Right Hooker Week: 2000 Audi RS4 Avant

Right Hooker Week: 2000 Audi RS4 Avant

While the C6 RS6 Avant and B7 RS4 Avant have been nice to dream about, the reality is that both are pretty unlikely in the near future to be making the trip ‘across the pond’ anytime soon. So let’s consider something which both could, and might.

The B5 RS4 was a legend right when it launched, but for some reason it seems overlooked in the marketplace today. Not as exotic as the RS2, nor as fast as the newer crew of turbocharged Audis, the B5 generation somehow feels lost. It doesn’t help that it was insanely popular to mimic the model’s gaping grills and signature widened flares here, nor that the RS4 engine upgrades are fairly common among enthusiasts. But when you see a real RS4, it’s easy to see why this car was so highly regarded at the time.

First, it’s a very sharp looking car. Nogaro Blue was the defining color for fast Audis in this period, but boy does Imola Yellow stand out. The stance, wheels, flares and bumper covers along with more pronounced exhaust all pull together to make the RS4 feel much more special than a normal S4 Avant. And with 375 horsepower on tap from the Cosworth-developed version of the 2.7 liter twin-turbo V6, it’s not exactly like the B5 RS4 was pokey. In fact, the power-to-weight and performance is nearly identical to the later B7 RS4.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Audi RS4 Avant on eBay.co.uk

2008 Audi RS4 Cabriolet

2008 Audi RS4 Cabriolet

On its way out of production, Audi graced the ageing B7 with one last parting piece of performance. The RS4 Cabriolet was announced in late 2007 as a 2008-only model and ripped the top of of Ingolstadt’s signature small super sedan. Like the rest of the A4 Cabriolet production, it was soft-top only, 2-door only configuration, and like the RS4, it was 6-speed manual only. Under the hood lay the same BNS 4.2 32 valve V8; Audi dropped the 5 valve technology for the RS4 application, but gained quite a bit of horsepower in the process. Though the engine shared basic construction with the normal S4 V8, it had a unique crankshaft, connecting rods and pistons, cylinder heads and valvetrain, oil and cooling system, intake and exhaust system, and engine management system. Audi also introduced their Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) system. The result was 420 high-revving horsepower and enough noise to make Pavarotti jealous.

Although the RS4 Cabriolet shared the revised T3 Torsen setup, Dynamic Ride Control and huge 14″ front brakes as the sedan, Audi’s focus for the model was exclusivity rather than sport. The model was fully loaded with only one option – color – and came to market at a substantial $15,000 premium over the 4-door. Only 300 were sold with a sticker price of about $84,500:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Audi RS4 Cabriolet on eBay

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

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.…

2003 Volkswagen GTi 20th Anniversary Edition

2003 Volkswagen GTi 20th Anniversary Edition

Volkswagen’s special editions on the fourth generation Golf were confusing for a bit. Once again in 2001, a neat GTi was launched that – of course – wasn’t coming to the United States. But of all of the special editions that weren’t sold here, perhaps this one made the most sense to be excluded. It was called the 25th Anniversary Edition and you didn’t need to be good at math to realize that there was no GTi sold here 25 years before 2001. Since the “18 year Anniversary Edition” didn’t make much sense from a marketing perspective even in spite of Volkswagen’s continual spotty judgement in that regard, it was no surprise that it wasn’t offered. That was too bad, as it had a lowered suspension, better brakes, a bit more power, fantastic Recaro seats and the best looking BBS wheels fit to any Volkswagen, ever. Volkswagen enthusiasts in America drool inwardly and shouted openly, so in 2002 Volkswagen finally did bring the special edition here. Again, since “19th Anniversary” didn’t make any sense, we instead got the “337” Edition. This was, for all intents and purposes, an exact copy of the 25th Anniversary model, but instead the 337 referenced the internal project code for the original GTi. But they were quite limited, with only 1,250 sold in the U.S. and 250 sold in Canada. So, you probably missed out on your chance to own one, right? Well, wrong, because in 2003 Volkswagen re-released the 337 edition. Conveniently, there was now a round number that they could actually commemorate the GTi’s longevity with as it had been 20 years since the A1 GTi rolled out of Westmoreland. Again, it was a greatest hits edition of the GTi; the 337 upgraded 12.3 inch vented brakes with go-faster red calipers carried over, as did the upgraded suspension.…

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

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.…

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

10K Friday Colorful Carriers: Vibrant Wagon-off

10K Friday Colorful Carriers: Vibrant Wagon-off

Did someone say fast 5-doors? Amen! The bells on the Church of the Heavenly 5 Doors are ringing this Friday, and I’ve rounded up a unique quartet of very fast and very colorful wagons to consider, each around or below $10,000. We’ve got 5 turbos, 25 cylinders and 1,200 horsepower worth of people carriers here – which is the winner for you?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S4 Avant on Denver Craigslist

Future Classic: 2002 Audi TT quattro 225

Future Classic: 2002 Audi TT quattro 225

Without going any farther into detail, I’m aware that the title alone will leave several of you disagreeing with me. Perhaps everyone will. But at the very least, in my mind I really think that the first generation Audi TT is a future classic. It’s hard to look back at the 8N Volkswagen Golf-based with complete objectivity, but if you go all the way back to when this car was first designed – 1994 – you can start to see why there’s an important legacy to the Audi TT. In many ways, it revolutionized Audi’s lineup. There was simply nothing like it before; even the much-loved Quattro was really a carefully re-crafted sedan. But the TT looked bespoke with a slinky body hiding the rather pedestrian underpinnings. Then there was the all-wheel drive system, which introduced the first Haldex all-wheel drive to U.S. customers. Truth told it was mostly front drive and these TTs don’t have the best driving experience that an Audi has ever provided, which I’m sure some detractors will immediately point towards since Audis in general aren’t known as supreme driver’s cars. But to me, the A8, A4 and TT all worked together to save Audi for us here in North America. They created a buzz about the company; for the first time since 1980, they were once again on the cutting edge of German design and desirability and they haven’t looked back since. They made a lot of these TTs so there are plenty to choose from, but this one really stood out to me:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi TT quattro 225

Tuner Tuesday: 2001.5 Audi S4 Avant – REVISIT

Tuner Tuesday: 2001.5 Audi S4 Avant – REVISIT

$_57

The 2001.5 Audi S4 Avant I wrote up a few weeks back as part of Tuner Tuesday has now popped up on Ebay. The reserve is on, but we’ve heard from people who have seen this car in person saying this car will not disappoint. This is a fairly rare to see color combination on these S4 Avants and the condition and modifications seem to justify the pricing before; I expect the reserve is set close to the original ask of $17,500.

The below post originally appeared on our site May 27, 2014:

Click for more details: 2001.5 Audi S4 Avant on eBay

Tuner Tuesday Self-Service Special : 2001.5 Audi S4 Avant

Tuner Tuesday Self-Service Special : 2001.5 Audi S4 Avant

Okay, I got the memo. You didn’t like earlier’s Tuner S4. And while I think it’s pretty silly to discount the car completely because of some fairly easily changeable interior pieces, I also had issue with the car as honestly I’d prefer an Avant if I was going the S4 route. What’s a guy to do? Well, lucky for us there’s an equally awesome, equally Imola Avant in our Self Service Classifieds:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001.5 Audi S4 Avant on German Cars For Sale Blog Self-Service Classifieds

Tuner Tuesday: 2000 Audi S4

Tuner Tuesday: 2000 Audi S4

When they were first released, I personally thought that the B5 S4 was a bit disappointing. After all, it was basically only producing a few more horsepower than the revered outgoing turbocharged inline-5 had produced, and indeed produced less power than the S6+ and S6 V8 models produced. Like the E36 M3, the styling was conservative and understated but handsome, but the performance was also on par with the M3 which had just gone out of production. It really seemed like Audi was behind a few steps. Since then, the appeal of the B5 to me has increased a bit; as a package capable of both driving all year and turning some incredible numbers on the dyno there are few that can match it. My view started to change when I got a ride in an Imola Yellow S4 Avant that was built to RS4 specs – on the front straight at Lime Rock Park, the car easily accelerated from 80 to 120mph before the start/finish line. The acceleration was brutal and instant; not what you’d expect from a heavy turbocharged car – and a reminder of how much the Audi engineers left in that motor. It’s further interesting to me that after abandoning turbocharging in favor of naturally aspirated V8s, Audi and other manufacturers have been forced to reevaluate and include forced induction in their performance models. Today, you can get a very nice example of a B5 S4 for under $10,000 – but if you want one that’s a turn-key bullet, you’ll have to shell out a bit more for one like today’s lower mile Imola Yellow S4 sedan:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Audi S4 on eBay

10K Friday: 1994 Audi S4 v. 2000 Audi S4

10K Friday: 1994 Audi S4 v. 2000 Audi S4

Okay, so this isn’t the first time I’ve written up a S4 face-off, but it’s an interesting question to me. That’s because right now, clean examples of the C4 S4 are on their way up, while prices of the B5 S4 have come down and stabilized at levels that seem to be very reasonable. Compared to their equivelants from both Mercedes-Benz and BMW, both are priced very reasonably and you get a lot of performance value for your money. You also get all-wheel drive capability, a luxurious and quiet highway cruiser, a car capable of carrying 4 adults, and both a near limitless tuning potential; both are certainly capable of 600 to 1,000 horsepower, if you’re willing to foot the bills. So which would you rather have? The two in question today are quite different; a turned up C4 S4 versus a 1 owner, all original B5 – let’s start with the C4:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Audi S4 on Craigslist