Audi News

What’s Next? Cars I’m Interested In

I’ve gotten the “What’s Next?” question from a lot of friends and blog readers since sharing that I’ve sold my beautiful and beloved S4…so rather than saying “I really don’t know yet” over and over, I thought I’d start a post which has my top contenders. I will be updating this post throughout my car buying process with notes/impressions, as well as removing or adding cars based on further research…so stay tuned for regular updates if you’re really that interested. I imagine the finalists will get their own posts and/or mini-reviews, so if you really don’t care about the blow-by-blow then no need to revisit here. Likewise, I’d love suggestions/recommendations from anyone who reads this, so we’ll start with my criteria.

Next Car Wish list:

My goal is to have a very fun, sporty car that can do double duty as daily driver + track toy. I might keep this car as little as 1-2 years, or as long as 4 years. Because of this, it is important the car won’t take a massive depreciation hit in the first 1-2 years, which is why I’m ruling out most if not all new cars unless I can get an attractive 3 year or lower lease. I don’t even need room for a car seat, in fact I want something fairly impractical to enjoy while I still can…

  • 2 door coupe (may also consider hi-po wagons, but no sedans, SUVs, or trucks)
  • Must be either RWD or AWD
  • Must be either manual or DSG (strongly prefer manual though)
  • NO convertibles – must be fixed roof. Bonus points for sunroof delete.
  • Probably used, or at least something that won’t have massive first year depreciation
  • Performance-oriented car, but needs to be a decent daily driver too
  • Around $40k budget (give or take, ideally under rather than over)
  • Doesn’t need to be perfect, as I plan to modify & work on it myself, but no salvage titles or total project cars (must run & drive)
  • Lower mileage (ideally <50k miles, but older cars can be okay)
  • It’d be cool to stay within Audi, but open to all Makes (German, American, Japanese, you name it)
  • Bonus points if it already has some tasteful mods (coilovers, high end wheels, good sounding exhaust, tune)

Top Contenders (From High to Low):

Based on the above, here are my top contenders in order from “most likely to actually buy” to “kinda nuts, but I at least want to test drive.”

  1. 2012-2013 (MK2) Audi TTRS: super fast & sounds amazing, great brakes. Some understeer and small backseat otherwise perfect. Tune adds insane power.
  2. 2005-2008 (997) Porsche Carrera 2(S?): review here but overall super smooth car and great value.
  3. 1965-1967 Ford Mustang Fastback: super impractical for a daily driver but can’t beat the cool factor
  4. 2008-2015 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan or Wagon
  5. 1998-2002 BMW M Coupe
  6. 2000-2007 Dodge Viper
  7. 2001-2002 B5 Audi S4 Avant with RS Conversion


Here are some cars I’ve considered, but already ruled out along with a brief explanation of why:

  • 2013-2017 Audi S3: review here but overall love it just not really sure I want a sedan next.
  • 987.1 Porsche Cayman S: if I go P-car, it will be a 911
  • 2008-2013 (E92) BMW M3: really impressed with the speed, these are FAST! Big back seat too. Steering somewhat numb, ride floaty…and not very unique.
  • 2015+ Shelby GT500: interior is awful, and car impacted by Takata recall
  • 2017 Focus RS – couldn’t even get a test drive, $15k dealer markup, Ford quality. No thanks!
  • 2007-2014 Mercedes C63 – no manual option 🙁
  • 2014 (C7) Corvette – amazing performance but can’t get over the “old man” stigma and don’t love the styling
  • 2013+ Audi RS5 – still a bit too expensive, no manual option, kinda heavy
  • B8 (V6 Supercharged) S5 – underpowered, last year of current body style so feels/looks dated
  • Miata: too small for a daily, no fixed roof
  • Jaguar F-Type: still too expensive (~60k) and will be taking a massive depreciation hit
  • Series I-II Jaguar E-Type: too unreliable for daily driving
  • 1994-1997 Land Rover Defender 90: won’t fit in garage, not sporty enough
  • Toyota Land Cruiser: love these, but want to get a 2 door next then something bigger once if/when the family situation dictates I need it
  • 2007-2008 Audi RS4: I’ve already had two B7s, so it’s time to get something different
  • Golf R: Awesome car, but feels like a step down from Audi and might be better family car in the future because hatchback
  • BMW 1M: Love it, but a bit too expensive IMO


I bought the TT-RS. More on that here:

Nick Roshon

Nick has been an Audi owner and fanatic for the last 10 years, and started Nick's Car Blog in 2009 to share DIYs and pictures of his A4. Currently he drives a 2012 Audi TT-RS, and has previously owned a B7 S4, B7 A4, and an 82 Audi Coupe (GT) LeMons race car. In his day job, Nick is a digital marketer and lives in San Diego, CA, USA.


  1. You could get an AWD FJ Cruiser 6 speed and put a TRD Supercharger on it. I’ve been wanting to build one of these for a while now. I’ve heard they’re pretty badass. Not a two door, but with the suicide doors you can at least cram a few friends and the dog in there if you need too. And the wife, or course.

  2. Haha, Moira will appreciate that. Decent option to consider, but I think I’ve pretty much ruled out SUVs at this point. Will be a good “next car” after this one though.

  3. TT-RS, I’d get one if I were you, although hopefully that clutch has feel to it

    Had a Mk1 225 I had to get use to, but then it felt racy. Drove a Mk2 3.2, felt too light

    Of course, I’d also say get a Mustang GT, a C63 or be a badass and get a Viper, but thats just me

  4. TVR Tuscan. You’ll question the decision every day, until you look at it.

    Then again, it doesn’t have any airbags sooo that’s a risk…

  5. I love the idea, but those are pretty hard to find in the US and probably well outside of my budget. The airbag issue doesn’t worry me as much, I can live with that.

  6. Hah. Good point. I’m in Canada so they’re a bit easier to find because we can import any car that’s (I think) 15 years old. I saw one for sale the other day but I think it’s gone now. What about a ’57 T-Bird?

  7. Chicks generally think Posches are douchey. No airbags doesn’t seem very smart, especially considering you want as both a daily driver and track car.

  8. Nick,

    Thanks for all the work on the S4 blog!!! Found it while doing research on my B7 before purchasing it and still use it for DIYs. Good luck with your next car purchase. That’s a nice list, but I’m not a fan of the new Corvette look. Besides, you’re not old enough for a mid-life crisis yet. 🙂 I vote for the TTRS or the 911 if it’s your daily driver.

  9. Subaru BRZ hits all of your bullets. Well within your budget for a used one, so plenty of money left to modify (2JZ/LS engine swap, or turbo it yourself).

  10. Hmmm – it does hit all of my criteria, but it lacks that lust factor. I know a lot of FRS/BRZ guys really, really enjoy those cars though. Worth considering.

  11. Haha, I kind of feel the same way on the Vette – but it’s such a performance bargain it’s hard to completely cross it off the list due to appearance. TTRS & 911 are probably my top two contenders at the moment, but I have a lot of test driving to do…

  12. If you want to have fun, go for the focus rs, it has a “drift” button on it. Look it up on youtube, much fun and cool sound, also a lot of adjustments available 😉

  13. I have an appointment on Wednesday to test drive one actually. It’s a cool car, but I kind of think waiting 3-4 years to buy a used one will be the way to go…I doubt they’ll hold value much unless Ford really limits production of them.

  14. Hello Nick, glad you’re able to start a new project and I have no doubt it’ll be just as good as your S4 !

    I have an unrelated question, regarding your Stasis Ohlins. Did you ever have any issues with them ? How many miles have you put on them, did they require any rebuild since you purchased them used ? I am considering picking up a new set but came across this thread and it raises some concerns

  15. B8.5 S5. My 2013 S5 is the greatest car I have ever owned. While the RS5 is nice, I went with the S5 because piece of junk DSG. Always manual for the win, DSG is too complicated and unreliable. And I don’t need to tell you about the easy mods that will make the S5 just as fast as the RS5. Price a brake job or DSG repair on the RS.

    And of course the TTRS is always a great choice.

  16. Thanks! I never had any issues of that magnitude with mine, no. They do need rebuilt per the manufacturer’s recommendation every 2 years. I had them rebuilt once, and it did seem to make the car ride better. Ultimately they are more of a “race” coilover which is why they require more regular maintenance…but as far as the technology goes, it’s some of the best.

  17. Thanks for the info Nick, would you letting me know what company you used for the rebuild and how much was the service? Also, any idea how much original retail was on them ? Someone local is selling a set brand new for $1600, which is great because I was considering the Bilstein PSS9 for roughly the same price and if these are better then I’d like to purchase them instead, although they are not dampening adjustable like the PSS9 are.

  18. I think you’d be happiest with a import! Your love for Audi shows, it would be hard going for anything else.. the cars I’d pick out your selection:
    – Porsche
    – Audi S3
    – B5 Wagon

  19. Awesome thanks for the link, I read your initial review but didn’t know you had some follow up info.

  20. hey Nick ever consider a Z? I’m kinda in the same boat as you, I have an Audi A4 B6 (Original Owner), it’s been a great car, 365,000+ miles, and I’m keeping it, I wouldn’t get much on it for a trade in and it’s still a great car but it’s time for me to add, so I’m debating between a S3 or a Z, not sure if I want a 2 seater though with the Z…

  21. I thought about the Z briefly as it sounds great on paper but everyone I know that bought one only kept it for a few months before wanting to get rid of it.

  22. I’m sad you don’t want the S3. I’m considering getting one and would love to follow what you would do to it. The mods that are coming out with that engine are making it a very, very, fast and trackable car. It’s also possible to find good ones for around 25-30k. The S5 V6T is very nice but the mods for power are limited due to the supercharger. Still it can absolutely fly with Intake, downpipes, pulley and tune. Honestly, it can make a corvette look really slow. The TTS might be a possibility to think about. With just a few mods it gets you into the TTRS power range. If you get a TTRS check out what Iroz motorsports is doing with that engine. Integrated engineering is also about to come out with goodies for that 5-cylinder engine.

    Can you tell I would love to see you stay in the Audi family?

    Thanks for putting together this blog. It’s been a great resource.

  23. Thanks Brian! It’s not that I don’t want the S3, I actually really love that car. I’m partial to the facelift, but if I could pick one up for the mid to high 20s that would leave a very healthy mod budget. I would love to get a coupe next though, which is the main reason I ruled it out initially (plus no 6MT option) but it’s an amazing car and probably would be most useful in terms of blog content (more people interested, more mods to do, etc.). I have a feeling the S3 will be my next-next car if we get another dog, or kids, or something along those lines and a back seat becomes a need. Right now I’m leaning very heavily towards the TTRS. I know you can mod a TTS nicely but the I5 is really something special…and you add a tune to that and holy crap it is fast! Stay tuned (pun intended) 🙂

  24. I think you are on the right track with the TTRS with your past track exploits. As I stated before, I prefer the S5; more usable as a daily driver (yes I have occasionally put a few people in the back seats without much protest), and still attracts attention when I drive it (especially jealous looks from people now realize their Lexus is ugly as Trump in meltdown mode). TTRS will be better if you still plan on occasionally tracking the car and don’t imagine you would ever have use for those sell-out luxuries known as back seats. I have an S2000 and 951 which are my weekend toys that are more toss-able, but slower performers all around compared to the S5.

    But back to why the S5 is better, indulge me as I sing sonnets about the glorious S5. Compared to the competition, the S5 has been proven to be far superior to the new competition despite it’s old age. A little under 3 years ago C&D compared the 2014 S5, which has been out for 7 years, against the all new BMW 435 Coupe, and the S5 beat it:

    And in 2015, Car and Driver compared the 8 year old S5 against the all new bastard-aborted-inbred-alien-looking Lexus RC350F Sport Coupe and the new Cadillac ATS 3.6 Coupe. The S5 easily beat the new competition:

    No matter what Audi you go for, if possible, I would avoid the option package called “I don’t f#!cking know how to drive” which includes blind spot warning, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and start, adaptive headlights, adjustable suspension, etc. Those are all very pricey, and will just cause headaches down the road.

  25. Great post Christian – I totally hear you on the S5, but I think it’s going to be a TTRS since this is somewhat of an “almost midlife crisis” car where the impracticality is part of the draw 🙂 We have my wife’s car (Ford Focus Hatchback) for when we need to haul around people and things. I had plenty of headaches with the adaptive headlights on my B7, so I can definitely live without that again…all of the TTRS I’m looking at are pretty loaded though option wise. I’m hoping to make a purchase this month, I’m kind of surprised/impressed with myself for going so long car celibate but I’m getting the itch…

  26. 1M is too expensive and you were looking at porsche 997 ? TT is a hairdresser’s car.. You bought the wrong car, obviously never driven a GT350 or a M2. RWD , manual forever.

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