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Tag: D3

2007 Audi S8 with 308,000 miles

My fascination with really high mile cars knows no bounds and today’s car is no different. This 2007 Audi S8 is a one-owner car that shows a little over 308,000 miles and looks like it did a quarter of that. How or why this happened, I have no idea. What I do know is that I absolutely shiver at the thought of maintaining an Audi V10 for over 300,000 miles. Just doing the quick math on the gas bill alone, 308,000 miles driven averaging 17 mpg, means this thirsty monster has consumed roughly $65,000 worth of gas in 12 years. The crazy thing is, all of the registration is just outside of Chicago. Naturally this assumes some kind of traveling salesperson, but of all the cars to pick, a giant V10 Audi? What is even more crazy is the condition of this D3. Just wait until you see it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Audi S8 on eBay

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Feature Listing: 2008 Audi A8 4.2 quattro

With each successive generation, Audi’s large sedan has come leaps and bounds forward in innovation and appeal. The C3 chassis brought Audi to a larger market with its modern aerodynamics and the introduction of all-wheel drive. That was capped with the evolutionary D11 model – the V8 quattro. Based on a Type 44 chassis, the V8 brought the dreaded automatic transmission to its large executive sedan – but while enthusiasts will decry that change, the reality is that for the people who bought the car original that proved to be a popular option and opened the all-wheel drive market to an entirely new clientele. Audi didn’t rest on its laurels, though, for even as the V8 quattro was still in production its replacement hinted at an entirely new design language for the company in the ASF concept. Not only were the looks decidedly more rounded and futuristic, but the aluminum space frame was in many ways ahead of its time. The result was a great looking, innovative all-wheel drive option for executives in the D2 chassis, which proved to be wildly popular, and it’s still a great looking sedan today, some 23 years after the original concept was penned. Although the height of D2 production was around 2000, by then the design was already showing its age and Audi was once again back at the drawing board. The result was that in 2002 the D3 chassis was launched to replace the D2 chassis.

Much of what had been pioneered in the D2 was carried over into the D3. The design was evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Under the skin, an updated choice of V8 and W12 motors (along with some TDis for European customers) mimicked the D2. But a new adaptive air suspension brought the A8 in line with premium products from its competition. Inside, Audi also reacted to the market with a new and advanced multi-media interface and thoroughly revised cockpit design that would once again lead the company in a new design direction. While the layout was more isolating for the driver, it’s hard to argue that the fit and finish of Audi’s interior was taken a few notches up with the D3 versus earlier models. As with the D2, the D3 was a very popular option – especially visually, where it continued the trend of Audi offering the best looking of the big three sedans. But, as with every chassis, the D3 became dated as the calendar got closer to 2010, and Audi introduced the current D4 with again a host of upgrades in 2009. As with every successive chassis shift, the outgoing model devalues and if you love the big German sedans, that leaves buyers with literally and figuratively a lot of car for their money:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Audi A8 4.2 quattro at Sun Valley Auto Sales

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Honorable Mention Roundup

Time for another Honorable Mention Roundup of the cars we just didn’t have a chance to get to this week. We’ve got quite a few reader submissions in this edition, and by chance it ends up focusing on some super sedans which are all quite affordable in their own ways. Which is the one we should have spent more time on?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Audi S4 on Denver Craigslist

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2005 Volkswagen Phaeton v. 2004 Audi A8L

At first glance, you’d be excused thinking that the Volkswagen Phaeton and Audi A8 were the same car underneath. Especially when it came to the D3 chassis, the Audi and Volkswagen shared many styling cues, as well as engines and transmissions. However, the Volkswagen is actually quite different underneath – instead of the typical platform sharing that occurred between Volkswagen and Audi, VAG instead turned towards their upscale brands for the Phaeton. That’s right, underneath the Phaeton is a budget Bentley. You can tell the difference when you step inside, too – back when these were new, a Phaeton showed up at a Winter Driving School I was instructing at. I hopped in the passenger side and shut the door; the sound was a unique sound of sealing the rest of the world out. All of the sudden I swear I could hear my heart beating. It was eerily quiet, as if I had entered a sound booth. It was also eerily competent on the snow and ice in spite of the over 5,000 lb. curb weight. That’s a few hundred pounds north of the Audi A8 even in “L” guise, and it wouldn’t surprise me if 300 lbs of that difference is noise deadening. A generation on, you’re now able to get into a Phaeton or its cousin the Audi A8L for about the same price. Which would you choose?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Volkswagen Phaeton on eBay

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