I’m excited to share that I’ve not only re-entered the Audi world, but I’ve purchased yet another B7.
While I resisted the idea of buying yet another B7, a deal fell into my lap that was too good to pass up so I seized the opportunity.
My good friend Moyzes of AutoLogic San Diego spotted this car at auction and while it needed some cosmetic TLC it was otherwise in great shape and at a price that made it hard to pass up.
It had 142K miles on the odometer and a minor accident in 2011, making this an ideal “driver” car that I can have fun restoring and fixing up without having to break the bank finding a pristine example which regularly sells for $30-40K on BringATrailer. The accident was relatively minor with no airbags deployed, and the car had a good service history and had spent its entire life in Southern California so rust & harsh weather was not a concern.
I got the car in late August and have been slowly but surely restoring it to get it up to my standards, and I’m finally ready to share it with you all here…it’s been incredibly fun and rewarding to bring this beauty back to life, and the car now looks 10 years newer and gets looks and compliments everywhere I go.
If you’re not familiar with the RS4, there is a good reason for that. The RS4 was only sold in the US for two years, 2007-2008, and mysteriously Audi hasn’t sold the RS4 since. Of those two years of production, Audi only brought 2,647 RS4s to North America, so it was pretty limited production.
The RS4 has a number of features to distinguish itself from lower models, including a factory wide body with distinct fenders and front & rear bumpers, an aluminum hood for weight savings, and special 19×9 wheels that are among the best designs Audi has ever produced.
More than just an appearance package, the car has a unique 4.2L V8 that pumps out 420 horsepower and is shared only with the Audi R8. Unlike the B7 S4, this car does not have the expensive & dreaded timing chain concern as the RS4 is an entirely different motor, shared with the R8, so it is a relief to not to have to worry about that. In addition to more power, the car has a number of suspension upgrades, 8 piston Brembos (shared with the R8 and gallardo), upgraded interior bits (door handles, shifter knob, e-brake, carbon fiber trim, and so-on), and other little details.
Most importantly, the RS4 was only brought to the US as a manual, which means every RS4 you see in the states has a proper transmission.
While Daytona Gray is the second most popular color, it is still one of only 613. Sprint Blue is the most sought after color, with examples fetching a good $5-10K premium over other colors…and as you can see above, there are a few custom ordered colors that are even more rare.
That being said, I have grown to really like Daytona Gray is it really shows the curves well (unlike black or white, IMO), it hides dirt fairly well, and it’s a pretty timeless and classic color that isn’t going to turn anyone off, attract unwanted attention, or seem too flashy (e.g. red, yellow, glut orange, etc.).
My dream RS4 would be in Suzuka Gray, but with only 8 in North America (at least one of which is a salvage title now) the chances of finding one are near impossible, and those that do trade hands go for a substantial premium.
The car came with a Titanium Package (now known as Black Optics) grille, and I had the window trim wrapped in matte black to complete the Ti package look. The window trim had some oxidation that I could not detail out, and in my opinion the black trim looks great and is something I did to my last B7s as well.
The only other modification the car came with is lowering springs. The car was still on the stock Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) magnetic shocks/struts; however, at 142K miles those were blown out and needed replacing. I installed brand new Bilstein struts and refreshed the bushings and bump stops and the car now rides wonderfully.
The other common maintenance items to watch out for in the RS4 is a carbon clean, as deposits build up over time. I went ahead and had a professional carbon cleaning done, and the results are pretty dramatic both in terms of the pictures as well as a noticeable power bump before and after:
While the carbon clean was done, I addressed the other two common failure points of the car – removing the intake flaps (known as the de-flap mod) and installing new injectors. In very rare (but tragic) cases, the RS4 has been known to lose an intake flap screw into the engine, or eat an injector, both of which result in a total loss of the engine…removing the flaps and installing new injectors is a great way to de-risk the engine and make it good for the next 100K miles without much concern.
Other maintenance and modification I have taken care of so far includes replacing the front filler plate to one that does not have a license plate holder, doing the clear corner modification, and doing an extensive detail inside and out including CQuartz UK ceramic coating.
I also had my friends at Elite Finish repair the cracked leather seats, some paint touch ups, and getting the paint prepped for the ceramic coating…I also upgraded all of the interior bulb to LEDs using my old DIY.
Last but not least, I’ve been replacing items that had wear and tear in the interior such as sticky buttons or scratches, which I’ve been sourcing new OEM units for on eBay.
Stay tuned for more content and DIYs as my goal is to make this one of the cleanest B7 RS4s in the US, and prove that a higher mileage car can not only be just as fun, but it can look just as good too.
My plan is to keep this car fairly close to stock, with some Euro upgrades and then replacing anything that breaks with a stronger or upgraded aftermarket component where it makes sense.
Most importantly, I plan to drive the car plenty. I have several friends with RS4s well over 200K miles and this motor is very strong and reliable, proving that you can get a great (and rare) car on a budget…all that is needed is to take care of your car in terms of both maintenance and detailing and you can have an awesome car on a budget that looks and drives well for a very long time.
Stay tuned for more updates on the blog and my Instagram!