2004 Audi A4 1.8T quattro Ultrasport

As with the BMW E46 ZHP package, Audi introduced the “Ultrasport” package in the 2004 B6 chassis. Effectively, this was as close to an S4 as you could get without actually buying a S4. You had to select the Sport Package to upgrade to the Ultrasport obviously, so the 1BE suspension upgrades, sway and stress bars carried over. However, the Ultrasport package upped the ante with 18″ quattro GmbH “Celebration” RS4 style wheels, front and rear bumpers also designed by quattro GmbH, door blades borrowed from the S4, a special perforated leather 3-spoke steering wheel and aluminum interior trim. While for many the more desirable package is the Avant – and that’s what we usually feature, the Ultrasport was also available in sedan form in either 3.0 V6 or 1.8T configuration:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Audi A4 1.8T quattro Ultrasport on Providence Craigslist

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2003 Audi S8

There are some car listings that just make me sad, and this S8 is one of them. I fear that I may be missing the bus on getting just the right S8, because while the prices continue the gentle depreciation slide they’ve been on over the past decade, that means that they’re ending up in less-than-careful hands. In many of the cars I’ve owned, I’ve wished that I was maybe one or two owners closer to the original sale, because I’ve spent so much effort trying to undo what the previous owner did or repair things they left undone. A simple oil leak can easily turn into a multi-thousand dollar repair in some cases if left unattended, and when you’re talking about an expensive, complicated car like the S8, there can be multitudes of possibilities for where you can run into trouble. But even excusing that mechanicals on a 12 year old car get old and need to be replaced, then there’s the physical wear – generally, the second and third owners of cars seem to care much less for their condition than the original owners did. Let’s take a look at the cost of ownership on this 2003 S8, and why I’m sad:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi S8 on eBay

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Wagon Week: 2001 Audi RS4 with 3,300 Miles

If yesterday’s pristine S4 DTM Edition with low miles got you excited, then this is probably the type of car that you’d really like to see. Normally when we’ve done Wagon Weeks, I’ve written up some of the more notable fast Audi wagons; the RS2 and the S6 Plus, for example. But today I wanted to visit a few we don’t spend so much time on – hence the S6 Avant duo from earlier. What we have here, though, is even that much more special; what is probably the best condition, most original and lowest mile Audi RS4 outside of Audi’s possession. The RS4 was an instant hit, with quattro GmbH combining forces with Cosworth to tune the engine of the B5 up to a then-staggering 375 horsepower. With beefed up bodywork covering massive wheels and tires and run through a 6-speed manual transmission, the RS4 was good to its Sport Quattro and RS2 heritage, running to 60 m.p.h. in a smashing 4.9 seconds and easily bouncing off its self-imposed 155 m.p.h. limiter. As with the RS2 and the Sport Quattro, the limited run RS4 has been the subject of many replicas, but finding a mint condition original example reminds us of how perfect the formula was:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi RS4 on Classic Driver

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Twin Turbo Terrors – Audi RS6 Roundup

The other day I wrote up two M5s, questioning whether the E34 was a smart decision when the E39 offered more performance and luxury at a lower price point. That’s not the end of the story, though, because the car that created a sensation and helped to once again redefine the category has dropped to historic lows in value. The Audi RS6 wasn’t the first car to offer a V8 in the mid-sized luxury segment, but as with the original Quattro they upped the game by offering not only a V8, but twin turbochargers and all-wheel drive to the mix. The result was a hunkered down Autobahn warrior with 450 horsepower on tap. It was immediately the top dog, and being turbocharged it was capable of even more outrageous levels of power. As with its AMG and M counterparts, it was also quite expensive as the newest piece of kit in 2003; at nearly $90,000, not many could afford the super sedan. But now a little over a decade on, the Audi RS6 has predictably gone through a few generations of ownership and has dropped substantially in value. In part, that’s because the Audis of this generation have some known faults and keeping the twin-turbocharged V8 running in top condition can be an expensive proposition. But if you want to go fast and have one seriously menacing luxury car on the road, it’s hard to argue that anything can do it better for less money today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi RS6 on eBay

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2001 Audi A4 1.8T quattro Sport

Audi loves to do things outside of the norm, and one of the odd things that they seem to do is to upgrade a car and then immediately discontinue it. Why they do this is beyond my level of comprehension, but it means that if you know what you’re looking for you can get a slightly more special version of the car you’re after. These half year models, known as the “.5″s, aren’t always the same – nor are they always well documented. The first I can think of is the 1987.5 Coupe GT; also dubbed the “Special Build”, it featured some serious upgrades including a larger 2.3 liter inline-5, 4-wheel disc brakes and a few trim differences from other GTs. Arguably, they’re the most highly sought after GTs with only a few hundred still kicking around. The same goes for the 1995.5 S6; minor trim and some mechanical changes, such as the change from a mechanical locking rear differential to the newer electronic system Audi would use in newer cars. But it didn’t end there, as in 2001 Audi upgraded the outgoing B5 A4 to 2001.5 specs. The changes were subtle; the A4 already had a refreshed front and rear lights in 1999, so you had to look underneath to find the reinforced front strut housings and changed ECUs. While the S4 didn’t exhibit any exterior differences, though, the A4 Sport package was different. Launched in 1999, the Sport package A4s initially had Ronal made “Swing” 7 spoke wheels that were replaced in 2001 by Speedline-made 7 spoke wheels that had a more square design and a center lug cover. But the 2001.5 models gained the “Celebration Package” as well, featuring 17″ wheels for the first time on the regular A4. It was, for all intents and purposes, the beginning of what would become the “Ultrasport” package on the B6 A4 in 2002. The “Celebration” wheels, as on the A6 2.7T and S8, mimic the RS4 design and became a signature wheel for the early 2000s Audis:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi A4 1.8T Sport on eBay

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Rare Tres: Audi S8 Roundup

I’ve made no excuses about my personal favoritism towards the Audi S8, but I think it’s reasonably justified. The E55 v 500E post from the other day reminded me why; sure, the E55 is a pretty cool car, but as one of the comments noted it looks a bit like a Kia. Park it next to a S8 and that’s brought into even starker contrast. Audi just got it right; the right amount of sport, a great engine and soundtrack, all-wheel drive and a gorgeous and luxurious interior. Today I’ve got three more rare-to-see colors; Avus Pearl, Andorra Red and Pearlesant White. Let’s look at my favorite first:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi S8 on Hemmings

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2003 Audi S8 with 14,000 Miles

The Audi S8 is a very special car; a combination of sport and luxury that some of its rivals have managed to exceed in performance, but not necessarily execution. Certainly, newer BMW, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz super-luxury sedans are much faster. Even Audi’s own new S8 and S6 are significantly quicker than the D2, with the best part of twice the power the 4.2 40 valve V8 originally offered. But the package of the S8 is what is so compelling. It’s a great looking car, with hardly an angle where it looks out of proportion. The presence it exudes is massive; it’s no Rolls Royce, but it’s a far cry from any Lexus. By 2003, the last year of the D2 S8 for the United States, there were only a few options on the S8; generally, you just had to choose what shade you’d want. And for the U.S. market, it’s hard for me to feel there is any better color combination for the S8 than the understated Avus Silver Pearl Effect with the not understated at all Oxblood interior. When you see one it what is effectively new condition, it’s amazingly stunning:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi S8 on eBay

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Feature Listing: 2003 Audi RS6

Up until the early 2000s, Audi always did things a little differently than its countrymen. Critics and enthusiasts have sometimes criticized the designs for not being optimal, overly complicated or ill-timed. But get into a RS car – any RS car – and it’s hard not to be completely thrilled. Audi certainly pulled out the stops for it’s top of the line, quattro GmbH assembled super-sedans and avants; the great details abound. Subtly flared fenders, special bumpers, larger wheels and massive brakes, lowered ride height and signature twin exhaust became the blueprint for the RS4 and RS5 to follow and hinted at the new bar that Audi set, but under the hood lurked something special in the RS6. Like the S6 the power was derived from a V8, but in the RS6 two turbochargers boosted performance to 440 horsepower with torque to match. The power was seamless and unabated; more a freight train that never let up than a rush of power. This car is deceptively fast, so quiet and unassuming it really was the ultimate Q-ship of its time. I was lucky enough to push one of these cars to its limit when new around Le Circuit Mont Tremblant, and while it’s no lightweight sports car, the amount of speed and grip it generates is otherworldly, and it can easily keep up with many cars that should be quicker. Inside you were bathed in luxury; soft touch plastics, warm colors on the dashboard, excellent seats that managed to both be supportive and comfortable. There were small details too that helped to make the RS6 feel even more exclusive; the Alcantara headliner, alternating color piping on the leather, rich wood accents and carbon fiber details that were sprinkled in just the right proportions to make this car the ultimate Autobahn weapon:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi RS6 at Sun Valley Auto Club

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Tuner Tuesday Double Take: Two Supercharged Audi A4s

The Audi B5 was really the first Audi chassis that gained mass appeal for modifications. Sure, the Quattro, 5000, 200, S4 and S6 all had crowds that followed them and modified them, but it was really the B5 that took the Audi tuning theme to the masses. Most of those masses focused on two models; if you were new to the brand you bought and modified the plentiful and relatively cheap 1.8T, and if you could swing the hefty payments you bought the twin-turbocharged S4. Both accepted increased levels of boost easily, making them a no brainer for the tuning crowd. But quickly forgotten in the mix was the silky-smooth 2.8 V6. Initially available in 12 valve form, in 1998 Audi upgraded to the 30V heads. For the first time, the Audi V6 produced power levels near its competition, and the smooth and responsive V6 was a nice match for the slick look of the A4. But easy to tune it wasn’t; you weren’t left with many options outside of exhaust and intake if you wanted to turn the wick up on your 2.8. Unless, of course, you turned to unnatural forms of aspiration – happily supplied by PES in the form of a supercharger:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi A4 quattro on eBay

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2003 Audi RS6

As much as the E39 BMW M5 changed the game for sports sedans, the Audi RS6 took the executive supercar-slayer to the next level. Sporting a twin turbocharged version of the venerable 4.2 V8, the Audi RS6 offered simply stunning performance with 450hp on tap. But horsepower wasn’t the only result of the forced induction, because the RS6 also offered nearly 70 lb.ft of torque more than the S62 motor. Sure, it was a touch heavier than the E39, but on the highway this car was and still is a monster. Like the E39, good condition examples of these super sedans are now trading in the mid 20s; today there is a beautiful grey over grey example with no reserve on the auction. Looking ready to surprise a few 911s, take a look at one of our favorites:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi RS6 on eBay

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