Is This Modified 2000 Audi S4 Worth The Risk At $7000?

There’s no denying the performance capabilities of the B5-series Audi S4. There’s also no denying the B5’s less than stellar track record for reliability. Does this car have the right mods at the right price to overcome the fear of catastrophic bank account destruction?
Is This Modified 2000 Audi S4 Worth The Risk At $7000?

I like Audis. I’ve had the chance to drive and ride in quite a few, notably the B5 series that ran through the mid-1990s into the early 2000s. That’s also why I’ve never pulled the trigger on buying one, despite A4 and even S4 prices being tantalisingly low in the States. How low? I’ve seen A4 quattros as cheap as $2500, and S4’s with the 2.7 twin-turbo six for just $4500.

Is This Modified 2000 Audi S4 Worth The Risk At $7000?

Why have I not pulled the trigger? Because if I did, the bullet would certainly hit something on the car that would immediately suck $2000 from my bank account. Sorry Audi fans—I know many of you love this generation and some will certainly chime in to tell me how I’m completely wrong about the reliability of B5-series, particularly the S4. You just need to do your maintenance they’ll say. What they won’t say is that maintenance will probably cost enough in a couple years to actually buy another Audi. Even the Audi forums go on about the issues with the B5-series cars.

Is This Modified 2000 Audi S4 Worth The Risk At $7000?

And yet, their awesomeness is such that people still look, and buy. Despite what I’ve seen firsthand from friends who’ve owned these cars, I even still consider it from time to time. And here’s a good example, located smack in the middle of Pennsylvania, halfway between Pittsburgh and Philly. It’s a 2000 S4 selling on eBay for $7000, and it looks absolutely gorgeous.

Is This Modified 2000 Audi S4 Worth The Risk At $7000?

I like that the seller is right up front in saying this car has been massaged to make the most of track days. He says it’s perfectly streetable, but the focus of the car is clearly to clip apices and in that regard I suspect it does well. Actually I don’t need to suspect - the seller even lists some of his lap times at some notable American tracks. Big bonus points to this guy for not just disclosing that he used the car hard, but totally owning it. Hey, it’s a freakin’ S4 that has hefty suspension and brake upgrades -of course it was used hard.

Is This Modified 2000 Audi S4 Worth The Risk At $7000?

I also like that the 2.7-litre biturbo hasn’t really been tweaked. That’s where most S4 owners seem to start, but the seller only lists a tune and a cat-back exhaust as the power mods. The rest of the work is underneath and inside, which includes all kinds of neat-o parts with names like Vogtland, Neuspeed, Corbeau, Hawk, and so forth.

He lists the exterior condition as pretty darned good and the interior as excellent. So far this sounds like a pretty sweet deal for $7000, but then you find it has 150,000 miles and he only uses the car a couple times a year. And the seller’s description makes it pretty clear that, though he says the car “feels good on the street,” his biannual S4 adventures do not include Sunday drives to church.

Is This Modified 2000 Audi S4 Worth The Risk At $7000?

So that’s where the real concerns stem from. The car has lived a hard life, but from the seller’s description you get the impression it was built to not just live that life, but survive it. I can’t see someone going through the expense of creating such a street/track creature while foregoing basic maintenance. There’s some confidence to be had there, but in the back of your mind you’re also thinking about how much time that engine spent at or near redline.

The seller says the car is reliable, but stops short of listing any maintenance items. It sure would go a long way to know if the turbos are original or rebuilt, if/when the timing belt was done, clutch replacement, basic things like that. Instead we get three paragraphs of how carefully the seller built the car to be an awesome track machine that is still livable as a street car. And we haven’t even addressed the maintenance nightmares that befall normal S4s of this generation.

Is This Modified 2000 Audi S4 Worth The Risk At $7000?

So what say you in Car Throttle land? Is this 2000 Audi S4 modded properly and priced right to make it worth the risk? Or should we run the other direction as fast as possible?


Anthony B

only if it was nogaro blue xP

11/29/2015 - 18:12 |
14 | 2

I’d buy it.

11/29/2015 - 18:34 |
4 | 0
Joseph Moughrabi

I’d get it mechanically checked, ask about the timing belt (main issue for audis of this era) get car fax it, look at my bank accounr, oh wait I have no money, f*ck, no car for me

11/29/2015 - 18:51 |
16 | 0

Main things to check at that mileage:
Timing belt recent?
Water pump replaced?
Are the turbos original? If so, at 150k and them being ran very hot on a tune and on track would not leave much life left in them I would expect.
Check what the 1-2 shift is like, If its stiff or crunchy the 1-2 syncro is going and will need replacing at some point (engine out)

B5 S4’s are brilliant I can assure you, mine has never let me down but that being said it has needed some new sensors and the like, as you would expect in a car this ages (mine is a 1998). The issue with maintenance costs on these comes with access. Anything to do with the turbos/exhasut manifolds/gearbox is an engine out job, which unless you have friends with garages to borrow can bring up the costs!

This looks like a decent buy, but personally I would look for lower mileage. If however, you are thinking of upgrading to larger turbos (K04) and adding some real power then this could be a good option. These cars are capable of 450hp with just some turbos, ICs and a remap!

Good luck.

11/30/2015 - 03:47 |
8 | 0

Just ask him if its an 99a or 99b. If its a 99b go ahead buy it instant.
Or else if its a 99a, then around that milage the manifold starts to crack from the inside and small parts will rumble down in the turbos and destroy them.

11/29/2015 - 19:47 |
0 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

The hell you on about? What 99a/b? These cars have NEVER had manifold problems. Literally cast iron.

11/30/2015 - 08:59 |
0 | 0

looks like a cool car

11/29/2015 - 20:09 |
22 | 2

I’d take the risk I think, it looks excellent

11/29/2015 - 20:26 |
2 | 0
Delightful Citizen (Classic Truck Squad)

Chris, what are you doing? Your last post turned into a warzone in the comments and then you pull this?! Are you trying to start World War 3?

11/29/2015 - 21:07 |
0 | 0
Tuners World

run if the timing belt and expensive things havent been replaced ever or recently

11/29/2015 - 21:14 |
0 | 0
Filip Ulemek

Finding a stock S4 at 7K is already a steal not even yet mentioning it being modded…

11/29/2015 - 21:23 |
6 | 2
Matthew 1

I don’t get the hate for the b5 reliability. My father bought one brand new and we still have it, the only thing expensive about it besides the cam belt service was when he blew the airbags changing the battery. Everything else was that was spent on it was normal services once a year

11/29/2015 - 21:26 |
0 | 0


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