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Tag: S4

Wagon Week Preview: 2005.5 Audi S4 Avant

Having just sold my 2006 S4 Avant, I thought kicking off wagon week with this 2005.5 long roof S4 would be appropriate, While this example is very similar to the one I had there are some key differences that lead me to believe the seller’s asking price is completely reasonable, despite what the timing chain alarmists will say. This is a two owner car with  under 80k on the clock and the all important 3rd pedal option. My car was a TipTronic model (please, put down your pitchforks) and ultimately that was the reason I didn’t hang onto it longer. I loved the way the car drove, especially with the H&R Sport/Koni Yellow set up I had on it but at the end of the day I just couldn’t live with the automatic. Most S4 Avant owners know this and for that reason you’ll see stick shift examples often priced way higher than what one would consider reasonable. This is not one of those examples, not even close. I got just a few grand less for my automatic with 112k on the clock and a few things that needed attention. Whether that means I got more than I should have or this car is priced very competitively is ultimately up to you to decide but I think it’s the latter.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005.5 Audi S4 Avant on eBay

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Convertible Week B7-off: 2009 Audi A4 2.0T S-Line Cabriolet v. 2007 Audi S4 Cabriolet

Audi’s flirtation with chopped top mid-range sedans has always been an interesting one. Starting with the B4 series, Audi combined the front-drive 90 platform with parts of the Coupe platform to create the handsome and understated Cabriolet model. While not much of a performance machine, it was a good looking and reasonably sensible choice for a luxury 4-seat German convertible. It was not particularly sporty though; while Europe saw a range of engines, the U.S. received only front drive 4-speed automatic V6 models. The B4 model long outlived the rest of its siblings, soldiering on until 1998 when it was seemingly replaced by the TT model. The Roadster model wouldn’t be available until 2001, but the promise of an all-new convertible that was much sportier seemed logical. However, Audi returned to the 4-seat drop top market in 2003 with the A4 based Cabriolet model. Based initially on the B6 platform, it then seemed natural that Audi would finally offer a performance variant to compete against the popular M3 convertible; however, unlike the B3/B4 platform which had a Coupe model, there was no A4 based Coupe. To solve this problem, Audi’s skunkworks quattro GmbH undertook modifying the platform to create the 2006 S4 cabriolet.

Now, on the surface, this was a bit strange. Beyond the question of why you need a really fast convertible, you now had the question of why you needed an all-wheel drive convertible. But the Audi offered great looks, a stunning soundtrack and some trick interiors and flashy exterior colors to really help set the S4 apart. But many of the S4s were coupled with automatic transmissions; coupled with the chain problems the V8 heart is now known for, if you want a B7 cabriolet is it now smarter to consider the less flashy models?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Audi S4 Cabriolet on eBay

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Feature Listing: 2001 Audi S4 Avant

For some time, the B5 S4 was dismissed by a fair amount of enthusiasts as a heavy, complicated car. Truth told, the B5 seemed a bit of a let down initially compared to the already gone and instantly legendary C4 S4/S6 with the venerable inline-5 power plant. But Audi had a new range of motors when it came to the B5, and the inline-5 did not really fit under the more compact hood in the lineup. Replacing the single turbo 5-pot was a new 2.7 liter V6 with not one but two turbochargers. Despite that, performance seemed a bit tame; 250 horsepower was nothing to sneeze at, but it was only a bit more than the outgoing M3, after all. However, the B5 had a few trump cards over its competition. Of course, the major one was that quattro all-wheel drive continued to be the high-performance platform for Audi. In this guise, the lockable options were completely removed from the driver, instead having the computer’s brain work electronically locking differentials coupled with electronic stability. While the combination of these things didn’t sound like an enthusiast’s dream, out of the box the S4 was a quite competent performer. Of course, the big bonus with turbocharging was that there was a tremendous amount of performance potential on tap with some upgrades. Free up the exhaust and turn up the boost, and these Teutonic turbocharged wonders went from tame to terror. There was one other major trump card the B5 had over the competition; as with the last of the run C4 S6s, Audi finally allowed their fast wagons to come over to these shores. They were an instant hit amongst the Audi faithful, and brought many more customers over to the four rings from other marques as well. Arguably the most popular were the two wild color options; the ever popular purple-blue Norgaro Blue and the retina-searing shade of Imola Yellow. Only a reported 64 Imola Yellow Avants were imported between 2001 and 2002, making it one of the more rare B5s produced. Paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox, these Avants have stood the test of time and are still highly sought by enthusiasts:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S4 Avant on eBay

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Feature Listing: 1994 Audi S4

They say lightning doesn’t strike twice, but we know that to be a fallacy. It’s just extremely unlikely for it to strike twice in the same spot – an improbability along the lines of finding two extraordinarily clean, original and unmolested Audi S4s from the same seller. Heck, let’s increase the probability slightly and remove the “same seller” part – it’s still quite unlikely to find two clean S4s for sale within a few weeks of each other. That’s not because the S4 is unloved – quite the opposite indeed, the S4 has remained one of the absolute Audi essentials for a large number of the four ringed fans. First, there was the aerodynamic C4 chassis; quiet, refined, luxurious and not at all ostentatious, it’s a good looking sedan that was arguably far ahead of its time compared to the competition from Germany in 1992. The S4 took that basic platform a step farther with subtle but certain fender flares covering one of the best looking wheels ever fit to an Audi, the Fuchs made 16″ x 8″ with meaty 225 section tires. The headlights were upgraded to projector-beam units with integrated fog lights, a change that would carry over to the A6 later. Inside the S4 also received a smart sport interior; the seats were a step up from the older sport seats and featured heavy bolsters and plenty of electric adjustability. But the true genius of the C4 lay at its heart where few saw; a stout all-wheel drive system featuring a Torsen center differential and electronically locking rear differential, the C4 was the next in a long line of over-built Audis. The engine also wasn’t entirely new, but it was understressed from the factory and subsequent years of boosted bliss later, the AAN engine is capable of not only stratospheric power levels but improbable longevity as well. There are many that argue that this was the best all-around Audi ever made and for good reason. Despite that, as we’ve seen, it remains likely the best performance value of any German marque – if you can find a good one:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Audi S4 on craigslist

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Feature Listing: 1993 Audi S4

Recently I was reminiscing while looking through old magazine photos and came across the Car and Driver comparison of the Mercedes-Benz 500E, the BMW M5, and the then new Audi S4. I still remember reading that article; the Audi placed last and seemed seriously outclassed in terms of horsepower, acceleration even curb appeal. If you wanted the race car dressed as a sedan, the M5 was the natural choice. If you wanted a muscle car with room for four executives, then the 500E couldn’t be beaten. And on paper, the S4 was really a poor comparison to those cars. C&D did point out that the Audi was technically more advanced than the other two; it was the only turbocharged one, and the all-wheel drive system was already legendary even in 1992. But people that opted to buy the S4 were doing so not for the technology, but for the capability of the understated Audi. Several generations of each model on, these are still the cars that many longingly remember as the height of their respective marque’s build quality and driver involvement – and certainly that’s the case for the Audi. While it was underpowered out of the box compared to its countrymen, the stout drivetrain and engine easily accepted higher levels of boost. It was the first Audi that really got aftermarket support – a group of enthusiasts who still boast that this is the best car that Audi ever made. The workhorses of the ski-set, few have led pampered lives and not many remain in good shape – making it a treat to find a clean one. Despite growing acknowledgement that this car was one of the great sport sedans, prices on even very clean examples of the C4 S4 remain much more affordable than the BMW and Mercedes-Benz competition today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Audi S4 on Craigslist.org

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