Audi S4 Cabriolet (B6)

Audi S4 Cabriolet (B6)

Cost new: £40,969. Value now: £8,500

Low miles and low price, plus a thrumming V8 gloriousness – it's difficult to resist, no?

Audi's S4 may not have the glamour of the RS but it doesn't leave you wanting for performance, with a 302lb-ft thump and 60mph a memory in less than six seconds. 

However, many S4s we've seen have suffered from indifferent care and as such are about as tempting as the clap. Happily, this one bucks that trend – save for a few minor blemishes it's in good condition, with relatively low mileage.

The bodywork presents well overall, though there are a few swirl marks and minor scratches here and there. There's a solitary parking dint on the driver's side. We could only find very minor stonechips to the front of the car, though there is a small chip half-way up the windscreen. The Bridgestone Potenza 5001s (235/40 R18s front and rear) have a good level of tread remaining, and the wheels themselves are devoid of kerbing damage or corrosion. The cloth hood works without error and we found no leaks when we washed the car.

Under the bonnet it's not studiously clean but all the fluids are up to the correct mark and none decided to part ways with the mothership during our time with the car. The paperwork file reveals that it was serviced twice yearly by a mixture of Audi dealers and independents until 2014, and yearly since then, with the mileage fully backed up. 

The interior is in largely good order too, though there are a few minor blemishes to the trim. There are a few minor dints in the aluminium trim strip on the driver's side and there are some minor nail marks on the door cards. The soft-touch material on the driver's side door pull is a bit patchy. There are a few marks on the seats and some creasing to the driver's seat cushion, but nothing too concerning. The driver's right seat bolster is discoloured and lightly worn. 

The 4.2-litre V8 instantly fires up to a whispery-smooth idle, and on the move the S4 pulls irresistibly forward with a big-hearted woofle. We detected no flat spots through the gears; the gearbox and clutch were light and precise too. There were no dead spots in the steering, no peculiar noises from the suspension and the brakes brought the car to a halt quickly and predictably. 

While there are a few minor imperfections, this is a lot of car for not a great deal of money. It's a good S4 you can enjoy during the summer and then get the minor jobs done during the winter. Well worth a look. 


AUDI S4 Convertible

Year                  2006
Mileage            42,000
On sale at        www.auto-vogue.co.uk

Specifications

Engine              4163cc/8-cyl/DOHC
Transmission   4WD, 6-speed manual
Power               339bhp@7000rpm
Torque              302lb-ft@3500rpm
Weight              1855kg

Performance

0-60mph         5.9sec
Top speed       155mph
Economy         25mpg


Choose your Audi S4 (B6)

Audi launches the S4 in saloon and Avant form in 2003, with the Cabriolet following in 2004. All variants are powered by an all-aluminium 4.2-litre, 40-valve V8. It's available with either a Getrag M6S six-speed manual gearbox or ZF 6HP19 tiptronic automatic. It also has Torsen T-2 quattro permanent four-wheel drive. Aluminium trim (later aluminium-covered plastic in some areas) identify an S4 over the standard A4.  

 Avant and saloon bow out in 2004, a year before the cabrio.


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SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI SPEC D

Subaru Impreza WRX STI SPEC D

Cost new: £31, 550. Value now: £16,900

Want a low-miles Impreza without the visual aggression? Then step this way...

If you're attracted to the idea of a Subaru Impreza and its sizeable turbo wallop, but are turned off by certain aspects of the Scooby owning image, then this Spec D makes sense. 

The D stands for discreet, which means that it has extra soundproofing, plush leather chairs, an upgraded stereo, touchscreen sat-nav and a more restrained bodykit. Well, slightly more restrained. Just 300 were built, and all in Crystal Grey. 

This one's covered just under 21,000 miles and as a result it's in very good nick. The only marks we found in the metallic paint were some minor stonechips to the front; the rest of the car is free of scrapes and creases. There are no signs of corrosion and the bodykit is still attached where it should be.

The wheels show some signs of minor kerbing damage, but nothing too concerning. It wears Kumho Ecsta LE Sport 225/45 ZR 17 rears and Goodyear Eagle F1 225/45 ZR17 fronts, and all
have a good level of tread remaining, with no signs of
rips or tears in the sidewalls. There is, however, some paint peel on the large Brembo calipers and a couple of small chips to the windscreen. 

Under the bonnet everything's in good order, with all the fluids up to their maximum marks. The good news continues inside – everything's in working condition. The headlining is in good nick and there's only a light amount of bolster wear and creasing to the seats. The only blemish is a scratch to the centre console forward of the gear lever, but it's not too deep. 

The paperwork file shows that the car's three owners have treated it well. It's got Subaru main dealer stamps up to 2014 and its last service was at an independent in April 2016, and all these back up the mileage.

The engine fires right off the key and settles to a refined burble – well, for an Impreza – with no rev searching. 

Though this is a calmed-down Impreza it's still scintillatingly fast, with plenty of punch from 3k. We found no flat spots at all. 

The steering wheel was as incisive as an Impreza needs to be, and we found no dead spots or sloppiness around the wheel. The suspension – though customarily firm – didn't bring out any peculiar noises or vibrations, and the brakes were sharp yet predictable. 

With low-mileage and rarity on its side, plus great overall condition, this Subaru is well worth consideration. 


Choose your Impreza SECOND-GEN FACELIFT

  • The Second-Gen Impreza is facelifted in 2005 with a new nosejob to reflect Subaru's revamped corporate face. 
  • In addition to the Spec D, which launches in 2006, Subaru releases the RB320 in honour of rally driver Richard Burns. Power is 316bhp and torque is 332lb-ft, with 320 built.
  • GB270 launches in 2007 with quick-shift gearbox and 266bhp/310lb-ft. 400 built. 
  • Another batch of RB320s launches in 2007 with trim differences to the 2006 car.

IMPREZA WRX STI in detail

Year                 2006

Mileage           20,970

On sale at        Centurian Automotive                        

Specifications

Engine             2457cc/4-cyl/DOHC

Transmission  4WD, 6-speed manual

Power             277bhp@6400rpm

Torque            311lb-ft@4400rpm

Weight            1520kg

Performance

0-60mph         5.4sec

Top speed       158mph

Economy         25.9mpg



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GOLF GTI MKII

VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GTI

COST NEW: £8000. VALUE NOW: £11, 495

THIS NEEDS TO BE SPECIAL FOR SUCH A HIGH PRICE, SO DOES THIS ONE STACK UP? WE FIND OUT...

Before arriving at this dealer this Golf had two former owners (the first kept it for 21 years, the
second, a collector) and it survives in unmolested nick.

The 15in BBS alloys are perfect, recently refurbished and wearing excellent matching Toyo tyres. On initial inspection, the rear brake discs were a little corroded (indicative of the car’s minimal use recently) but they cleaned up well during our test drive, proving the callipers to be moving freely. The front discs look much newer. The window glass is in good condition all round, etched with the correct registration number, and all shut lines are good. The original Tornado Red paint shows no significant damage, and there are only a couple of minor scratches to the front bumper.

There’s nothing to worry about in the engine bay either,– oils and fluids are at their correct levels, and no leaks are apparent. The engine subframe has some surface corrosion which needs undersealing, but it’s no cause for urgent concern. The inner wings are immaculate, as is the boot. The wheel arches also show no corrosion.


CHOOSE YOUR GOLF GTI MKII

  • The MkII Golf arrives in 1983.
  • A 16v version of the 1.8 becomes available in 1986. Although it offers an extra 27bhp and a top speed of 129mph, some find the 8v (with its more accessible torque band) the more useable engine.
  • ABS becomes optional from 1987, and a subtle facelift in 1989 sees the introduction of the ‘big bumpers’. From 1990, the previously optional power steering is fitted as standard, and the 16v models gains a fivedoor option.

The interior is in lovely original condition, with very few signs of wear. There’s a little fraying to be found on the gear lever gaiter, and only very gentle abrasion on the grey cloth of the driver’s seat. Central locking is not fitted, but an optional factory manual sunroof is – fully operational and apparently leak-free. The dash contains an aftermarket Sony CD player, and a five-cassette storage bin in the centre console.

On the road we didn’t encounter any wobbles, rumbles or vibrations. This example has power steering, which became standard the year this car was produced, increasing its usability around town. The rev counter was sadly inoperative, which theseller is fixing before sale.

There’s a little looseness in the gear linkage, a common issue, but it's not too severe in this
case. The lever responds well to a light touch, engaging all ratios smoothly. Feedback through the steering wheel does feel a fraction woolly, hopefully just the result of low pressure in the front tyres during our drive.

The large history file includes a receipt in 2015 for gearbox repairs, oil changes and rear axle
bushes, and a 2016 invoice for afront-wheel bearing, PAS belt and steering-rack gaiter. 

This is a good example of an appreciating icon that’s ready to be used or squirrelled away as
an appreciating classic.


GOLF GTI MKII IN DETAIL

Year 1990
Mileage 58,750
On sale at 4 Star Classics: www.4starclassics.com

SPECIFICATIONS

Engine 1781cc/4-cyl/OHC
Transmission FWD, 5-speed manual
Power 112bhp@5800rpm
Torque 109lb-ft@3500rpm
Weight 920kg

PERFORMANCE 

0-60mph 8.3sec
Top speed 119mph
Economy 25mpg


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Alpina B6S (E63)

With nearly 500 supercharged horses, this makes more sense than an M6.

If you're a firm fan of the BMW M6 E63, you may be wondering why this Alpina commands such a premium over similarly aged examples from the M Division. After all, it's missing two cylinders and is slightly less powerful. But look at that torque figure... It's also rare – just three right-hookers were built. But is it worth it?

Before we come on to why this car exists, it has to be said that this is a very good example. The bodywork is in fantastic condition, with no blemishes or scratches to be found anywhere.  The bodykit is uncorrupted and we couldn't find any corrosion.   

The enormous, gorgeous 20in alloy wheels have succumbed to a bit of kerbing damage on the passengers' side, though this will be repaired before sale. The Alpina wears Michelin Sport Contact 2s at each corner – 255/35 ZR20s at the front and 285/30 ZR20s at the rear. All have plenty of tread remaining. 

The engine bay is clean and all the fluids are up to their maximum marks; nothing leaks. The service book is well-filled with stamps, pointing to dutiful care over the past decade.


Choose your Alpina E63

  • The Alpina B6 launches in 2007, and uses a 4.4-litre supercharged V8 loosely based on the  645i engine. The engine's matched up to a ZF 6HP26 six-speed gearbox with steering wheel-mounted buttons for manual shifts; it's a system called SWITCH-TRONIC; shift times are 50 per cent quicker than the standard ZF gearbox. It's available in coupe or  convertible formats, though the cabrio takes 0.3 seconds longer to 60mph and is 4mph slower, 'just' 194mph, then.

It's when you step inside that you start to see the benefits of Alpina's touch – it's far more luxurious in here, with beautifully soft cream leather, classy cherry wood and gorgeous blue dials. The driver's seat bolster has recently been refurbished, and the carpet hardly looks used. That same quality is reflected across the rest of the interior. It's a much nicer place to be than the rather austere M6.

It's not lacking for performance, and actually manages to be more exciting than the epicly fast but aloof M6. The supercharged shove is truly eyepopping and though we didn't come near to testing its top speed, we're pretty sure it can reach it. Overall it's far more engaging to drive.

The suspension is set up for cruising, so it's not quite as tight as the M6, but then this is a big GT – the trade-off works to the Alpina's favour. There are no peculiar noises, and the ride comfort is exemplary (a sharp contrast to the jiggly M6). Braking force is sharp yet predictable too. 

The Alpina B6S nails the fast GT much better than the M6; it may not handle as well on the limit, but it's not far off. The M6 can't touch the B6S for comfort and 'specialness', though. This example feels brand-new, and is well worth further scrutiny. 


Alpina B6S in detail

Year  2007
Mileage  35,000
On sale at Vas Vehicle Solutions:  www.vvsuk.co.uk

Specifications

Engine 4398cc/8-cyl/DOHC
Transmission   RWD, 6-speed auto
Power 493bhp@5500rpm
Torque 516lb-ft@4250rpm
Weight  1720kg

Performance

0-60mph         4.6sec
Top speed       198mph
Economy         23mpg


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