Way back in 2015, I looked at a special Allroad – one of ten that were used in the 2002 Sal Lake City Olympics. They were created through Audi’s Exclusive program and were finished in Sprint Blue Pearl Effect. Since they’re so rare, they don’t come up for sale often. But one did come across my desk this week, and it looked awfully familiar. That’s because it’s the same car I looked at back in ’15! So here it is again, about 70k more miles and not quite as pristine as it once was. But it’s still got the desirable 6-speed manual swap, it’s no reserve, and Sprint Blue is always an eye catcher. So let’s take a look at it today!
Tag: Sprint Blue Pearl
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
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
A few weeks ago, our reader John sent me a listing on Craigslist for this car. I immediately laughed. It’s not that the car was modified to look like an RS2 in the front and resprayed. On the surface, that’s pretty common and overall it looks reasonably done. It’s not that the car didn’t get a matching engine transplant; the unappreciated 20 valve normally aspirated 7A inline-5 is still there. It’s not that they didn’t do a 5-bolt conversion with larger brakes. No, what made me laugh was the color – Sprint Blue Pearl. That’s a B7-spec color, and while to non-Audi nerds it may not matter, it’s the wrong color. Nogaro Blue, technically, would also be the wrong color, since the RS2 was oft-anointed in the special shade of RS Blue. Now, technically that color seems to be the same color as the later B5-chassis shade, but nevertheless the person who repainted this car in the spirit of the RS managed to be 3 generations off in color. It’s that kind of attention to detail that always worries me about modified cars: