Turned-up Titanium: 2008 Audi A4 2.0T quattro S-Line Titanium Package

If you walked in to your Audi dealer a little under a decade ago, an A4 sedan started at $31,000. That sounds like a lot, but consider for a moment that all these years later, the base price is still under $35,000. Click the S-Line package on your order form, as many did, and you snuck an extra $2,000 out of your bank account. That got you a black-only leather interior, the 1BE sport suspension, brushed aluminum trim, a S-Line 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel, 18-Inch 5-Arm quattro GmbH Wheels with 235/40 All-Season Tires, S-Line door entry plates, and aluminum optic pedals. Considering what Porsche charges you just to take a radio out of a car, that’s not a bad deal, all in all. You then had the option to click the special package on the special package: the Titanium Package. This gave you the special Ronal-made 15 spoke quattro GmbH wheels in 18″, blacked out trim inside and out, and a black headliner. That would have cost you only $500 more, but the residual value of this package would have made it quite a good investment, indeed. With perhaps the best looking aesthetic of any A4 produced yet, the Titanium cars have taken on a life of their own, often asking near double what an equivalent S-Line would come to market for. That’s especially true of manuals, and the market really loves the look of Ibis White. Ticking all of these boxes plus a few more, let’s see if this particular example is worth the hefty premium:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Audi A4 2.0T quattro S-Line Titanium Package on eBay

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Papayabrid: 2013 Audi Q5 Hybrid Exclusive

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to – The Outer Limits.

Alright, after a bit of a lengthy admission that we can’t cover all German cars or even all that we’re interested in, I’m going to present you with something a little different. SUVs scarcely come across these pages despite their popularity, but then hybrids also don’t usually make it on to the GCFSB search criteria. So by a “little different”, I mean a lot. A lot of weight, for starters, as this Q5 hybrid tips the scales with no passengers at a hefty 4,400 lbs. A lot of technology? Undoubtedly, the Ingolstadt engineers packed this car full of every gadget at their disposal, and then had at the engine to couple it with an electronic hybrid assist. A lot of color? That too, as the buyer of this Q5 hybrid took it to the next level and let Audi Exclusive paint it the interesting shade of Papaya Orange. That’s sure a lot of a lot to take in….

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2013 Audi Q5 Hybrid Exclusive on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: 2007 Volkswagen GTi

There are some (quite a large number, in fact) who claim you can’t have fun on a race track in a front wheel drive car. I know quite a few of them. And in the wrong front driver, they’re likely right. Take a 1976 Cadillac Eldorado with its 8.2 liter V8 channeled through one front tire at any time and enough body roll to mimic a rowboat during Katrina and the recipe might be humorous, but doubtfully fun. However, 1976 also saw the introduction of a revolution in front drive platforms – the very first Golf GTi. Consider, for a moment, that GM’s replacement in 1977 for the thirsty 8.2 V8 was a every-so-slightly less thirsty 7.0 liter V8 (it was, after all, fuel crisis time….). That cast iron monster produced a heady 180 horsepower. Volkswagen engineers took a inline-4 with only 1.6 liters and twisted 110 horsepower out of it in a car that weighed about the same as the motor in the Cadillac. That was the magic of the GTi and it’s why it started the trend of hot front wheel drive cars that still is running arguably stronger than ever today. With clever transmissions, electronics and differentials, perceived weaknesses in the design have been nearly eliminated and most of the really trick nose FWD cars are as quick – if not quicker in some cases – than their rear-drive counterparts around a track. Therefore racing FWD cars is still a popular past time as today’s quite successful GTi is a testament to:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Volkswagen GTi on Racer Connect

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Tuner Tuesday Forbidden Fruit: 2012 Audi RS3 Sportec RS550 and 2013 Audi A1 MTM

I’ve been taking a look overseas over the past few days at a few older treats that never came here, so today we’ll look at a few newer Audi products that also were prohibited from U.S. shores. One of the biggest disappointments for many four ring enthusiasts was that the 8P RS3 model wasn’t imported here. Basically a 5-door TT-RS, it was a Golf R on even more steroids – but today’s example upped the power a full 200 more than stock to 550. Similarly, I have one of the 333 8X A1 quattro MTM models produced a few years ago, and while it doesn’t share the monster performance of the RS3 it’s sure an appealing package. Which would you love to have here on this Tuner Tuesday?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Audi RS3 Sportec RS550 on Classic Driver

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Avant Time: 2004 A4 1.8T quattro Avant v. 2008 A4 2.0T quattro Avant S-Line Titanium

The Audi A4 Avant needs no introduction on these pages; an enthusiast favorite especially for those with families, the small wagon is a sharp looking, sporty package with plenty of practicality. Though not as numerous as the European market, there are plenty of configurations older models could be specified in too – from torquey and smooth 2.8 through 3.2 V6 models, to the whoosh-wonderful turbocharged 1.8T and 2.0T variants, there was also always the monster V6 twin turbo or V8 S4. Today we’re looking at two of the smallest engines, but that doesn’t make them less desirable. Indeed, for some Avant enthusiasts, the second of this duo – the S-Line Titanium package – might just be the best overall package Audi offered here. How does it compare to its father?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Audi A4 1.8T quattro Avant on Hartford Craigslist

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10K Friday: 2008 Volkswagen GTi

Normally, the 10K Friday posts that I’ve done have been comparos of multiple different cars that are usually a stretch of the budget. Each one has highlights such as being more desirable, better looking, more functional or luxurious, or faster. But today I’m going to do something a little different – a comparo of only one car. That’s because the GTi is one of the best all-arounders ever made and I think we do our readership a disservice by not looking at the newer models more often. By the time that Volkswagen got to the Mk.4 chassis, many automotive journalists and enthusiasts alike began to dismiss the GTi as fat, tired and played out. Quality was poor, pricing was really high, and performance relative to some other models wasn’t as impressive as it once had been. The GTi was, in many ways, a victim of its own success. Every subsequent generation was compared to the original, a car which had such a mystique that it was effectively impossible to match. Mk.2 models had the stellar 2.0 16V and great looks; Mk.3 models sprouted the wonderful VR6. The Mk.4 models introduced turbocharging, more luxury and much improved interior quality, all-wheel drive, 6-speed transmissions and more technology than was probably recommendable. And while the Mk.4 was a success from a sales standpoint, the GTi was still a fringe car that was arguably too expensive for what you got.

Volkswagen took a huge step forward, though, when it progressed to the new Mk.5 chassis. Unlike the previous generations that had mostly been enjoyed strictly by the Volkswagen faithful, suddenly journalists were talking about how great the new GTi was. Interior quality was leagues better than it ever had been, with a slick design and high quality materials. The new 2.0T motor was great too – with more power than even some versions of the VR6 had previously offered. Weight was up by dynamically the new GTi was a better driver than it had been. It was a return to greatness, and instantly the new GTi was a popular choice for the performance minded practical enthusiast. Because of the success, there are many available in the market today that are coming down to a quite reasonable level:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Volkswagen GTi on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: 2009 Volkswagen GTi

To call the TireRack sponsored “One Lap of America” anything other than a grueling competition would be a disservice to the event. On par with some of the greatest endurance races in the world, the 7-day, 3,200 mile trek around the United States has an added twist – you have to drive your race car between stages. Now, that’s something that occurs in the World Rally Championship – but they cover far fewer miles and have pro teams, pit crews and major automotive manufacturers backing them up. To say that the One Lap is a amateur-only event would also be misleading, but it is far from a strictly professional series – and where else would you see a Honda Odyssey win at anything? Combining several different classes of cars, you get the spectrum from classic performance muscle cars through modern super GTs. The winner of class “SSGT2 SB” in 2014 was a Volkswagen GTi – one of a trio of cars prepared to dominate the event. When you consider that the cars that ranked above them were super GT royalty – Corvette ZR-1s, Viper SRT-10s, Boss 302s and a plethora of Nissan GT-Rs – the level of performance from the GTis is drawn into perspective. Now the builders are moving on, leaving these seriously potent track weapons available at a fraction of their build cost:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 Volkswagen GTi on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 2008 Audi A4 2.0T quattro Avant S-Line STaSIS Touring Package

I’ve got to admit that I have a pretty big soft spot in my heart for the B7 Avant, and without a doubt my favorite is the one with one of the longest names Audi ever blessed a car with – the A4 2.0T quattro Avant S-Line Titanium Package. It’s not quite as bad as some of the recent BMW number/letter/word designations (I’m looking at you, X5 xDrive35d M Sport) but it’s pretty ridiculously long. Luckily, to make up for that, it is ridiculously good looking too, as well as capable and tunable. In fact, I’d wager that the 2.0T is long-term a much better ownership proposition and practically as fast when compared to the S4. Of course, I do have one complaint – the interior. S-Line cars came only with black interiors – which is another reason that today’s car is all the more interesting. At first glance, it appears to be just another grey colored A4 Avant. But get closer, and the details make the package pretty special. Underneath, this A4 has been thoroughly revised by noted race specialist tuner STaSIS, who through their “Touring Package” upped the power of the 2.0T by 25% to 245 horsepower with even more torque. Rolling on bigger unique wheels, the Touring kit also upgraded the suspension to STaSIS coilovers and hid S4-spec larger brakes. Along with some badging, the kit was a staggering $9,000 addition to your already expensive A4. But a neat package it makes, and this one is certainly interesting:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Audi A4 2.0T quattro Avant S-Line STaSIS Touring Package on Providence Craigslist

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2008 Audi A4 2.0T quattro Avant S-Line Titanium Package

Weirdly, I’m going to say that for me this car is pretty close to the Holy Grail of the B7 model range in the U.S.. That’s strange, because it doesn’t have the most powerful motor, or even the second most powerful motor available. In 2008, Audi still had a pretty stout lineup for wagons. You could still get the S4 Avant, with the screaming 4.2 V8. It’s a neat package for sure, but long term ownership might leave your bank account in the lurch. Then there’s the 3.2 FSi motor; again a great motor which finally produced the power that Audi’s V6 should have. But like the other FSi motors, I’ve heard reports that they’re susceptible to carbon buildup and require regular intervals of being pulled apart and cleaned. Plus, let’s be honest – the finite resources which drive our passion will ultimately be going up in price at some point again. So then there’s the 2.0T turbocharged inline-4; with 200 horsepower in stock form, this was a big GTi effectively. It was, as with the rest of the B7 range, available with a 6-speed manual – imagine that! Then you could select some packages to really make your A4 stand apart from the crowd. First was the pricey S-Line package; at $2,000 over the cost of your normal $32,000 Avant 2.0T, it was a pricey option – but it gave you special 18″ RS-inspired wheels, the 1BE sport suspension, special interior and exterior details along with the multi-functional steering wheel. But then you could opt as well for the Titanium Package; a further $500 added to the price, you got even more special Ronal-made quattro GmbH multi-spoke wheels in a gunmetal color and a tremendous amount of polished black details (odd, that they weren’t titanium….). Not many were ordered in this configuration, which was available in both 2.0T and 3.2, sedan and wagon, and tiptronic or manual configuration; narrow it down to Avants and manuals, and it’s quite hard to find one:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Audi A4 2.0T quattro Avant S-Line Titanium Package on Craigslist

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2008 Audi A4 2.0T S-Line Titanium

Were I not the sucker for a V8 soundtrack that I am, I would probably already have owned or currently own one of these cars. Like the M-Sport BMWs, the S-Line Audis can be looked at as the more wallet friendly alternative to their non hyphenated name siblings. While vehicles wearing the roundel are often offer a more dynamic driving experience, Audis are no slouch in the fun department and still offer the quiet kind of luxury that I prefer.

In terms of rolling incognito the A4 S-Line Titanium is perhaps the very definition of the term. The charcoal Ronal wheels aren’t for everyone but I’ve always liked them, so long as they wear a tire with a protective lip. These wheels are prone to curb damage and I’ve seen some badly chewed up ones over the years. Aside from the wheels only a few other cosmetic changes will clue an informed individual into the fact that this is an extra special A4. Blacked out window trim, grille surround and piano black interior trim are all that really separate the Titanium from a run of the mill S-Line. As for the S-Line package, that adds a lower ride height, 3 spoke steering wheel (aka. the one you want) and some S-Line badges that are easily removed, as you see here. The result is a real sleeper that has the potential to be an outright monster given the massive aftermarket part availability for the 2.0T A4. If it was me, I’d leave this thing alone except for an ECU flash to get just that little bit of extra juice for those times when the power hungry side of my personality kicks in.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Audi A4 2.0T S-Line Titanium On AutoTrader

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