2002 Audi S8

The D2 Audi S8 is one of the very rare models from the company that not only excites fans within the marque, but indeed automotive enthusiasts in general. That’s pretty strange for a sedan that most non-enthusiasts would probably not give a second thought to; it’s not a rakish coupe, it doesn’t have a million horsepower, and it doesn’t even have very modern tech. But thanks to a very notable movie appearance and its understated good looks as well as solid performance, the S8 is still a car that draws universal praise.

Some 20 years old now, these models are on the verge of being considered “antique” in many states. Yet they still look pretty modern, the clean design hiding its age well – especially considering that at in eight months it will be 30 years since the ASF hit the show circuit. Let’s take a look at this Brilliant Black ’02 up for sale in Florida.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S8 on eBay

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2002 Audi S8

2021 can’t close without me taking a look at an Audi S8. The last one I took a look at was just over a year ago, and it was a doozy:

2002 Audi S8 Final Edition

Since then I’ve looked at both LWB and SWB A8s recently, but no S8s. Well, as luck would have it, a 2002 popped up for sale. It’s fairly common Light Silver Metallic outside, but inside we’ve got the optional partial Alcantara seats. It looks to be in good and mostly original condition, so let’s take a peek:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S8 on eBay

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1999 Audi A8 4.2 quattro

Back in October, I took a look at a refreshed and S8-tributed D2 A8L.

2003 Audi A8L

Truth told, by love of the D2 focuses mostly on the S8, but I have a weird crush on early models in general. First off there was the wacky 3.7 front-drive model that only lived for two model years and amazingly had less power than the smaller displacement 1990 V8 quattro with the 3.6. It seems as though barely any of those sold new between 1997 and 1999, and it’s hard to believe any survive today. Of course, it was also an early pre-facelift S8 that appeared in Ronin, as well – another reason to love them. Just 2,481 A8s were sold in the US in 1999, broken up between the 3.7 and the model we’re looking at today: and standard A8 4.2 quattro. It is perhaps one of the best examples left in the wild – and it’s just a good reminder of how handsome and understated the original design was.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 Audi A8 4.2 quattro on eBay

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2003 Audi A8L

While they’re no longer the largest, fastest or most luxurious executive sport sedans on the market, the D2 Audi A8/S8 does still offer enthusiasts a substantial package for a very unsubstantial amount of money. While I’ve spent a lot of time previously covering my favorite S8 models, the normal A8 and stretched A8L tone down the sport but also come to the market at an even more budget-friendly price. To maximize your value, look towards the A8L models. These were expensive sedans back in the early 2000s, though today’s prices really dwarf the MSRP of $67,200 for the lang model. Still, corrected for inflation that is about $100k in buying power today – far from a pittance.

This all brings us to today’s A8L. Let’s say you really wanted one, but you didn’t want anything wrong with it. Well, that’s apparently what happened with this particular example; 2Bennett Audimotive gave it a more-or-less ‘open checkbook’ mechanical overhaul to the tune of $40k, replete with a few S8 modifications. Impressive? Not as impressive as the asking price today, so put the coffee down.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi A8L on Hemmings

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2002 Audi S8 Final Edition

For the US market, the last of the D2 Audi S8s were brought here as Audi Exclusive packages; 100 each of three color combinations, with one new color of Avus Silver Pearl Effect over burgundy leather and revised ‘Celebration’ wheels. For the European market, though, the last S8s got a different Audi Exclusive package. Dubbed the ‘Final Edition’, the car came with 20″ high-polish ‘Celebration’ wheels, Bose audio with a six-disc changer, bi-xenon headlights, an extended leather interior, and dark myrtle wood trim. Four colors were offered with four total interiors; Avus Silver Pearl Effect over either Brilliant Red or Mauve leather, Misano Red over Silver Grey leather, Aqua Blue over Morning Dew leather, or Ebony Black over Brilliant Red or Silver Gray leather. What we see here is the latter of those; a lower-mileage Final Edition in Ebony Black Pearl Effect over Silver Gray leather. It might not be the highest-spec car out there, but boy are these Final Editions impressive-looking!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S8 Final Edition at 4Star Classics

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2003 Audi S8

I still have this dream of getting a S8. This seems like a strange thing to dream about, I admit. And, it also seems like a quite attainable dream. My father-in-law often tells me about some day procuring his ‘dream truck’ – a manual mid-90s six-cylinder F150. I’ve found several for him that seem like good prospects, and none are ever more than a few thousand dollars. As I’ve said to him several times, ‘If you’re $4,000 away from your dream, what’s holding you back?’

Well, that comment coming from me is riddled with hypocrisy. I certainly could sell my very reliable Passat, save a bit of coin, and buy a S8. The problem increasingly inherent in that plan is that the S8 I can afford will probably not be the S8 I want. See, in the early 2000s I fell in love with the design. In the mid-2000s I lusted over lightly used examples that were out of my price range. S8s are now in a range I can afford, but it’s no longer the early 2000s and most are, to be frank, pretty used up. And though they’re far from the most technologically advanced vehicle, they aren’t exactly an F150 either in terms of complexity and parts availability (not to mention pricing). So looking at a S8 means you automatically need to budget in probably double the asking price or more in potential repairs between the transmission, timing belt service, and other deferred maintenance. Or, you can find one where that’s been done for you:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi S8 on eBay

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1999 Audi A8 4.2 quattro

While low mileage, pristine condition Porsches almost seem cliche, finding an Audi with not much distance covered just doesn’t happen very often. When it does, it seems to inevitably be a model that no one is particularly excited about. That’s unfortunate, because often those models are quite competent performers, indeed. Growing off of the Audi Space Frame Concept from 1993, the A8 was the replacement for the short lived V8 quattro. Although the V8 had only been in production for a few years when the ASF was built, the Type 44 chassis was already quite old so a replacement was fitting. And Audi really outdid itself, with a modern, clean design based around lightweight aluminum technology. Underneath, the initial A8 didn’t offer revolution but instead built on the technology incorporated into the advanced for the time V8 quattro. Over its life, though, the A8 became a world-class leading sedan with steadily increasing technology and power output. For the most part, though, what most people remember are the post 2001 changes; introduction for the U.S. market of the long-wheel base A8L and sporty S8. That’s unfair to the often unloved and seldom seen early models which were very similar and quite competent in their own right. Running across a 1999 A8 is rare enough, but one in good condition? It’s fair to say that this is something you don’t see often:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 Audi A8 4.2 quattro on eBay

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2001 Audi S8

If you follow these pages, it goes without saying that Im a pretty strong Ingolstadt devotee. My first car was an Audi 4000CS quattro and since then Ive owned an absurd 9 models along the way. But that doesnt mean I buy everything from the company hook, line and sinker. Indeed, Ive been less than impressed with many of the newer models. Sure, sometimes they look slick, go like stink or are really pretty inside. But would I want to own one? In most cases, no outside of a few very select models, I dont really desire to own much post Y2K.

One exception to that rule and its literally and figuratively a huge exception is the S8. Everything about this car was just spot on to me. In an age when increasingly the offerings from the competition were unattractive and overly complicated, the S8 was to me the last of the great original quattros. It was an analog offering in a digital age; simple, blunt force from a 360 horsepower V8 in front driving all the wheels with a luxurious driver-oriented cockpit. Sure, there were plenty of computers. Probably there are too many. But compared to the new luxo-suites? The D2 seems downright cart-like. And the proportions of the car were just perfect; lowered, menacing stance, huge yet delicate-appearing wheels, just the right amount of bling, yet an understated car which easily fades into the background. So even though Im still probably a long way from ownership, I often find myself dreaming about being behind the wheel of one.

The pool of candidates that remain is beginning to dwindle; the newest of the D2 S8s are now 16 years old and parts are already getting hard to source. Getting into an enthusiast owned one is the way to go at this point, but that doesn’t automatically mean it’ll break the budget:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S8 at Keloland Automall

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2001 Audi S8

The Audi S8 is, at its heart, just about the opposite of beige. Beige is neutral, calming, blends into its surroundings to the point where it becomes less a color and more a sickly feeling. None of those ideas represent the D2. It is beautifully sculpted and built, exhilarating to drive and listen to, distinctive in its presence. Yet, in many ways, it’s also a car not befitting the brilliant Solar Orange I just looked at. So perhaps the Melange Metallic of this 2001 is the perfect tone?

There’s something else odd about beige S8s. Amazingly, several of the best I’ve seen in recent years have been draped in blah. The Canvas Beige Metallic 2002 with a scant 13,000 miles was certainly one of, if not the best, used D2s on the market recently. I believe it’s the same car that recently sold on Bring A Trailer for $25,200 with 23,000 miles. Since there were only five imported in that color combination, the odds of there being another seem improbably low. Then there was the ’01 in Melange I looked at back in 2016. With 54,000 miles on the clock it looked near perfect. Well, here’s another Melange Metallic 2001 with 55,600 miles:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S8 on eBay

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2003 Audi S8

I don’t think we need much of an excuse to look at a clean Audi S8. But in case you haven’t been paying attention, the D2 S8 is one of my very favorite Audi models. It’s also one that I haven’t owned, and at some point I’d very much like to change that. Unfortunately for me, time continues to march on and I feel as though every day the chances of finding a very nice S8 that is the perfect fit for me becomes more remote.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some great ones that come up for sale, though, and today’s example certainly appears to be ticking the right boxes. From the last year of production, this is one of the 100 Ming Blue over Platinum models brought to the U.S.. Since only 300 made it here in total, any 2003 is worth a look, but this one is especially nice – and, shockingly affordable:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi S8 on eBay

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