Audi S8 Roundup

In last week’s 10K Practical Performance Edition, a question arose of what was the best ‘Bahn burner for under $15,000. My immediate answer was the Audi S8. It might not be as powerful as the E39 M5 or a slew of Mercs that are available for around the same amount, but the combination of the all-aluminum engine and space frame gives the large executive a smaller feel on the road – and with 360 horsepower, it’s no slouch. It’s also got a great all-wheel drive system; quattro purists don’t love the electronic differentials, but truth told on the fly they work reasonably well and you don’t have to muss and fuss. This isn’t a rally car, anyway. But it is a great looker – the interior and exterior are a beautiful combination of style and presence that few others match. There just aren’t any awkward angles on the D2 in my mind. So, today I’ve rounded up a few examples with the help of our reader, John. Ranging from a first run 6-speed through a last of the D2 2003 model, which would be your color?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S8 on quattroworld

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2001 Audi S8

I’ll admit that I probably have rose-colored glasses on when I look back at my V8 quattro ownership. I had enough issues with it that my wife refers to most catastrophic failures in life as “like your Audi V8” incidents. Sure, it tried to kill me a few times; but then, look at it. It’s a great looking car. And that was what kept me going as I dumped money into an example that I paid far too little for initially. Today, I find myself looking back and saying “Next time, spend a little more and get the right one”. This is something that really should extend to the rest of my car purchases, frankly – and when the opportunity to purchase a replacement Passat, I didn’t cheap out. I found a 1 owner, lower mile and fully maintained model, and I paid a premium for it. Could I have gotten one for less money with a more dubious history? Absolutely, but learn from my experiences – buying a budget Audi/Volkswagen product with the intentions of fixing it along the way as things break will certainly cost you as much as buying the nice model would have cost you. I continue to longingly look at D2 S8s with the same balance; pay for a lower mile, nice example with maintenance history versus the many that pop up for budget prices. One Ming Blue example just surfaced near me for $4,000 with the check engine light on; another for $2,500 with 200,000 miles with a blown transmission. I could get one of those, but it’s probably smarter to spend more than double that for an example with less question marks:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S8 on eBay

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Avant-garde: 1995 Audi S6 Avant Roundup

In the U.S., few Audi models have quite such a devoted following as the 1995 S6 Avant. Not many were imported, and those that were generally have been snapped up by enthusiasts and had miles piled on to them. Some have succumbed to accidents or been organ donors, leaving even fewer on the road 20 years later. However, we have 4 today available – amazingly all in different colors. Which would be the one you would choose? Let’s start with an Emerald Green Mica example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi S6 Avant on eBay

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Tale of two Audis: 2000 A4 1.8T Quattro Avant and and 2000 A6 2.7T 6 Speed

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We feature a fair amount of “S” versions of Audis, but there are some great options if you’re not looking for the flash or repair bills of the bigger brother models. In some cases, I really think these models will be collectable or at very least sought after in the future. They’re also a stark reminder of what we’ve lost in the past decade, because in their own way each of these cars has been discontinued in the United States by Audi. Today we’ll look at the last of the manual A6s, a C5 2.7T A6 Quattro 6 speed and a reminder to when Audi imported small wagons with a B5 1.8T Quattro Avant 5 speed. They’re also stellar deals below $6,000. Let’s start with the 6 speed sedan:

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Year: 2000
Model: A6 2.7T Quattro
Engine: 2.7 liter twin-turbocharged V6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 128,500 mi
Price: $ 4,994 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Audi A6 2.7T Quattro 6 speed on eBay

2000 AUDI A6 QUATTRO! 2.7T, AWD, 6 SPEED, MANUAL, SPORT, MUST SEE!

This car strikes me as a great deal and fairly undervalued. At $5,000, this is a lot of car, effectively a S4 in a more dignified suit. The 6 speed manual A6s are a joy to drive and really the last of the breed, as the manual option was completely discontinued in the U.S. after this model. With nearly 130,000 miles I’d expect some repairs in the future, but even given a healthy repair budget this car still is a lot of value for the money. $5,000 would get you into an S4, but that car would likely have close to 200,000 or more miles and throws a very different vibe than the A6. As I said in previous posts, this car is really the spiritual successor to the much-loved C4 S4/S6 and deserves more respect than the market gives it. Looking for something a little smaller and more versatile? How about a B5 A4 wagon?

The B5 saw the introduction to U.S. shores of the small Audi wagon; a decade on, Audi has decided that all roads lead to Allroads and has removed this option from our pallet. That’s a shame, because for a while the A4 really cornered the small sporty wagon category. Equipped with the V6 these were sedate and luxury-oriented tourers, but with the 1.8T and manual, the A4 felt small and drove more like a GTi. If anything, the weight of the Avant over the rear wheels really helps out balancing some of the understeer inherently dialed into the Audi platform:

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Year: 2000
Model: A4 Quattro Avant
Engine: 1.8 liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 129,700 mi
Price: $ 5,499 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Audi A4 1.8T Quattro Avant on eBay

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2000 Audi A4 5dr Wgn 1.8T Avant Man Quattro AWD Wagon
Internet Special
2000 AUDI A4 1.8T AVANT TURBO WAGON QUATTRO B5 5SPEED NAVIGATION KW COILOVER APR

With some modifications to this already-Sport package equipped wagon, this is a desirable package. The APR goodies will up the power and make this car more fun, the KW coilovers are great in the twisties, and while black isn’t the option that I’d choose this car certainly looks great. I love the Speedline-option wheels for the sport package; as one of our readers noted they suit the design very well and look great while not standing out too much. Unfortunately this dealer hasn’t provided many photos of this car, but it’s priced below most of the market for similar mile A4 Avants, and like the A6 even factoring in some maintenance this appears to be a solid package for a daily driver with some spirit.

Honestly, I’d have a hard time choosing between these two; I love the A6’s combination of speed and style but the C5 chassis is not my favorite looker. On the other hand, I think the B5 A4 was better looking than the B6 that replaced it, but I’d really like to see more photos of this Avant before putting a bid on it. At these prices, though, either one seems like a good package and lots of fun. Which would you choose?

-Carter