The Pitfalls of Buying a Cheap S5, Audi Promises Exciting EVs, New A4 Spy Shots & More! | AudiWorld Driven

AudiWorld DrivenAudiWorld Driven series to get you caught up. As always, we rounded up the hottest Audi news, reviews, videos, and AudiWorld forum discussions from the past week just for you. This week incudes a look back by Team Audi Sport at the unfortunate results from the 2023 Dakar. AudiWorld forum members discuss what other vehicles they would buy if the new A4 is disappointing. Speaking of the new A4, we get a good look at the new A4 Avant. A popular YouTuber buys a cheap S5 V8 6-speed and discovers that everything is broken. There is a lot to cover this week so let’s get to it.

Audi Promises ICE-levels of Excitement in EVs

Audi e-tron GTHERE to read the report by Topspeed.

Must Watch Video: 16 Days of Disappointment at Dakar 2023

Audi came into the 2023 Dakar with high hopes. But the Dakar is a cruel and unforgiving race and Audi saw that firsthand this year. Things were actually going quite well until Stage 6. Big crashes and other setbacks then struck and eliminated any hope of Audi taking home the top prize. A video was recently posted on the Audi YouTube channel that summarizes their Dakar effort this year.

Forum Thread of the Week: Hate the New A4? What Else Would You Buy?

AudiWorld DrivenHERE.

2024 A4 Avant Drops Its Disguise

A4 AvantHERE.

Must Watch Video: $7K Audi S5 Has Laundry List of Issues

The 2008 Audi S5 is a great little coupe. The V8 engine and a manual transmission makes for a lot of fun. And thanks to depreciation these cars can be bought for a reasonable amount of money. But if you are looking for the CHEAPEST Audi S5 that you can buy you should know that the purchase price might be just the beginning of your financial outlay. The Audi S5 in this video was bought for only $6,900. But an inspection revealed that it needs nearly $5,000 in repairs. And that does not include the transmission which may also need major work. Ouch.

Original-Owner 2000 Audi S4 6-Speed Goes to Auction

Audi S4Bring a Trailer and the auction is set to end on Sunday, January 29. You still have time to bid and take home a classic Audi sport sedan.

Images: Audi; Bring a Trailer;

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Audi A4 Buyer’s Guide (1996-2016)

2007 A4

Known as the B5, the first-generation A4 saved Audi in the U.S. market. Borrowing the same platform as the Volkswagen Passat, it offered a mix of turbocharged four-cylinder and natural aspirated six-cylinder engines. Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive was an option and could be ordered with a five-speed manual and a five-speed Tiptronic gearbox licensed from Porsche. For those looking for more performance, an S4 model included a twin-turbocharged version of the 30-valve 2.8-liter V-6 and made 250 horsepower.

Second Generation B6 (2002-2004)

2002 A4

The most noticeable thing about the second-generation Audi A4 is the Bauhaus styling. But real changes occurred under the skin. Audi moved the A4 to the larger, stiffer, and lighter B6 platform. A CVT transmission replaced the Tiptronic gearbox. The V6 engine increased to 3.0-liters of displacement with an output of 220 horsepower. And in 2003, Audi decided to get rowdy and stuff its new 339 horsepower, 4.2-liter V8 under the hood.

Third Generation B7 (2005-2008)

2007 A4fourth-generation A4 arrived in 2009, sharing the A5’s platform. Five inches longer than the old model, it outgrew the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The wheelbase stretched six inches and the car more closely resembled its A6 bigger brother. A revised interior with improved infotainment systems also reflected the A6, and Audi Drive Select became an option. The 3.2-liter V6 became the standard engine until a revised 2.0-liter four-cylinder debuted. The six-speed manual and CVT carried on, but Quattros received a new eight-speed automatic in 2011. The biggest change occurred with the S4. A supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 making 333 horsepower replaced the 4.2-liter V8. Equipped with an optional seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch automatic gearbox, it offered better performance, fuel economy, and was easier to service.

What to Look For

In terms of repairs and reliability, the Audi A4 has a few troublespots, most of which are minor with a couple of exceptions. According to Repair Pal, the most common issues are oil leaks from the valve cover and timing chain tensioner gaskets. Other things to watch include:

  • Ignition coil, spark plug, or spark plug wire failure
  • High-pressure fuel pump issues
  • Carbon build-up on FSI and TFSI engines
  • Water pump and/or thermostat failure
  • Misc. vacuum leaks and sensor failures

All of the above issues are common on many cars, not just Audis or the A4. Moving over to the S4, look for the same issues. Thermostat failures seem to be more common, but the biggest worry is the timing chain. Replacing it is an engine-out repair. Parts average about $1,200 to $1,400 and labor runs $4,000 or more.

S4 B7 Timing Chain

For this reason, you’ll occasionally stumble across an S4 at a fire sale price. Those cars are best avoided unless you have the money or skills to do the work yourself. Otherwise, the repair cost will likely exceed what you paid for the car.

What to Buy

There aren’t any specific models to avoid except for a cheap V8-powered S4. But if you’re looking for the sweet spot between usable performance, features, and operating costs, a later B7 or B8 with the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder and Quattro AWD is hard to beat. They provide modern amenities and are not far off the pace of the V6. However, two golden rules apply when buying an A4 or any older premium car:

  1. Buy the best car you can afford.
  2. Get a pre-purchase inspection or PPI.

Look for cars listed by reputable dealers or from an owner with a comprehensive history. Check the vehicle history using a service like Carfax or AutoCheck. Condition matters much more than mileage. No matter how good the car looks, take it to a knowledgeable Audi mechanic and get a PPI. A bad A4 is a problem child that will test your sanity. But when you find a good one, you’ll have a great car that does many things well and is enjoyable to drive all year.

Photos: Audi USA & Reddit 

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Mark Webb is fascinated by anything automotive and particularly loves cars that are unusual or have a good story. He’s owned a variety of cars from 60’s muscle, Japanese imports, and oddities like a VW Thing and Porsche 924. After 20 years in the automotive and tech industries, he’s a walking encyclopedia of car info and is always on the lookout for his next project or a good road trip.

Former SEMA Quattro Tribute S4 Steals the Show on the Road

2013 Audi S4

Built by Allroad Outfitters for SEMA 2018, 2013 S4 wears livery made famous by S1 Quattro, used in promos by Thule, Toyo Tires.

SEMA is only a few months away (we hope). This means the desert sands of Las Vegas will soon be swarmed by all sorts of wild Audi builds. Some builds were made to promote a vendor’s product, others to display the skills of the builders themselves. Not to mention the coolest Audis flexing all over Sin City, from the drag strip and drift courses, to Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the Vegas Strip.

One such Audi made the trek to SEMA back in 2018, an S4 built by California’s Allroad Outfitters. Last year, it was put up on Craigslist. This year, it’s Bring a Trailer‘s turn to find this unique build a new home.

2013 Audi S4

Hosted by aftermarket lighting vendor Spyder at their SEMA 2018 display, the S4 wears the colors made famous by the S1 Quattro of the Eighties. Other accolades include a Toyo Treadpass Treadpass Vehicle award, and time spent as a demo for Thule’s luggage racks. Since then, it’s been looking for a new home.

2013 Audi S4

Under the hood, the S4’s 3.0-liter V6 with Eaton supercharger smokes the full set of Toyo Proxes R888Rs, each wrapped upon a Volk Rays TE37 wheel. A seven-speed auto handles the power, while the Borla exhaust delivers the sound to the SEMA crowd.

2013 Audi S4

Though the interior remains stock in some places, the S4 received a bolt-in roll bar, plus a set of carbon-Kevlar Recaros up front. The outside, however, is where it’s at. Along with the aforementioned tribute wrap, the Audi rocks a full set of carbon-fiber body panels. From the canards and big wing, to the fender flares mirror covers, this ride can only be a SEMA special.

2013 Audi S4

According to the Craigslist posting Jalopnik screencap’d in 2020, Allroad Outfitters tried to sell the SEMA S4 for $59,995. Alas, no one took them up on on this Audi. Thus, a trip to Bring a Trailer. As of this post, the S4 sits at $10,000. We wish the builders all the best in sending their creation off to a new home.

Photos: Bring a Trailer

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Cameron Aubernon’s path to automotive journalism began in the early New ’10s. Back then, a friend of hers thought she was an independent fashion blogger.

Aubernon wasn’t, so she became one, covering fashion in her own way for the next few years.

From there, she’s written for: Magazine, Insider Louisville, The Voice-Tribune/The Voice, TOPS Louisville, Jeffersontown Magazine, Dispatches Europe, The Truth About Cars, Automotive News, Yahoo Autos, RideApart, Hagerty, and Street Trucks.

Aubernon also served as the editor-in-chief of a short-lived online society publication in Louisville, Kentucky, interned at the city’s NPR affiliate, WFPL-FM, and was the de facto publicist-in-residence for a communal art space near the University of Louisville.

Aubernon is a member of the International Motor Press Association, and the Washington Automotive Press Association.