When it comes to sporty wagons in the mid 2000s, your only options were really Audis and BMWs, right? Well, wrong â€“ because Volkswagen dropped one pretty hot sleeper on our shores before elimination of the Passat wagon from the lineup. Granted, Volkswagenâ€™s hottest entrant into the sport wagon market â€“ the R36 â€“ wouldnâ€™t come here, but the normal 3.6 4Motion was darn close. With 280 horsepower on tap from the enlarged narrow-angle VR6 channeled through all four wheels, the unassuming Passat was the second most powerful wagon offered on these shores from VAG. Unless you spent another 50% to opt for the Audi S4 V8, this was as quick as US-bound German wagons got. Unlike the B5/5.5, the B6 chassis returned to the Golf-based platform as with the B3/4, which was both a blessing and a curse. From a performance standpoint the change was a good one, as many of the items intended for the R32 model worked on the Passat now. However, the change to transverse engine placement from the inline Audi setup in the B5/5.5 meant that the â€œtrueâ€ quattro drivetrain in the earlier 4Motions was replaced by the Haldex setup found in the R32 and Audi TT. Is this the end of the world? No, not really, and in fact because of this change you can opt to alter the power distribution with aftermarket control units. These 3.6 models were expensive and fully loaded, so theyâ€™re somewhat infrequently seen and generally unknown and unappreciated even in the German-specific realm:
Month: April 2021
The E39 540i will probably go down as one of the great from the company; combining good looks, potent performance, a luxurious cabin, and acceptable – but not too advanced – technology into a clean package. Dynamically, they’re great to drive, they make really good noises, and yet they still manage to fly under the radar more than an M5 does. They’re certainly one of the few have-your-cake-type cars out there. And despite being all of these things, they generally manage to be a lot cheaper than you might expect for a decent example; that is, outside of the 2003 M-Sport models. However, if you’re willing to step back just a year and get ever so slightly less M DNA in your E39, you can still find good examples of the breed for reasonable rates. Today I ran across a very nice 2002 to consider:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 BMW 540i Sport on eBay
Fresh off last week’s 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL, I happen to run across another European-market example, although this one is already in this US. This is a 1985 380SEL that marked the final year for the 3.8L V8 before switching over the 4.2L V8 in the 420SEL. These are generally forgotten in the W126 world as if you are going to buy one, a diesel or the 560 are the best bang for your buck. So why look at a lowly 380SEL then? How does 2,900 miles since new sound? Well, how does it look is more like it.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 380SEL on eBay
For the past 20 years or so, Porsche hasn’t been shy about the special editions. Most of the time they pick the non-911s as it is easier to be a little be creative with the models. This special edition, the 2008 Boxster RS60 Spyder, was made to commemorate their victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1960. The car used there was the Porsche 718 RS Spyder, which is suppose is an ancestor of the current Boxster, or at least Porsche wants you to imagine that. Just 1,960 units were made in a unique GT Silver Metallic exterior over a Carrera Red interior that was intended to match the look of the 718 RS Spyder itself. There was some other special trim as well as a sport exhaust, which raised output to 303 horsepower. Values have been surprisingly strong believe or not, and they don’t seem to be getting any cheaper. Worth it?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Porsche Boxster RS60 Spyder on eBay
I’ve previously expressed that the RS2 wasn’t really my dream car. The fact that a certain YouTube star grabbed one didn’t really boost its image in my mind. The model certainly hold a lot of appeal, it’s true, and when presented in signature RS Blue as we see here, it’s pretty awesome. But is it the car I’d want for $66,000? Well, before you answer, read a bit more….