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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2009 Audi S4 Cabriolet

Of the three Audi B7 S4 body styles, the cabriolet was always the least appealing in my eyes. I never really cared for the B7 sedan much either as the B7 Avant is pretty much perfect but I still thought it was more appealing than the drop top, until recently. Having now owned a B7 S4 Avant I know the strengths and weaknesses of the car, I understand it’s purpose and oddly enough I think the vibe of the car is well suited for a convertible option.

The great thing about an S4, particularly the B7 generation, is that the cars don’t look particularly fast. They’re pretty run of the mill in terms of the styling save for a few details here and there. That’s what I’ve always loved about them and what made driving the Avant so much fun. Just as nobody expects the inquisition, nobody expects for a V8 to be shoehorned into such a small car, let alone a wagon. I think the same can be said of a convertible even though losing the roof is a quick way to attract more attention. Still, the B7 S4 cabrio is conservatively styled and no one will likely give you a second glance until you go roaring by them with the 4.2L V8 at full throttle. The motor is what makes this car desirable, especially since this is at the very end of the B7 manufacturing run. These 2009 M/Y S4 cabrios were the last cars of the generation to use these motors since the sedan and avant ended their run in 2008. This should add some piece of mind for a potential buyer because the later production S4s had a much lower rate of timing chain failure resulting in drainage of the wallet or fiery death. This particular example has just 54k on the clock, further adding to my belief that it’s a good buy for someone looking to enjoy the wind in their hair at a rather high rate of speed.

Year: 2009
Model: S4 Cabriolet
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Mileage: 54,949 mi
Price: $28,980 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 Audi S4 Cabriolet on eBay

2009 Audi S4 quattro 2dr Convertible All Wheel Drive (4.2L 8cyl ) with Brilliant Black Exterior, Black Interior. Loaded with 4.2L V8 Engine, Automatic Transmission, Leather Seats, Power Front Seats, Heated Front Seats, Leather Steering Wheel Trim, Paddle Shifters, Audio Steering Wheel Controls, CD Audio System, Bose Premium Speakers, Navigation System, Power Windows, Power Door Locks, Power Exterior Mirrors, Fog Lights, Xenon HID Headlights, 18 Inch Alloy Wheels and more.

VIN WUARL48H29K900001 / STOCK # (900001)

Though it shares nearly everything with it’s hardtop brethren, the S4 cabrio does have a few unique details. For one thing the seats are not branded Recaros but they do look to be similarly bolstered to the ones found in the sedan and Avant so that’s a minor difference. Also the entire dash is different from the sedan/Avant, sharing the round vents and deeply inset gauge cluster with the B6 cabrio. The rear of the car has taillights similar to the B6 as well but they look marginally better thanks to being a little less rounded off and the clear strip running along the bottom versus the square of a B6.

Other than those things, the B7 S4 cabrio is the same as the sedan and Avant, aside from having the ability to help get you way more Vitamin D than the other two, why get one? I’d still get the Avant over the cabrio everytime but what I now understand having owned one is these cars are first and foremost cruisers. Yes, they can excel at track or in the canyons provided they’ve been built out properly but I think they’re best enjoyed on long stretches of winding road. Given that this example is an automatic I think it’s even more so a city cruiser than a V8 powered sled begging to be driven hard. Some engines are best enjoyed in the most hardcore body they can be put in but I think that in this case, the 4.2 liter singing to you with the top down beats it doing so in the sedan, maybe even the avant…maybe.

Cheers,

-Andrew

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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Feature Listing: 2008 Audi S4 DTM Edition

I think it’s wonderful that, as automobile enthusiasts, we’ve been able to live in the time period that revolutionized cars. For some, the muscle car era was the best; for others, the cars of the ’30s are the way to go. But while there may be some aspects of those generations of cars that are better, compare them to the high performance vehicles of today; they all start, stop, turn and run better than anything that has come before them. Not only are the limits of performance higher than they’ve ever been, but today’s cars are frankly better at being cars than older examples. Quite simply, it’s amazing considering the amount of electronics that are now carried on cars; get my iPhone cold or drop it, and it goes all haywire – yet sub freezing (as well as scorching) temperatures and pot holes are the norm for cars to soak up. Inside, cars are more quiet and luxurious than they ever have been, in general. If you never went past 1/4 throttle in a B7 S4, you’d have a refined, quiet luxury car. It’s even handsome, too, with a smooth face giving way to the lovely flared arches, a slight uptick in the tail helping to direct the air. But really setting cars apart over the past few years has been the amazing power they’ve been able to produce and their uncanny ability to transfer that power to the road. Go past that 1/4 pedal in this S4 and the experience changes; suddenly, you don’t have a sedate cruiser, you have a warp-speed sports car capable of carrying four shocked friends being forced back in their seats as the 4.2 liter all-aluminum 340 horsepower V8 heads towards the stratosphere, announcing through the 4 exhaust pipes that you’ve now broken every speed limit in the country and you still have three gears to go. Yet while there have been fast Audis in the past, “true” enthusiasts always complained they were heavy and no fun in the corners. To remedy that perceived fault, starting with the 25th Anniversary Edition and going forward, S4s received the same T3 Torsen setup as the RS4, now with a rearward power bias and capable of moving up to 100% of the power to the rear axle. If you think you know what all Audis drive like by reputation, you probably haven’t driven one of these cars. By the end of the B7 run, it was not a beefed up A4 anymore; it was in reality a slightly detuned RS4:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Audi S4 DTM Edition on Craigslist Cleveland

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Wagon Week Preview: 2005.5 Audi S4 Avant

Having just sold my 2006 S4 Avant, I thought kicking off wagon week with this 2005.5 long roof S4 would be appropriate, While this example is very similar to the one I had there are some key differences that lead me to believe the seller’s asking price is completely reasonable, despite what the timing chain alarmists will say. This is a two owner car with  under 80k on the clock and the all important 3rd pedal option. My car was a TipTronic model (please, put down your pitchforks) and ultimately that was the reason I didn’t hang onto it longer. I loved the way the car drove, especially with the H&R Sport/Koni Yellow set up I had on it but at the end of the day I just couldn’t live with the automatic. Most S4 Avant owners know this and for that reason you’ll see stick shift examples often priced way higher than what one would consider reasonable. This is not one of those examples, not even close. I got just a few grand less for my automatic with 112k on the clock and a few things that needed attention. Whether that means I got more than I should have or this car is priced very competitively is ultimately up to you to decide but I think it’s the latter.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005.5 Audi S4 Avant on eBay

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Convertible Week B7-off: 2009 Audi A4 2.0T S-Line Cabriolet v. 2007 Audi S4 Cabriolet

Audi’s flirtation with chopped top mid-range sedans has always been an interesting one. Starting with the B4 series, Audi combined the front-drive 90 platform with parts of the Coupe platform to create the handsome and understated Cabriolet model. While not much of a performance machine, it was a good looking and reasonably sensible choice for a luxury 4-seat German convertible. It was not particularly sporty though; while Europe saw a range of engines, the U.S. received only front drive 4-speed automatic V6 models. The B4 model long outlived the rest of its siblings, soldiering on until 1998 when it was seemingly replaced by the TT model. The Roadster model wouldn’t be available until 2001, but the promise of an all-new convertible that was much sportier seemed logical. However, Audi returned to the 4-seat drop top market in 2003 with the A4 based Cabriolet model. Based initially on the B6 platform, it then seemed natural that Audi would finally offer a performance variant to compete against the popular M3 convertible; however, unlike the B3/B4 platform which had a Coupe model, there was no A4 based Coupe. To solve this problem, Audi’s skunkworks quattro GmbH undertook modifying the platform to create the 2006 S4 cabriolet.

Now, on the surface, this was a bit strange. Beyond the question of why you need a really fast convertible, you now had the question of why you needed an all-wheel drive convertible. But the Audi offered great looks, a stunning soundtrack and some trick interiors and flashy exterior colors to really help set the S4 apart. But many of the S4s were coupled with automatic transmissions; coupled with the chain problems the V8 heart is now known for, if you want a B7 cabriolet is it now smarter to consider the less flashy models?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Audi S4 Cabriolet on eBay

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2006 Audi S4 Avant

A few weeks back during our “Wagon Week” theme, I wrote up Audi’s last stand in the Avant market; a steadily decreasingly number of offerings in the 2000s. I looked at three nice versions of the Avant that were available in 2008. My unfortunate conclusion, though, was that none of them would be the car that I would want. The S4 Avant was certainly tempting, but the automatic wasn’t the transmission I’d want in there. However, change a few details and suddenly that B7 becomes much more appealing. Add some great option BBS CH wheels and a manual transmission along with a caring owner, and the B7 S4 was a package that really had no rivals. It looked as fast as it went and remains on the best all-weather people haulers made:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Audi S4 Avant on eBay

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Wagon Week Avant End Of An Era: ’08 S4, A4 and A6 Avants

At the risk of sounding a bit like a grumpy old man, I really miss the days of Audi yore. Audi did things differently for such a long time that it’s a bit disappointing to see more designs that mimic their contemporaries. I realize part of that has resulted from a realization that the market dictates what is popular, and Audi’s huge sales successes in recent years are no doubt the product of producing more mainstream vehicles that sell. But the result of that is that Audi has stepped away from part of what made them such a fan favorite; starting in 1986, Audi began offering fast wagons. At the time, that was unique to the market – BMW didn’t even offer a wagon stateside until the E34 Touring, and most of the Mercedes-Benz models didn’t really fit in with the fast motorsport enthusiast crowd. Audi furthered its reputation in the early 1990s, expanding the fast wagon lineup from just the large wagons with the introduction of the 20V Turbo version of the B4, the S2 and later RS2. Refining the 200 20V into the S4 Avant in C4 form, Audi broadened the engine range to V8 and turbo 5 offerings – continued in the C4 S6 Avant. There was a brief lull in sport between the death of the C4 and the introduction of the B5 S4, but Audi rebounded in style; the B5 A4 was a popular sporty small wagon and the S4 Avant turned that package up a notch. Then Audi simulatenously offered 4 versions of the C5 platform wagon; regular A6, A6 Allroad (with both twin-turbo and V8 options), S6 and RS6 Avant. The RS package revisited the small wagon in the RS4, and suddenly Audi had no less than 8 different sporting versions of wagons in the early 2000s – the height of their power, they were the undeniable fast wagon kings. While we didn’t get all of those cars, we still got a respectably large amount of fast 5-doors; but slowly, over time, Audi killed off its offerings one by one. First to go was the S6 Avant – slow on sales and not as much of a favorite as the C4 had been, that made sense – the similar sized B6 S4 4.2 Avant was, after all, available with a 6-speed and it was silly to offer both. So we soldiered on with a new C6 platform, and I was glad to see the Avant continue on. The C6 was larger and sleeker and certainly a looker; but no S6 Avant made it to the U.S. any more. Audi also killed off the Allroad soon after; a huge sales success, it nevertheless decided to pursue the SUV market instead of bringing the larger C6 Allroad over here. But we still had three different engine choices in the B6 and B7 platform Avants, right? Well, then Audi started killing them off – with the end of the B7, the S4 Avant was pulled from these shores, along with the larger engine A4 Avant. That left us with only the 2.0T A4 and 3.0T A6 Avants – Audi added the A4 Allroad recently, but in exchange we lost both of the last normal Avant holdouts, too. Drive down to your local Audi dealer, and you can no longer buy a normal wagon. They’ve got 15 different “SUV” options, but wagon fans are limited just to the 2.0T automatic Allroad. It’s a shame.

So, for the swan song to Wagon Week, I’ve selected not the best year or best models for our sendoff – but it’s the last stand of when we were offered three sporting options; 2009 would see that number down to two and then one shortly thereafter. Don’t shed a tear, but remember the good times:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Audi S4 Avant on eBay

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Double Take: Miles or Color? 2007 Audi RS4

The Audi RS4 is quickly becoming the performance bargain the German cars; with revised and less understeer-prone all-wheel drive, a 6-speed manual and that unbelievable sounding V8 in a practical 4-door sedan, it’s easy to see why the RS4 would be popular. But it’s also an expensive car to maintain, and residual values from the first and second crop of owners has dropped down towards the point where third-tier owners are getting into them. The problem is that if you’re thinking about buying one of these long term, you may be better suited buying one before the typical scenario occurs with these cars – prices drop, people that can’t afford to maintain them well buy them, and when you finally get one it’s an uphill battle to try to keep it going. Today I have two examples of the venerable RS4, and the question is would you choose the popular color over one with lower miles? We’ll start with the popular color – Sprint Blue in this case:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Audi RS4 on eBay

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Stunning Ss – Two Lesser Appreciated S-cars from Audi

It’s hard to believe I could make such a claim; that there would be unappreciated Audi S models. Even more surprising is that they’re recently produced. But the truth is neither of these cars grabbed the headlines of their bigger brothers – while the S8, RS4 and Europe-only C6 RS6 stole the show for Audi, in the background were two very competent, very fast and very luxurious cars that not many chose to buy. These truly are cars that would have been enthusiasts’ dream rides only a decade earlier – the C6 S6, with its sleek body hiding a Lamborghini-derived V10 that was modified to produced more useable torque, and the B7 S4 – the last run of the great 4.2 V8 and arguably the best looking since the original S4, punting 340 horsepower though a great 6-speed manual. Today, 7 years later, you can pick up one of these super sedans for around the entry-level price of a Volkswagen Golf. Simply amazing. Let’s look at the S6 first:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Audi S6 at Coventry MotorCar

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