All posts tagged Supercharged

Tuner Tuesday: 2006 Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR Renntech R1

The supercar market has always been a bit perplexing to me; get past the glam and the glitz of these showstopping performance machines, and they generally are seldom used toys that depreciate quickly. You don’t hear about someone having saved money their entire life and walking down to a McLaren dealership to buy a P1, for example. That means once they’re no longer grabbing headlines, the well-heeled owners move on to the newest, biggest and best thing to impress their friends. Back up a decade and there was a massive showdown in 2003 between the Porsche Carrera GT and the Mercedes-Benz McLaren. With nearly equal power output, price and performance, one would have presumed that in today’s market they’d share equal value. Both were and are very special cars, and similar production numbers made it to the United States. But today a good Carrera GT will set you back half a million dollars, while you can grab the McLaren for less than $200,000 today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR Renntech R1 on eBay

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2010 Audi S4

The Audi S4, now in its 6th iteration, has been a perennial performance favorite of those who like the understated looks coupled with all-weather performance. And since the original, the S4 has offered a unique tuning platform; while the B6 and B7 were difficult to extract extra performance out of, the other generations have offered forced induction out of the box that allows for generous tuning potential for a real sleeper supercar slayer. 1,000 horsepower isn’t unheard of out of the legendary inline-5, but power numbers exceeding 400 seem to be almost commonplace for the C4 and B5 S4s. So when Audi launched the supercharged V6 model in 2009, the return to a smaller displacement forced induction powerplant immediately had me thinking that it wouldn’t be long until tuned versions appeared. The trick in buying a S4, though, is and always has been managing to find an unmodified one that is well cared for but also affordable. After all, for under $10,000 you can run out and grab any one of the first three generations – however, the less you spend up front, the more likely you’ll be dishing out of pocket in the future it seems. But as we get towards the newer generation of B8 you can get a car that is still quite new for a substantial discount over the original purchase price without (generally) the fears of abuse, neglect and immediate repairs that need to be undertaken. Compare this 2010 B8 S4 to a brand new 2015 model, and you’ll notice slight changes with the facelift; more attractive lights and some other minor changes, for example. However, with only 55,000 maintained miles on the clock, if you can get past the un-refreshed looks of the early B8 you’ve got a car that is nearly identical to new ones at the dealer but is only about 50% of the price:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2010 Audi S4 on eBay

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1998 BMW 540i Dinan

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Tavarish’s recent Jalopnik post regarding the performance bargain available in the E39 540i solidified many of my car-brain’s transient thoughts. The 540i is a serious looker, with the E39’s grace and nearly all of the M5’s aggression. They are plentiful around the interwebs, but this example caught my eye with a host of Dinan upgrades, low mileage, and a 6-speed transmission. The Dinan supercharger pushes power slightly above the S62’s with plenty of drivetrain and chassis modifications to keep up. It may not quite trigger that special ///M response, but it will get you 99% of the way there while costing half of what a similar M5 would. At just over $10k, you’ll be hard pressed to find more performance per dollar, let alone in a car that looks this good.

Click for details: 1998 BMW 540i Dinan on Craigslist SF Bay Area

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To Force or Not To Force 2: 1993 968 Coupe and 1992 968 Cabriolet Supercharged

In my post from earlier today, I looked at the dilemma in my fictional enthusiast life; the Porsche 944 Turbo versus the 944S2. To throw a monkey wrench into that theoretical debate, there is of course the car that replaced the 944S2 – the 968. With updated styling, the addition of the Variocam variable valve timing and a 6th gear, the 968 is arguably one of the best front-engined water-cooled Porsches. Now with better fuel economy, modernized looks and 236 horsepower, it was really a match for the 944 Turbo. However, as I’ve covered before, most of the competition left it behind; in the marketplace, the 4 cylinder Porsche not only squared up against the V8 Corvette, but the refined trio of Japanese turbocharged cars in the RX-7, 300ZX Twin-turbo and Supra Turbo. If you just wanted performance, it was hard to argue that your money was best spent on the 968. However, a few decades on, the 968 is really starting to come into its own as a potential collector and is widely recognized as a great driver with classic Porsche attributes. Today, I have an interesting pair; a cheap 6-speed coupe and a supercharged cabriolet. Which would you choose?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Porsche 968 on eBay

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Fast Friday: Audi S4 6-speed manual duo

The meteorologists are predicting a harsh winter for us here on the east coast of the US. But just because the white stuff is coming doesn’t mean you have to give up driving fun for a few months out of the year. Audi is known for being masters at combining all-weather capability with performance with the aid of their quattro four-wheel drive system. For over two decades now, the “S” badge has represented an even higher degree of performance. One of the most popular models has been the S4, first starting out as a high performance version of the 100/A6 model and later transitioning over to the A4 model.

To close out your work week, we’ll take a look at two S4s sedans equipped with 6-speed manual gearboxes, starting with this 2001 S4 in stunning Nogaro Blue for sale in Massachusetts.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S4 on eBay

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