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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2003 Audi S8

It is with a tinge of regret that I post nearly every S8, but especially the 2003 models. That’s because they’re one of my favorite cars, and with only 1,200 total examples imported to the U.S., they’re not exactly common. This is especially true when it came to the last year of the D2 S8; you had to select a no-cost “Limited Edition” package three special color combinations. The Brilliant Black is nice and Ming Blue is always pretty, but for my money no S8 matches the color combination of the third; the Avus Silver Pearl with Oxblood interior. Only 100 of these cars were made up and it feels as though I’ve let half of those slip through my hands:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi S8 on Craigslist

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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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