2003 Audi S8

Like so many of us, my interest in Audi’s super sedan started with the film Ronin, in which the car takes center stage during one of the greatest chase scenes of all time. Prior to seeing the film I had zero interest in Euro luxo barges with big motors. I thought the bulletproof 750iL from Tomorrow Never Dies was pretty badass, but it wasn’t a car that lusted after because I knew real ones didn’t come with rocket launchers. Following that first viewing of Ronin however, I was obsessed and to this day the D2 S8 is still my favorite Audi to carry the badge. I appreciate the refined D3 and its Lamborghini sourced V10, as well as the current D4 models with their insanely high tech features and the biturbo V8 power plant shared with Bentley. However, sometimes a brand just does it right the first go round and I think that’s the case with the S8. The svelte styling would have you think the car comes in at less than the 4,000 lb curb weight, a number which is achieved with the much ballyhooed Audi Space Frame. Much has been made of the aluminum frame of these A8/S8 cars over the years and while I think it’s certainly cool, I don’t think it’s what makes these cars so special. For me it is the overall design language and appearance that puts the S8 above the competition.

Click for details: 2003 Audi S8 on Cars.com

Continue reading

2001 Audi S8 6-speed

My somewhat dour post regarding yesterday’s S8 had me feeling a bit downtrodden, and this listing was just what I needed to feel a little better. Not every current S8 owner is less than careful, and there are many who have grabbed one of these spectacular super-sedans because of the same enthusiasm I have for them. In the case of today’s example, it’s a first-year run S8 from 2001. However, the owner has upgraded the often-maligned 5-speed Tiptronic to an 01E 6-speed manual. The dream of many though few have been completed, the 6-speed swap is often mentioned as an alternative to add a little sport and long-term reliability to the mix. But it’s no small undertaking, and finding one that’s done correctly offers the potential buyer a turn-key package without the headaches of heavy lifting:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S8 on Craigslist

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

How “Loaded” Is “Fully”? 2001 Audi S8 Options Breakdown

The term “Fully Loaded” is often overused by dealers, and sometimes – as our reader Brad is fond of pointing out – poorly used. He is correct that, when talking about a top of the range luxury executive car, saying that it has power windows, locks or steering seems really quite superfluous since you couldn’t opt out of those options. Earlier this week, another reader sent me a 2001 S8 and I started to tick off the options that were selected as I looked through the photos and over the description. Unfortunately, the pricing on that particular S8 John sent was so aggressively low that someone got a great deal and it disappeared almost immediately. What was really amazing was that the selected options were more costly than the second-hand asking price! But I found another heavily equipped 2001 S8 for sale – unsurprisingly, though, the dealer doesn’t list those rare options, rather relying on the tried and true “Fully Loaded” moniker. Let’s see if we can decode what the car was selected with – and what that would have cost:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S8 on Geebo

Continue reading

2002 Audi S8

The D2 S8 is without a doubt one of my favorite cars, but even I’ll admit that the color pallet that the car was offered in was rather sedate. In fact, by 2003 you could only select from three colors. The typical silvers, dark blues, and blacks are all too common to see on the uncommon sporty large executive, but if you look at the specification sheets for the car you find that there were actually several colors that were very rare to see. Strangely, that’s not necessarily because they were ugly or very unusual colors – in fact, the example of today’s color was quite popular on other models like the Allroad. Yet, here is an Alpaka Beige S8 quattro – a color only available in 2002:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S8 on craigslist

Continue reading

Reader Ride Success Story: D2 Desires

Over the years, we’ve gained a lot of fans here at GCFSB, some of whom are specialty dealerships focuses on the cars we know and love. One such dealer is Sun Valley Auto Club in Idaho, whose inventory is always chock full of interesting finds. Our reader, Max, over at Sun Valley Auto Club recently purchased a 2002 Audi S8 that we featured last year. He was kind enough to check in with us and share his enthusiasm for this Audi and his buying experience.

509

Continue reading

Audi S8 Roundup

In last week’s 10K Practical Performance Edition, a question arose of what was the best ‘Bahn burner for under $15,000. My immediate answer was the Audi S8. It might not be as powerful as the E39 M5 or a slew of Mercs that are available for around the same amount, but the combination of the all-aluminum engine and space frame gives the large executive a smaller feel on the road – and with 360 horsepower, it’s no slouch. It’s also got a great all-wheel drive system; quattro purists don’t love the electronic differentials, but truth told on the fly they work reasonably well and you don’t have to muss and fuss. This isn’t a rally car, anyway. But it is a great looker – the interior and exterior are a beautiful combination of style and presence that few others match. There just aren’t any awkward angles on the D2 in my mind. So, today I’ve rounded up a few examples with the help of our reader, John. Ranging from a first run 6-speed through a last of the D2 2003 model, which would be your color?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S8 on quattroworld

Continue reading

2002 Audi S8

A few weeks ago I wrote up three rare-to-see colored S8s. If the S8 wasn’t already a bit of a special item to spot, seeing them in shades outside of the normal black or bright silver is a real treat. While I know that not all enthusiasts feel that the Audis of this generation are the most reliable or fastest cars (they’re not, I agree), the combination of the 360 horsepower V8 and that silky-smooth exterior create a really desirable package. The D2 is just right; well proportioned, a perfect stance, some great and unique properties like the Aluminum Space Frame design to keep weight down, and a luxurious and well appointed interior. The result? One heck of a well rounded packaged that is very affordable. Missing from the last roundup was one color that our reader John and I had been exchanging – the 2002-only color “Espresso Brown” – while we found two examples, both advertisements had disappeared by the time of writing. Well, today one is back with some new photos:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S8 on craigslist

Continue reading

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

Continue reading