2005 Audi A4 1.8T quattro Avant Ultrasport

Here at GCFSB, there’s a running joke that ties in with the Saturday Night Live “Behind the Music: Blue Oyster Cult” skit featuring Christopher Walken. We’ve just gotta have more wagon around here, and I’m happy to oblige. Today’s oblation to the GCFSB Church of the Heavenly 5 Doors is an interesting blip on Audi’s Avant radar; the short-lived B6 Ultrasport package. Available in either 3.0 V6 or 1.8T configuration, the Ultrasport was introduced in 2004.5. It took the normal Sport Package A4 with either a 6-speed manual or 5-speed Tiptronic transmission in either sedan or Avant form and added the S4 door blades, a European rear bumper and a quattro GmbH designed front bumper cover. RS4 “Celebration” wheels were added, bumping the rolling stock from the standard Sport 17″ to 18″. Those wheels lay under the lowered fenderline, suspended by the 1BE sport suspension that was 20mm lower than standard and 30% stiffer. The package also included a stiffer 18mm rear sway bar and an upper stress bar in the engine bay, which held a standard version of each of the motors (220 horsepower with the 3.0 V6 or 170 horsepower in the 1.8T). Inside, the 2005 Ultrasport gained a 3-spoke S-line steering wheel and the only interior color offered was ebony, accented with perforated leather shift knob and aluminum trim. It was as close to a S4 Avant as you could get without actually opting for the V8:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Audi A4 1.8T quattro Avant Ultrasport on Boston Craigslist

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Sprint-off: 2011 Audi S5 v. 2008 Audi RS4 Cabriolet

Blue is my favorite color. I know, this doesn’t really come as a surprise; I think I wax and wane all the time about the special blues that are available from different manufacturers. Whether it was my own Coupe GT’s original Oceanic Blue Metallic or my Passat’s Ink Blue Pearl Effect, there’s just something that’s very special about the glowing, bright and vibrant blues. Audi made a bold change to their blue around 2005; with the mid-year refresh to the B6 chassis, the new B7 discontinued the very popular purple-blue hue of Nogaro. Now, that color had been around in various forms since the RS2, and was closely associated with fast Audis – so it was a big deal. The new color, Sprint Blue Pearl Effect (LZ5F), was pretty and shiny but somehow changed the character of the fast Audis. Maybe it was time for a change, or maybe it was the wrong move – personally, I think a new RS7 in Nogaro would be pretty stunning. But the new hue was also a hit and offered a rare splash of color in Audi’s otherwise conservative grey/silver/black lineup. Today I have two of the faster Audis offered in this shade; about the same mileage, both 6-speed manuals, and both with the 4.2 V8, would you take the S5 Coupe or RS4 Cabriolet?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 Audi S5 on Craigslist

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What’s the R Value? 2001 Audi S4 Avant v. RS4 Avant

If you follow these pages, neither the names RS4 or Avant should be particularly new to you. Audi’s B5 generation fast wagon wasn’t the first to wear the RS badge, but it was the first fully quattro GmbH RS car. In the spirit of the RS2 built in conjunction with Porsche and the S6 plus which moved production in house to the quattro GmbH subsidiary, Audi utilized the VAG group acquisition of Cosworth to up the boost on the twin-turbocharged V6 to produce the best part of 400 horsepower. But while the RS2 and S6 plus had rather discrete changes outside to signify how special they were, the RS4 added vents, slats, big flares and giant wheels to back up the added performance. It was the change that launched a thousand dreams, as countless B5 S4 owners attempted to recreate the package that wasn’t brought to the U.S.. A few have made it here through back channels and we’ve written up previously the huge premium they command over regular S4s, but the newer generations of performance cars have dimmed the concentration on the older wonder Audis. Still, even today the RS4 is a pretty potent performance machine and getting closer to being legally importable to the U.S.. But of course our neighbors to the north have more lax importations laws, so RS4s are making their way into Canada as we speak. Additionally, really good examples of the regular S4 Avants are drying up as well. Today, I have an interesting comparison – a just imported, low mileage RS4 Avant versus a fully upgraded, low mileage S4 Avant – likely one of the nicest in the U.S.. What’s the difference in value today?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi RS4 Avant on Autotrader Canada

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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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Feature Listing: 2008 Audi S4 DTM Edition

I think it’s wonderful that, as automobile enthusiasts, we’ve been able to live in the time period that revolutionized cars. For some, the muscle car era was the best; for others, the cars of the ’30s are the way to go. But while there may be some aspects of those generations of cars that are better, compare them to the high performance vehicles of today; they all start, stop, turn and run better than anything that has come before them. Not only are the limits of performance higher than they’ve ever been, but today’s cars are frankly better at being cars than older examples. Quite simply, it’s amazing considering the amount of electronics that are now carried on cars; get my iPhone cold or drop it, and it goes all haywire – yet sub freezing (as well as scorching) temperatures and pot holes are the norm for cars to soak up. Inside, cars are more quiet and luxurious than they ever have been, in general. If you never went past 1/4 throttle in a B7 S4, you’d have a refined, quiet luxury car. It’s even handsome, too, with a smooth face giving way to the lovely flared arches, a slight uptick in the tail helping to direct the air. But really setting cars apart over the past few years has been the amazing power they’ve been able to produce and their uncanny ability to transfer that power to the road. Go past that 1/4 pedal in this S4 and the experience changes; suddenly, you don’t have a sedate cruiser, you have a warp-speed sports car capable of carrying four shocked friends being forced back in their seats as the 4.2 liter all-aluminum 340 horsepower V8 heads towards the stratosphere, announcing through the 4 exhaust pipes that you’ve now broken every speed limit in the country and you still have three gears to go. Yet while there have been fast Audis in the past, “true” enthusiasts always complained they were heavy and no fun in the corners. To remedy that perceived fault, starting with the 25th Anniversary Edition and going forward, S4s received the same T3 Torsen setup as the RS4, now with a rearward power bias and capable of moving up to 100% of the power to the rear axle. If you think you know what all Audis drive like by reputation, you probably haven’t driven one of these cars. By the end of the B7 run, it was not a beefed up A4 anymore; it was in reality a slightly detuned RS4:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Audi S4 DTM Edition on Craigslist Cleveland

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2002 Audi S6 Avant 6-speed

The other day it seemed as though I switched sides, abandoning my preferred Audis for the dark star of Mercedes-Benz with the E55 AMG Estate. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the S6 Avant, but perhaps the lack of manual and the mere existence of the hotter and not-for-U.S. market RS6 Avant just takes the edge of the C5 for me. Plus, the transmissions in the Audis are notorious – correctly or incorrectly – for being a bit weak and expensive to replace. The solution? A 6-speed manual converted car, of course! And this particular example even steps up above that single massive advantage with a host of RS6 upgrades as well:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S6 Avant on eBay

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Double Take: Miles or Color? 2007 Audi RS4

The Audi RS4 is quickly becoming the performance bargain the German cars; with revised and less understeer-prone all-wheel drive, a 6-speed manual and that unbelievable sounding V8 in a practical 4-door sedan, it’s easy to see why the RS4 would be popular. But it’s also an expensive car to maintain, and residual values from the first and second crop of owners has dropped down towards the point where third-tier owners are getting into them. The problem is that if you’re thinking about buying one of these long term, you may be better suited buying one before the typical scenario occurs with these cars – prices drop, people that can’t afford to maintain them well buy them, and when you finally get one it’s an uphill battle to try to keep it going. Today I have two examples of the venerable RS4, and the question is would you choose the popular color over one with lower miles? We’ll start with the popular color – Sprint Blue in this case:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Audi RS4 on eBay

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2007 Audi RS4

For weeks we’ve been hearing non-stop about the “Polar Vortex” – a wave of Arctic air that has crippled most of the United States. For non-meteorological types, this phenomena is both unwelcome and expensive, as cold weather has induced skyrocketing heating costs and dropped nearly a full inch of snow in some parts of the South – enough to cripple most of the area until Spring Break. In response I’d like to offer both the potential cause and the potential solution: the 2007 Audi RS4. You see, one of the things that is so much fun in a quattro is doing donuts in a parking lot. My guess is that the owner of this pristine RS4 may have gotten a little exuberant with the throttle on one of these adventures in the Great White North and viola! – instant Polar Vortex.

Okay, so that may not have been the cause. But the RS4 could be the solution. It’s got heated seats, for example, to help you through frigid mornings. It’s got all-wheel drive to help you conquer that light dusting of snow, Georgia. And if all else fails and you do get stranded, it’s about as red as red gets so search and rescue crews can find you in a hurry. This is pertinent consumer advise here! In all seriousness, the claimed 1 of 99 Misano Red RS4s is pretty darn stunning no matter what the conditions:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Audi RS4 on eBay

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2007 Audi RS4

Love fast Audis but want something a little more special for your money than this week’s Imola Yellow S4? How about the Audi RS4, one of the best sport sedans to be produced in recent memory? There are few complaints to be levied against the RS4 except that Audi refused to bring us the Avant version. Other than that, we got the sedan or cabriolet versions, both with the splendid and high-revving V8 soundtrack, aggressive flares and gaping grills to remind you of how special this ride is. Like most of the modern Audis, my main complaint is the snooze-fest color pallet most were ordered in – black, grey, greyer, silver, or silverier. However, there were some enterprising individuals who looked past the grey-scale color options and checked the charisma box when ordering their special car – such is the case with this Imola Yellow 2007 example.

Year: 2007
Model: RS4
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 50,842 mi
Price: $42,995 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Audi RS4 on eBay

2007 AUDI RS4 QUATTRO 4.2L V8

BRILLIANT IMOLA YELLOW ON BLACK INTERIOR

VEHICLE HISTORY

1 OWNER CARFAX CERTIFIED

SQUEAKY CLEAN AUTOCHECK

100% ADULT OWNER

100% NON SMOKER

NO DINGS, DENTS, OR ODORS

LEATHER IN EXCELLENT CONDITON

TIRES IN EXCELLENT CONDITION

NOT A SINGLE DENT, DING, OR RIM RASH

PURCHASED DIRECTLY FROM A PALO ALTO EXCEC.

RS4 OPTIONS AND FEATURES

PREMIUM PKG ($4700)

AUTOMATIC HEADLIGHTS

HEATED FRONT SEATS

HEATED REAR SEATS

VARIABLE SPEED INTERMITTENT WIPERS

DVD PLAYER

NAVIGATION SYSTEM

MEMORY DRIVER SETA

MIRROR MEMORY

CD PLAYER

UNIVERSAL GARAGE DOOR OPENER

BOSE SOUND SYSTEM

BLUETOOTH CONNECTION

6 DISC CD CHANGER

REAR MANUAL SIDE SHADES

YOU WILL RECEIVE TWO MASTER KEYS

WE WILL SHIP THIS 2007 Audi TO YOUR FRONT DOOR NATIONWIDE!!

ASK ABOUT INEXPENSIVE BUMPER TO BUMPER WARRANTIES

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Seriously, if you’re going to be shouty about how fast your fast car is, you might as well go out like a lion. Imola Yellow will never be confused with anything subdued, but in many ways it matches the character of the car. The engineers wanted you to smile, they wanted you to feel special, and they wanted to brighten your day; yellow just expresses those desires outwardly. This RS4 certainly appears well cared for, though as typical for an Ebay dealer no maintenance history is offered, and as these have crested 5 years old, you’ll want to know that. Imola Yellow and Sprint Blue are also two of the more rare colors to find these RSs in, so they often command a premium, though in this case I think the premium is too much. Indeed, the dealer seems to agree; if you follow the link to their pictures you’ll find the car has a lower price tag by $1,000 on the windshield. Even with that discount, this RS doesn’t have particularly low miles compared to other examples yet is still a substantial $4,000 – $5,000 premium over others. Heck, look hard enough and you’ll find a RS4 for nearly $10,000 less than this one – but it won’t be yellow. Maybe that’s okay with you, but if you want the wild child colors, for now you’ll have to pay.

-Carter

2007 Audi RS4

It’s been a few weeks since the last RS4 we’ve featured, and not much has changed in that time regarding how stellar a package this car is. Coupling a 420 horsepower high-revving V8 to the sport-biased quattro drive train through a 6-speed manual ranks pretty high on the list of wants, especially when that package is as good looking as the B7 RS4 was. Subtle flares and gaping grills hint at the massive performance these cars are capable of, while the rest of the package is more subdued than similarly nutty AMG models. Ironically, while many Audi enthusiasts pine over the cars they hope to import – this author included – the reality is that this RS4 simply outperforms each and every one of those cars is just about every measurable way, and is available for sale today:

Year: 2007
Model: RS4
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 65,659 mi
Price: $36,990 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Audi RS4 on eBay

Very rare 2-Owner 2007 Audi RS4 Sedan with a great serviced history. Offered in Daytona Gray Peal exterior with Silver interior accented by Black piping and Brushed Aluminum beltline trim. Features include keyless entry, Navigation system, Bluetooth, dual zone climate control, power sunroof, Recaro sport seating, heated front and rear seats, dual power seats with driver’s seat memory, power side view mirrors, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, multi disc CD chanager with satellite radio, power rear sunshade, rear park sensors, Xenon headlights, 19 inch Titanium alloy wheels and much more. Just fully serviced and Pa inspected. Tons of service history. This car is a must see. Pictures do NOT do this car justice. Please contact one of our sales professionals today before it’s to late

As much as it pains me to say so, buying a U.S. spec RS4 makes a lot more sense than trying to import any number of European-spec Audis. The B7 chassis – especially with the quattro GmbH upgrades – is an impressive chassis to drive; smooth, confident and fast. The RS4 was undoubtedly the ultimate expression of this chassis, and with great looks, huge brakes, stiff yet compliant suspension and that incredible motor this is a hard package to beat. There is no mention of maintenance, and I’d wager that the car will need carbon deposit cleaning, but it’s clean and the Daytona Grey Pearl-effect over light grey leather is a great combination.

At $37,000, it’s not the cheapest RS4 we’ve seen – but when it comes to these cars, it’ll be much better to buy a good one even if it’s a few dollars more. Hold out for the color combo you want (I’ll take the one Viper Green one, please!) and jump on board with this modern classic; it’s hard to predict, but I could easily see these RS4s achieving cult-like status in a few decades and being one of the next E30 M3s.

-Carter