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?
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:
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?
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?
Audi S4 Avants have a semi-mythological status amongst enthusiasts. Like the great Greek Titans, they were heroic, with greater than man attributes. However, as with the Greek Gods, they’re also inherently flawed, doomed to repeat the same failures over and over again. I can’t help but look at the S4 Avant and think it’s like Prometheus; a gift to inspire humanity, but one that you’ll pay for every day. Recently, a close family member bought a 2004 S4 Avant 6-speed – there will be an article coming on it soon. I was lucky enough to spend a few days behind the wheel; it had been a few years since I was able to drive a 6-speed V8 S4, and I had some interesting perspective. The previous opportunity I had was on track in a then-new 2004 6-speed sedan at Watkins Glen – the car felt heavy but capable, shifted nicely, had barely adequate brakes and was a freight train from hell on the straights. Fast forward a decade, and what does a used one feel like? Well, my instant thought was that it felt surprisingly like my old ’93 V8 quattro had; heavy and surprisingly slow to react to throttle inputs. The shifter felt clunky compared to my Passat, and the interior was positively claustrophobic compared to…well, even an A3, which itself feels far too small inside for it’s exterior size. There’s an immediate feeling of weight and girth that isn’t as noticeable in the B5/5.5 chassis. The dashboard isn’t as intuitive as it should be, visibility is remarkably poor, and for a 340 horsepower V8, below 5,000 RPMs it feels surprisingly slow. But then you get it moving, and on the fly it starts to make much more sense. Over bumps at speed that weight works to its advantage, smoothing out the ride and providing reassuring confidence that it’s planted.…
As I’ve talked about many times, the Audi/Volkswagen crowd is one of the most unique in the automotive enthusiast world. The home of polarizing taste, there are both VAG enthusiasts who do a great job modifying their cars and those who ruin them in the pursuit of the being unique. Today we seemingly have one of each; a questionably modified 2001 S4 and a slick looking 2003 S8. Which would be the ride you’d choose? Let’s start with the S4:
Last week’s 10K Friday BMW 540 faceoff generated a lot of interest in a single-model showdown with a twist, so I thought another V8 6-speed showdown would make some of you happy. In honor of 4WD week, this particular 10K Friday is going to feature one of our favorite sports sedans, the Audi S4. Available most recently only in sedan version, the S4 in previous generations was available in convertible and wagon form as well. While it’s difficult to find the wagons (and even the convertibles) under $10,000, today I managed to find two 6-speed S4 V8s ready to rumble. Which would you choose? Let’s start with the sedan:
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 91,500 mi
Price: $10,750 Buy It Now
Selling my 2004 Audi S4 6spd manual with 91,500 miles on it. Exterior color is silver with black leather interior. Navigation, power seats, power everything, etc. Car is immaculate. 35% window tints all around. Stasis 19″ rims with new tires in July. Blacked out front grille. Milltek full catback resonated exhaust. Recent service done, new alternator, new right control arms, brakes, suspension, clutch, all checked. Interior is flawless with no rips or tears. Only selling for lack of use in the city. Car has been garaged up until this year. SERIOUS BUYERS ONLY. Roof racks will be included with right price. Throw me an offer for consideration.
In popular silver over black, this car has some things going for it. While I’m not a huge fan of the VMR wheel look I know many are, and this car has some expensive Stasis 19″ wheels on it with newer tires. Additionally there’s the great-sounding Milltek exhaust and some maintenance to both the motor and suspension.…
‘Tis the season for Nog of the Egg variety, but I’m a much bigger fan of the Nogaro kind myself – and I expect most of you are, too. Fast Audis switched to signature blue with the RS2 and “RS Blue” hue – continued with the S6 plus until it switched to the nearly identical Nogaro Blue seen here on the B5 chassis. Like Porsche’s Guards Red or Mercedes’ Silver Arrows, the blue Audis have defined several generations of the top performance. Today’s S4 Avant is one of the best packages Nogaro appeared on, in my opinion. The throaty V8, chiseled looks, wagon utility and sporty 6 speed drive rank high amongst the best packaged Audis ever:
Model: S4 Avant
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 97,200 mi
Price: $16,300 Buy It Now
2004 Audi S4 Avant Quattro
6-speed, 97k miles, Pristine condition
I’m an Audi fan. This was my 3rd S4 (2 B5 sedans) and it has been replaced by a 2010 B8 S4 sedan. It’s my 9th audi. This was my daily driver from Jan 2012 until about 2months ago. I bought the car with 79k miles on it from a friend. He had purchased the car to convert to an RS4 replica (widebody panels, rs4 engine, etc) but decided against the project. He drove the car about 2kmiles over the year or so he owned it. The car was garaged when he owned it. The car has always been garaged (both day and night) since I’ve owned it.
The car had a fender resprayed due to a minor accident (previous to my friend owning it). The paint repair looks good (see pictures below). Repair was done Jan/2006.
I’m wondering if I’d rather have a higher mile B5 in my favorite color, or a lower mile B6 as prices continue to sag slightly on the later V8 cars. Despite the slight drop off in these cars’ prices, the Nogaro Blue B6s still seem to carry a premium as do Avant versions – put them together, and you have the pricest of the B6 chassis cars on the market. Today’s example is no exception, with a strong $16,000 asking price on a claimed 1 of 1 2004 Nogaro/Nogaro S4 Avant:
Model: S4 Avant
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 109,375 mi
Price: $15,875 Buy It Now
2004 AUDI S4 S-4 SPORT AVANT WAGON B6 NOGARO BLUE QUATTRO ULTRA RARE 1 OF 1! WOW
In the questions of the car, the seller is asked about the 1 of 1 claim, which they insist is verified by Audi of America. I’m assuming the 1 of 1 means it’s the only Nogaro Blue with Nogaro Blue interior tiptronic equipped avant sold in the U.S. in 2004. Does that make it worth a premium? Well, last week’s S4 faceoff seemed to indicate that most of you don’t want the automatic. As I stated in the write up though, these tiptronic cars aren’t a bad drive at all and retain most of the fun of the S4 while making a stop and go commute a little easier on the leg muscles.
For relatively top dollar, I’d really want to see a rich service history – were this a $10,000 example, I’d be willing to overlook some flaws but not at top dollar. The exhaust and “K&N” sticker on the intake lead me to believe it was probably owned by an enthusiast, though that isn’t necessarily an indication that it was properly maintained or treated well.…