2003 Audi S8

2003 Audi S8

The Audi S8. Still, this car ranks as one of my favorite automotive designs from the company, from the 1990s and 2000s – heck, maybe even overall. While I’m not a huge sedan fan in general, there was just something so right about the proportions and presence of the D2 S8. Did it help that it was in a movie I also loved? Sure, without a doubt. But even without that aspect I think this car, and specifically the 2003 model year, are my favorite U.S. bound Audi.

I especially like the 2003 model year because of the limited Audi Exclusive package. Special colors and interiors were fit to the car, along with updated “RS” design wheels. Limited to only 100 copies each. my favorite for the past decade and a half has been the Avus Silver Pearl with Burgundy interior and I think I’ve pointed that out…well, more than a few times. However, at nearly 15 years old, these cars are far from new and we’re deep into a territory were plenty of neglected examples are coming to market. As a result, rather than just find one in the color you want, with the D2 S8 in today’s market condition and history needs to trump other considerations like location and color.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi S8 on eBay

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

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

Feature Listing: 1993 Audi S4

Feature Listing: 1993 Audi S4

Recently I was reminiscing while looking through old magazine photos and came across the Car and Driver comparison of the Mercedes-Benz 500E, the BMW M5, and the then new Audi S4. I still remember reading that article; the Audi placed last and seemed seriously outclassed in terms of horsepower, acceleration even curb appeal. If you wanted the race car dressed as a sedan, the M5 was the natural choice. If you wanted a muscle car with room for four executives, then the 500E couldn’t be beaten. And on paper, the S4 was really a poor comparison to those cars. C&D did point out that the Audi was technically more advanced than the other two; it was the only turbocharged one, and the all-wheel drive system was already legendary even in 1992. But people that opted to buy the S4 were doing so not for the technology, but for the capability of the understated Audi. Several generations of each model on, these are still the cars that many longingly remember as the height of their respective marque’s build quality and driver involvement – and certainly that’s the case for the Audi. While it was underpowered out of the box compared to its countrymen, the stout drivetrain and engine easily accepted higher levels of boost. It was the first Audi that really got aftermarket support – a group of enthusiasts who still boast that this is the best car that Audi ever made. The workhorses of the ski-set, few have led pampered lives and not many remain in good shape – making it a treat to find a clean one. Despite growing acknowledgement that this car was one of the great sport sedans, prices on even very clean examples of the C4 S4 remain much more affordable than the BMW and Mercedes-Benz competition today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Audi S4 on Craigslist.org

Audi S8 Roundup

Audi S8 Roundup

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?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S8 on quattroworld

2001 Audi S8

2001 Audi S8

I’ll admit that I probably have rose-colored glasses on when I look back at my V8 quattro ownership. I had enough issues with it that my wife refers to most catastrophic failures in life as “like your Audi V8” incidents. Sure, it tried to kill me a few times; but then, look at it. It’s a great looking car. And that was what kept me going as I dumped money into an example that I paid far too little for initially. Today, I find myself looking back and saying “Next time, spend a little more and get the right one”. This is something that really should extend to the rest of my car purchases, frankly – and when the opportunity to purchase a replacement Passat, I didn’t cheap out. I found a 1 owner, lower mile and fully maintained model, and I paid a premium for it. Could I have gotten one for less money with a more dubious history? Absolutely, but learn from my experiences – buying a budget Audi/Volkswagen product with the intentions of fixing it along the way as things break will certainly cost you as much as buying the nice model would have cost you. I continue to longingly look at D2 S8s with the same balance; pay for a lower mile, nice example with maintenance history versus the many that pop up for budget prices. One Ming Blue example just surfaced near me for $4,000 with the check engine light on; another for $2,500 with 200,000 miles with a blown transmission. I could get one of those, but it’s probably smarter to spend more than double that for an example with less question marks:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S8 on eBay

Avant-garde: 1995 Audi S6 Avant Roundup

Avant-garde: 1995 Audi S6 Avant Roundup

In the U.S., few Audi models have quite such a devoted following as the 1995 S6 Avant. Not many were imported, and those that were generally have been snapped up by enthusiasts and had miles piled on to them. Some have succumbed to accidents or been organ donors, leaving even fewer on the road 20 years later. However, we have 4 today available – amazingly all in different colors. Which would be the one you would choose? Let’s start with an Emerald Green Mica example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi S6 Avant on eBay

Tale of two Audis: 2000 A4 1.8T Quattro Avant and and 2000 A6 2.7T 6 Speed

Tale of two Audis:  2000 A4 1.8T Quattro Avant and and 2000 A6 2.7T 6 Speed

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We feature a fair amount of “S” versions of Audis, but there are some great options if you’re not looking for the flash or repair bills of the bigger brother models. In some cases, I really think these models will be collectable or at very least sought after in the future. They’re also a stark reminder of what we’ve lost in the past decade, because in their own way each of these cars has been discontinued in the United States by Audi. Today we’ll look at the last of the manual A6s, a C5 2.7T A6 Quattro 6 speed and a reminder to when Audi imported small wagons with a B5 1.8T Quattro Avant 5 speed. They’re also stellar deals below $6,000. Let’s start with the 6 speed sedan:

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Year: 2000
Model: A6 2.7T Quattro
Engine: 2.7 liter twin-turbocharged V6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 128,500 mi
Price: $ 4,994 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Audi A6 2.7T Quattro 6 speed on eBay

2000 AUDI A6 QUATTRO! 2.7T, AWD, 6 SPEED, MANUAL, SPORT, MUST SEE!

This car strikes me as a great deal and fairly undervalued. At $5,000, this is a lot of car, effectively a S4 in a more dignified suit. The 6 speed manual A6s are a joy to drive and really the last of the breed, as the manual option was completely discontinued in the U.S. after this model. With nearly 130,000 miles I’d expect some repairs in the future, but even given a healthy repair budget this car still is a lot of value for the money. $5,000 would get you into an S4, but that car would likely have close to 200,000 or more miles and throws a very different vibe than the A6. As I said in previous posts, this car is really the spiritual successor to the much-loved C4 S4/S6 and deserves more respect than the market gives it.…