2001 Audi S8

I’ll admit that I probably have rose-colored glasses on when I look back at my V8 quattro ownership. I had enough issues with it that my wife refers to most catastrophic failures in life as “like your Audi V8” incidents. Sure, it tried to kill me a few times; but then, look at it. It’s a great looking car. And that was what kept me going as I dumped money into an example that I paid far too little for initially. Today, I find myself looking back and saying “Next time, spend a little more and get the right one”. This is something that really should extend to the rest of my car purchases, frankly – and when the opportunity to purchase a replacement Passat, I didn’t cheap out. I found a 1 owner, lower mile and fully maintained model, and I paid a premium for it. Could I have gotten one for less money with a more dubious history? Absolutely, but learn from my experiences – buying a budget Audi/Volkswagen product with the intentions of fixing it along the way as things break will certainly cost you as much as buying the nice model would have cost you. I continue to longingly look at D2 S8s with the same balance; pay for a lower mile, nice example with maintenance history versus the many that pop up for budget prices. One Ming Blue example just surfaced near me for $4,000 with the check engine light on; another for $2,500 with 200,000 miles with a blown transmission. I could get one of those, but it’s probably smarter to spend more than double that for an example with less question marks:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S8 on eBay

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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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Tuner Tuesday: Audiacious Duo – 2001 S4 4.2 V8 and 2003 S8 6-speed

As I’ve talked about many times, the Audi/Volkswagen crowd is one of the most unique in the automotive enthusiast world. The home of polarizing taste, there are both VAG enthusiasts who do a great job modifying their cars and those who ruin them in the pursuit of the being unique. Today we seemingly have one of each; a questionably modified 2001 S4 and a slick looking 2003 S8. Which would be the ride you’d choose? Let’s start with the S4:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S4 4.2 V8 on craigslist

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10K Friday: Ronin v. The Transporter

On the surface, the themes were very similar; two movies staring action superstars playing above-the-law criminals with an amazing ability to extricate themselves from seemingly impossible conditions against improbable odds driving large, fast executive cars. Despite this, the movies Ronin and The Transporter couldn’t be more different. I watched the former on the edge of my seat, captivated by the mystery, floored by the incredibly filmed stunt scenes, the attention to reality and detail, and the staggeringly awesome lineup of cars. The latter I struggled to get through at all; I managed to make it about half way through before giving up. To this day, I still haven’t seen the ending of the first movie, and nothing more than trailers of the second. Is there a third? I’m sorry, I’m sure it made a gazillion dollars in the box office but frankly when I watched the clip of the Audi A8L W12 corkscrewing through the air to miraculously remove a bomb from the bottom of the car on a perfectly placed scrap-metal magnet hanging in mid-air I lost all interest. I can suspend my belief for a movie like Ronin because there was an air of reality to it; the characters were flawed and mortal. Sure, there were problems with the plot and even some of the stunts – I mean, they don’t show Jean Reno standing in line at the DMV to register the 450SEL 6.9, for example. But in terms of reality, it was on this planet at least, while The Transporter seemed to be set in some alternate Japanese-live-action-anime reality I’m not sure I want to understand. Nevertheless, the central plot to both is about cars and driving (at least a bit), and today you can purchase just about all of the cars featured in these films for around $10,000 – so which would you have? I had to use a bit of creative with some of the versions, so you’ll bear with me I hope – here we go!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL on eBay

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2002 Audi S8

I’m torn. I’ve made no excuses that I absolutely have an unnatural love and attraction to the D2 S8, and while part of that was framed by Ronin it can’t all be to blame. I want one of these cars. I’ve owned a 1993 V8 4.2 quattro, and that was both good and bad, but really only heightened my desire for a S8. So what am I torn over? Well, which color I want, of course. I originally fell in love with silver S8s when they launched in the U.S.; it was to me closest to the awesome ASF polished aluminum show car from 1993. But then I saw a Irish Green one with tan leather, and that was awesome. And then I saw a Ming Blue on, like the 2002 S8 I recently wrote up. To top it off, then there’s the really rare Avus Silver Pearl from 2003 only, replete with burgundy leather. Yeah, I want that one, too. But then I’m torn; should I hold out for the color I want or just take the plunge on a much more common silver example?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S8 on Craigslist

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2002 Audi S8

Last week, I wrote up a lovely Ming Blue 2001 Audi S8, and while it wasn’t the most perfect example out there, it was an honest, well maintained example. It seems that there are a plethora of 2001 models in the United States; more rare are the 2002 and 2003 models of this short-lived sports executive sedan. Today’s example looks like a carbon copy of last week’s example; again in Ming Blue and with the tan Recaro sports interior, this one is one year newer with less miles and the correct 18″ original Avus wheels:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S8 on eBay

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2001 Audi S8

In a recent post, I posed the “do you need the S8” once again when reviewing a clean and properly priced A8. I suggested that for about half the price of a decent S8, you could enjoy most of the experience in a clean A8. Of course, then someone has to go and advertise a pretty clean S8, in the perfect color combination, for just a bit more than an average A8. This 2001 Ming Blue S8 has a lot going for it; the color is great, the interior has those super sport seats, and the major services have just been done. But the best part – hands down – has to be the price:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S8 on quattroworld.com

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10K Friday: 2001 – An Executive Odyssey – S8 v. 740i Sport

A few weeks ago, Paul wrote up a low mile 1995 740i, always a favorite of ours here at GCFSB. Also a favorite is the D2 S8. Together, they represent in our minds the pinnacle of large executive designs – fast, comfortable, quiet, and with enough presence to draw respectful looks without being overstated, showy or brash. We also think that these two executive sedans are better looking than the multiple generations that have replaced them. While performance and luxury have increased in both BMW and Audi, in our opinion both of these cars are the high-water marks for their respective brands. So, which would you rather have? Let’s start with the S8:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S8 on eBay

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2001 Audi S8

I’ve recently been engaged in an email exchange with one of our readers comparing the V8 quattro that I love with the later D2 A8/S8. As much as it pains me to admit it and I love that early D11 V8, the reality is in nearly every measurable way the A8 and S8 are probably just a better choice. First, they’re the best part of a decade newer, and while the styling isn’t DTM worthy the D2 is certainly a great looking car in pretty much everyone’s book. The dimensions are right, the stance is great, and the presence is enormous. The D2 also benefited from the developments of the D11 chassis, and while it’s missing the virtually unstoppable Torsen setup of the V8 quattro, the D2 gained in pretty much every other department; refinement, quality, ride comfort, performance, fuel economy and safety. The top of the heap is one of our favorite cars, the S8 – touting 360 horsepower and a stiffer suspension, this is the one to have:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S8 on eBay

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2003 Audi S8

I’ll be honest – this car haunts my dreams. Well, not this particular car, but any Avus Silver Pearl 2003 S8. I first saw one a few years ago at Coventry Motor Car – well, when I say I saw one, they actually had two there that day. I sat and contemplated how I could get myself into one and cursing the existence of such a tempting combination. Prior to that, I still was in love with the S8, but I was pretty sure I’d be happy with a Ming Blue one. Or a silver one, or green, or pearlesant…but then I saw this color combination and like a Rick Astley song, I just can’t get it out of my head. This car has “Rick rolled” me! So as I sit here watching another one slip through my hands, perhaps you can enjoy looking at it too:

Year: 2003
Model: S8
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 93,700 mi
Price: $13,800 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi S8 on eBay

Classic 2003 Audi S8 for sale. Low mileage & exclusively serviced by the same Audi dealership using an Audi Pure Protection (bumper to bumper) warranty. 93,700 miles (average of 9,300 miles driven each year). Avus silver with Oxblood Red interior, a color combination unique to the last year of production. Automatic transmission recently rebuilt by the reputable Chicago Transcraft ($4,200) with a 1-year warranty on parts & labor. Quattro AWD. Summer tires with RS rims recently refinished and very clean. Electronic rear sunshade. Manual rear side sun shades. GPS navigation w/ OEM discs. Winter (rubber) & summer (cloth) floor mats also included.

Full maintenance receipts during my time of ownership and large folder of service records from the previous IL owner (also serviced via an Audi warranty). All routine & scheduled service current. Most recently, 90K mile service completed. It has been thoughtfully maintained and is in excellent mechanical & cosmetic condition. Minor scratches & rock chips on the front bumper, consistent for a 10-year old car driven primarily on the expressway to commute to/from work. Through consistent maintenance over the years, this car is offered in much better condition than lesser cared for S8’s of this model range.

This car is a beast and handles beautifully. It is the most powerful and rewarding car to drive that I have ever owned, including the newer A8 I recently purchased. It’s time to find this S8 a new home. Subsequently, this S8 will no longer be a daily driver and the low mileage will be preserved.

$13,800 FIRM (serious inquiries only/no low ball offers please)
630-207-4512

I could gush about the S8 performance and package all day long, and this example looks well cared for with typical miles. The rebuilt transmission is one less thing to worry about, though S8 transmission failure is less common than A8. With everything up to date and all records, I think the car is pretty appropriately priced – while you can get into a higher mileage S8 under $10,000, they’re often not the ones to buy and a trip or two to the mechanic to sort them will quickly put you into this car’s price point. As with many of the Volkswagen products that are complicated, you’re best bet is to find the nicest one you can. Here it is. Never gonna give you up, S8!

-Carter