Signature Color Face-Off: 2004 v. 2007 Audi S4 Avants

Signature Color Face-Off: 2004 v. 2007 Audi S4 Avants

The S4 Avant is no stranger to these pages, offering enthusiasts a “have-your-cake-and-throw-it-squarely-at-that-M3-owner’s-face-too” package which combined functionality and sport in a very discrete wrapper. Well, for the most part they were discrete; most were ordered in shades of gray because a fair amount of people ponying up new were conservative with everything but the money they were paying for this small executive wagon. Lightly optioned, an S4 Avant was north of $50,000 in 2004, a price today that would having you knocking on the A7 and S6’s base price. That sticker shock masks that the B6 and B7 represented a huge price increase over the B5 generation; out the door, the cost on average about 20% – 30% more only 3 years later – but then, they offered a full 90 horsepower advantage over the twin-turbocharged V6 with that awesome 4.2 V8, which of course could still be combined with a 6-speed manual gearbox. Subtle though the exterior colors may be, the performance on tap was anything but.

But some enterprising individuals chose the vivid colors which had become the signature of the model in B5 form. Nogaro Blue Pearl Effect was, of course, the go-to for all things fast Audi since it was originally called RS Blue on the original super Avant RS2. But a nearly equal amount were requested in Imola Yellow, a staggering, retina-burning banana-toned shade that seems initially out of character with a family wagon, yet raises the cool-bus level to 11. Though Nogaro was replaced in the B7 chassis refresh with Sprint Blue Pearl Effect, Imola carried over for the end of the V8s.

Today, I have one of each – so which is your style?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Audi S4 Avant on eBay

2004 Audi S4 Avant

2004 Audi S4 Avant

1I always thought of the B6 as the compact executive sedan for people a little too quirky to buy a 3-series or a C-class (a bit like a Saab). The handsome, turn-of-the-millennium design has aged well and continues to exude a note of well-heeled class even today. While humdrum four and six cylinder examples can be picked up very cheaply for everyday commuting duties, it’s the high-performance S4 version that really gets the pulse racing. Wearing some sporting exterior upgrades – door blades, redesigned bumpers, chromed wing mirror covers and, usually, 18″ Avus wheels – it remains a rather understated car in outward appearance. But squeezed under the hood is a thumping 4.2 liter V8, good for nearly 340 hp and 155 MPH on the Autobahn. Rev it hard and this thing pulls like a freight train. While the drawback of the B6 was always its questionable reliability and build quality, that motor, combined here with a six speed manual gearbox in a wagon bodystyle, might just be enough to make up for it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Audi S4 Avant on eBay

Feature Listing: 2007 Audi S4 Avant

Feature Listing: 2007 Audi S4 Avant

Our own Paul has recently spent a few posts outlining some gripes he has with the current Volkswagen/Audi lineup, and in all honesty I have to echo him. With the exceptions of the TT-RS and Golf R, VAG has really left our market wanting. For some time, it was the niche-ness of Audi that made it so appealing. Where else would you get a turbocharged, all-wheel drive manual wagon? Ironically, it’s most recently been rival BMW that has offered that package in the 535xi Touring as Audi has steadfastly removed the fast 5-doors from North America. Okay, we get the beautiful A7/S7/RS7 lineup, but they’re exceptionally tech-heavy and….well, just plain heavy, as well as being (like nearly all of the Audi lineup) automatic only. Now, if I’m honest some automatics aren’t that bad and I think even Paul admitted the most recent generation of BMW autos were pretty impressive. The same goes for recent turbo motors that manage to produce both stellar fuel economy and outrageous power (for how long, I’m tempted to wonder as I saw yet another 2.0T apart on a bench today). But the synergy of naturally aspriated mechanical noise, three pedal engagement and a weighted lever to mesh them together is something enthusiasts will always want. That combo, when coupled with the equally sought fast wagons from Audi, creates a legendary package that has really few equals and a presence second to none. Last offered in the B7 chassis, the raucous BBK-code 4.2 V8 coupled 11:1 compression with variable valve timing for a screaming 7,200 rpm redline and 340 horsepower. The numbers were close to the S54 in the E46 M3, but the delivery is completely different. While the M3 is a high-revving race feel, the Audi positively comes across like a freight train when you’re behind it.…

Wagons Ho! Super 5-door Roundup

Wagons Ho! Super 5-door Roundup

Perusing the classifieds for interesting wagons this week, I came across quite a few and thought it would be a good chance to look at some sporty 5-doors. To level the playing field slightly, all are automatics. While that may cause some of you to groan, they make up for a lack of manual with distinctive styling, plenty of power and rarity that will set you apart from the crowd. Which is the one you’d choose?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S6 on Portland Craigslist

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

Feature Listing: 2008 Audi S4 DTM Edition – REVISIT

Feature Listing: 2008 Audi S4 DTM Edition – REVISIT

If you were to walk into an Audi dealership and spec out a brand new S4, you’d find yourself $60,000 poorer. In fact, that hasn’t changed much over the past decade; the original price on the 2008 S4 shown here would have been pretty close to that amount by the time all the option boxes were ticked, too. However, while anyone can walk into a dealership today and be handed the keys to a new car, it’s not often that you get the opportunity to get into what is effectively a brand new previous generation car. But that’s exactly what we have here, and arguably the DTM S4 is the best of the normal production run. Presented in the signature Sprint Blue Pearl Effect, the DTM edition sported extra carbon fiber bits provided by quattro GmbH. The real treat, though, was underneath – the DTM edition received the same revised differential as the RS4, quite literally turning this car into more of a canyon carver than the earlier models were known to be. Shouty and fantastic, the combination of the high-revving sonorous V8, the 6-speed manual and all-wheel drive gives you the confidence to run this car much faster than legally anyone should. With only 20,000 miles covered and in near perfect condition, the opportunity to get into this package will never be so perfect again – the right color, drivetrain, and the special limited edition model at half the price of a new example makes this one special package indeed – and even comes with a warranty.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Audi S4 DTM Edition on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site May 4, 2015:

2007 Audi S4 Avant

2007 Audi S4 Avant

$_57
The S4 Avant has always seemed like the best of all worlds to me. While our household quiver of automobiles all serve fairly unique purposes – a truck for hauling and beating on, a van for camping and road trips, and the M5 for raucous fun. The longroof S4 can accomplish most of those things pretty well without taking up three parking spots. I’ve been in one that was beat up and used a construction company car, while a roofbox could make the rear sleepable and lord knows the 4.2L V8 can dispense some justice. This B7 model looks great in black and has just over 50k miles, meaning you’ll hopefully have some worry-free miles before you start wondering if you’re on the precipice of a maintenance nightmare.

Click for details: 2007 Audi S4 Avant

2006 Audi S4 Avant

2006 Audi S4 Avant

A few weeks back during our “Wagon Week” theme, I wrote up Audi’s last stand in the Avant market; a steadily decreasingly number of offerings in the 2000s. I looked at three nice versions of the Avant that were available in 2008. My unfortunate conclusion, though, was that none of them would be the car that I would want. The S4 Avant was certainly tempting, but the automatic wasn’t the transmission I’d want in there. However, change a few details and suddenly that B7 becomes much more appealing. Add some great option BBS CH wheels and a manual transmission along with a caring owner, and the B7 S4 was a package that really had no rivals. It looked as fast as it went and remains on the best all-weather people haulers made:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Audi S4 Avant on eBay