power went up 50% to 375 horsepower with an equally impressive 325 lb.ft of torque. To match the performance of the motor, quattro GmbH introduced new bodywork that channeled some of the trends set by the RS2; larger vents on the front bumper, wider sills, and larger brakes and wheels. The result was a package that lived up to the “RS” moniker with sub 5-second 0-60 runs, a 160 m.p.h. top speed, but also the brakes and grip to compete with contemporary sports cars. It may not have had the mystique of the RS2 without the name Porsche, but it was a package that was just as desirable then as it is today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi RS4 on eBay

1997 Audi A4 2.8 quattro

1997 Audi A4 2.8 quattro

We look at a lot of infrequently seen cars on these pages, but sometimes one really stands out to me, and that was the case with this 1997 Audi A4. Now, rarity is not on the side of the Audi A4, even in its least sold configuration. In its launch year of 1996, Audi shifted more A4s than it sold cars in total in each model year of 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1994. In fact, the only reason the company didn’t sell more 1996 A4s than 1995 total cars was because a few 1996 models were sold at the end of 1995, upping the overall sales for that year. It was a wildly popular model though underneath there were overall few changes to what you could buy in the 1995 90 quattro. Even the look was a scaled down version of the 1993/4 ASF (A8) concept. But that didn’t matter – it was great looking, sporty and compact with a quality feel and still held the trump card for all-wheel drive in the small market. Unlike earlier models where the front-drive version of the chassis outsold the quattro versions, the A4 was also the first to really sell with a majority of all-wheel drive; about 80% (16,333 out of 20,671) of those that were sold in 1997 were so equipped. That would make a FrontTrak model much more rare than what we’re seeing here, so why claim this car isn’t often seen? Well, it’s just not. Think about the last time you saw a really clean pre-facelift A4. I’ll wait. Sure, there are a handful out there, but as with earlier Audis the residuals dropped and most were neglected. The A4, in addition to being a sales success, also brought Audi fully into the disposable luxury class. People that had previously bought Audis generally treasured them, especially so of the quattros.…

2001.5 Audi S4 Avant

2001.5 Audi S4 Avant

I’ve recently done some comparisons on the sport editions of the B6 and B7 chassis Avants, asking whether packages like the B6 Ultrasport or B7 S-Line Titanium Package justified the premium they commanded over similar non-sport models. There’s another Avant that commands a serious premium in either B5 or B6 form, but in this case it’s not anything to do with being more or less sporty. Mechanically and physically, these specimen are identical to the other models in the run, but it is the color that stops people in their tracks, generates clicks and opens wallets – Nogaro Blue Pearl Effect. The lineage started with the RS2 and its signature shade “RS Blue” which was then continued with the S6 Plus and the B5 S4. It was the color of speed for an entire generation of wagon lovers, so what does that equate to today?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001.5 Audi S5 Avant on eBay

Millennial Green: 2000 Audi A4 1.8T quattro, 2001 Audi Allroad 2.7T and 2001 Audi S8

Millennial Green: 2000 Audi A4 1.8T quattro, 2001 Audi Allroad 2.7T and 2001 Audi S8

Following up on Paul’s Goodwood Green Pearl Effect RS4 and the Aquafresh duo of Ruf and Eurovan from yesterday, I wanted to take a look at some of the more rare greens from Audi in the early 2000s. Greens have all but disappeared from the color pallet over at VAG, but they featured some fetching shades a decade and a half ago. However, unlike the ubiquitous Emerald Mica or Cactus Green Pearl Effect that seemed everywhere in the mid-1990s, these shades are seldom seen in the wild. Which is your favorite?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Audi A4 1.8T quattro on eBay

Motorsports Monday: 2000 Audi S4

Motorsports Monday: 2000 Audi S4

Why does the Audi S4 not get more attention on Motorsports Monday? Well, for most the generally heavy platform coupled with the forward bias of the relatively heavy motor doesn’t equal track excitement. Motivation has never been a problem with Audi’s fastest small chassis cars, but braking and turning aren’t where the excel – especially compared to the competition from Munich and Stuttgart. However, a recent ride in my stripped-out and stiffened-up Audi left me the best part of an inch shorter and thinking. Going to the track is such a great time, but there must be a better balance between the 95% of the time that the car isn’t at the track to the 5% it is – if you’re lucky. And while in all out track performance, it’s hard to argue with the E36 chassis as the best value going, the B5 S4 is a compelling alternative to have plenty of fun in between – and, year round:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Audi S4 on eBay

Noggy-off – 2001.5 v 2004 Audi S4 Avant

Noggy-off – 2001.5 v 2004 Audi S4 Avant

Audi established a new bar for fast wagons with the RS2 Avant, and the signature color of that model was termed “RS Blue”. Immediately, the vibrant hue was recognizable as the warning sign to other drivers that more lurked under the hood than most normal grocery getters. Audi would continue this trend and signature color with the new quattro GmbH-made S6 Plus a few years later. But in 2001, Audi made the exclusive color a bit more pedestrian by offering it on the B5 S4. Now termed “Nogaro Blue Pearl”, it developed an immediate fan following since then – as now – for most, purchasing either a RS2 or S6 Plus isn’t in the cards. Audi continued the shade on to the B6 platform, where it continued to be the defacto shade of speed until it was discontinued in the B7 chassis. While Audi has recently brought the color back into its lineup, for many the older cars still have a distinctive draw and Nogaro cars typically demand a premium. For some, that premium is heightened even more when the interior was opted with the Nogaro colored Alcantara. Add in Avant and 6-speed to the option list on these cars, and the collective Audi fanboy community draws a sharp breath as lips are bitten and pants decidedly tighten. As a treat, we have two examples to consider – which is more Nogtastic?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001.5 Audi S4 Avant on Washington DC Craigslist

2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion Variant 6-speed

2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion Variant 6-speed

There’s always been a fascination for me with the W8 Passat. Not only did Volkswagen take the B5 and B5.5 models upscale by offering the Audi-based chassis, but they pioneered the new engine configurations that would be the top-tier mills in the Passat. Truth told, the “W” configuration had been around for a few years before it finally entered into the mid-sized sedan and wagon. It was first floated in the Bugatti EB116 16/4, but really came into the minds of enthusiasts with the Volkswagen W12 Nardo concept. Now in appropriately named W12 configuration and powering all four wheels, the 600 horsepower mid-engined Volkswagen captured headlines with its 200 m.p.h. 24 hour run and Italdesign-penned Group C for the road looks. While the Nardo was the prototype for what would become the Veyron after some heavy revisions, the W12 would be an exotic engine only powering the most elite of the VAG range. However, Volkswagen also launched a smaller version of the engine for 2001 in the Passat. It was the first introduction to U.S. customers of the W configuration that would later appear in Bentleys, the D3 Audi A8L and the Phaeton. There was something unique about the Passat’s package, though. First, you could option the mid-ranger in long-roof 5-door configuration. More importantly for enthusiasts, you could select a manual 6-speed, too. The combination of these items coupled with the stratospheric price tag of the model meant very few sold. But briefly, until the new S4 launched in 2004, this was the most powerful manual VAG product you could buy in the U.S.:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion Variant 6-speed on eBay