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2021 Audi RS5 Sportback Ascari Launch Edition

Whew, that’s a mouthful of a headline! And while I was familiar with the RS5 and the Sportback variant, I wasn’t immediately familiar with this special model. What is it? Well, for $20,500 on top of your RS5’s base price, the Ascari Launch Edition added 20″ forged wheels, Ascari Blue Metallic paint from Audi Exclusive, matte aluminum-optic trim, blue calipers for the ceramic front brakes, an RS Sport exhaust, RS Sport suspension, matte carbon inlays, Dynamic Steering, a carbon-fiber engine cover, adaptive cruise control, parking assistance, a head-up display, an Alcantara-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel, and a 174-mph top speed. Only 100 were made, and while it’s an expensive package, it sure offered a lot of kit. Of course, it also came with the RS5’s standard 444 horsepower linked exclusively with an 8-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. As fast four-doors go, it’s a quick one.

2021 Audi RS5 Sportback Ascari Launch Edition on eBay:


1984 Volkswagen Atlantic GLS Coupe

The…what? Clearly that’s a Jetta, right? Well, you’re both right and wrong at the same time. The Jetta was marketed as several different names across the globe, including Bora and Vento in Europe. In Mexico, though, the first generation was known as the Atlantic, and here today we have one of those that has relocated to the US. While it looks pretty racey on the BBS wheels with the lowered stance, you’ll not find many other go-faster bits on it. Still, if you want to cause some head scratches at the next VW meet…

1984 Volkswagen Atlantic GLS Coupe on eBay:

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2001 BMW M5 Individual Velvet Blue Metallic

Back at the end of 2023 I took a look at a stellar Oxford Green Metallic E39 M5. A stunning color combination, it also rang in with just 30,000 miles and an $80k price tag. Ouch! Today’s car is equally impressive as it was ordered through BMW Individual in Velvet Blue Metallic. Wow! If you were curious, just 58 out of the total 20,482 E39 M5 produced were ordered in this shade. 39 of them were left-hand drive, and it’s claimed to be one of only three in the US in this shade.

2001 BMW M5 on Craigslist

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Supercharged 3.2 VR6’d 2001 Audi S3

What is the price of obscurity?

Here we have a 2001 Audi S3. While the S3 has been a relatively recent addition to the US Audi lineup to bolster affordable performance options and compete against Merc’s CLA and BMW’s 2-series, the model has a long history that dates back to the nomenclature change for Audi. The first A3 was launched alongside the then-new A4, and while the visual similarities were strong, the two models shared little. That’s because the A3 was based heavily on the Mk.4 Golf platform with transverse mounted engines. Just like the original Audi 50, though, the A3’s arrival predated the Mk.4 Golf by a year.

As I’ve already covered in previous articles, while the U.S. had to wait until the 2004 launch of the Golf R32 to get all-wheel drive performance, Europe had enjoyed Golfs with four wheels driven since 1986. So it was a relative cinch to stick the Haldex-based all-wheel drive system into the A3 chassis where, like the TT, it would be called “quattro”. And just like the TT, a high performance variant of the 1.8T would be included and become the S3 in 1999.

Again, some of the styling cues were shared with the big-brother S4, including 17? Avus wheels and deeper, smooth bumper covers. The S3 was the first model to utilize the ‘door blades’ that would become signature S bits soon after. Performance was about what you’d expect from a near twin of the TT – meaning, virtually identical. But what you did get was slightly more subtle styling and slightly more practicality, with a bit more storage space and a roomier cabin. Despite the relatively negligible gains, because the 8L S3 never came here, they’re a bit of a hot commodity when they do arrive. This particular example is not only in the US, but it’s now powered by an R32-sourced 3.2 VR6.

2001 Audi S3 on eBay

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