For $12,000, Is This 2001 Audi S4 Quattro A Dream?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Audi says it’s his dream car. We’ll still have to decide if this breathed-upon B5’s price is a potential buyer’s nightmare.

Do you recall how in the instance of the tortoise racing the hare, slow and steady won the race? There’s something to be said about the value of staid, mainstream but possibly dull “appliance-like” cars too, and what was said about yesterday’s 1989 Chevy Cavalier convertible was that it was a 70% Nice Price winner. I like that, it’s like the little guy finally getting his due.


Audi is kind of a little guy too, although they are part of the humorously acronym’d VAG conglomerate which is one of the largest auto producers on the planet. That deep-pockets/boutique branding has allowed the German car maker to offer some pretty unique and interesting rides over the years. One of those was the S4 Quattro.

The Ur S4 was based on the mid-sized C4 platform, but when Audi switched their naming convention to single digits, it moved down a rung to the B5 series.

This clean-title 2001 S4 represents from that second generation, and is still to this day one of the best-looking sedans ever to come out of Audi. Not only that, but this 2.7-litre biturbo-equipped three-box has been breathed on for even more get up and go.


Stock, the S4’s thirty-valve V6 was good for 261-bhp and 285 lb-ft of twist. This one is claimed to be a “Stage 3” build that includes Borg Warner K04 turbos (just like on the RS4), AWE intercoolers, and a Devil’s Own methanol/water injection system. That last item would certainly piss-off Jeremy Clarkson as who knows how often it needs to be tanked up.


All that conspires to provide the car with what the seller estimates to be worth about 400-horsepower and change. Honestly, I’d like to see the dyno sheet just to back up that assertion.


More mechanical monkeying has gone down on this car than just the mill, including Porsche 6-pot brakes up front, and corresponding bigger units in back. Perhaps more importantly than the upgrades is the maintenance noted in the ad. The seller says that he has had the cam chain tensioners replaced under his watch.

The 2.7-litre is a hybrid cam drive engine utilizing a belt for crank to cam action, and then a chain between the intake and exhaust cams. The plastic tensioners on those chains are known pain points for owners, so having the—very expensive—work already handled not that many miles ago seems a major plus.


Speaking of miles, there’s 120,000 on the car right now. They show in the peppering on the nose, the fading paint on the car’s horizontal surfaces, and a number of small dings in the Santorin Blue Pearl paint.


Inside, there’s a tear in the driver’s seat, the expected dump-taking of the instrument panel LCD, and an unexpectedly large quantity of electric blue alcantara. The blue on the doors may be a bit much, but that’s a personal taste thing, and probably easy enough to change if you didn’t share that taste. Back on the outside, a set of very sweet-looking BBS wheels drive away those blues.


The seller says this is his dream car. He also notes in his ad that it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee, and is hence “moving on” from the dream.

To help him do so, he asks $12,000. What we need to do is decide if that seems like a decent price for this “Stage 3” car. What do you think, is $12,000 a deal to set that stage? Or, is that way too much for a dream Audi that might just be way too tired?


You decide!


Denver Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.