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Talk Me Out of It: 2007 Audi RS4

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Last week was fun (it’s easy to spend pretend money), and it looks like 56% of you wanted to talk me back into an E92 M3. Maybe one day. Up next is the M3’s favorite comparison, the Audi RS4. Can this super sedan steal my heart?

2007 Audi RS4

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Not bad for a car with so much mileage on it. Photo: CarFax

Check out the listing here

I guess I have a type. German. Sedan. V-8 power. Amazing sound. And reliability that can keep you up at night. This 2007 Audi RS4 has all of that.

I might have caught your attention with the $21,950 price, but this is Talk Me Out of It, so you know there’s a catch. Or several:

  • How about six owners
  • An accident on the right side from 2007
  • 137,000 miles
  • A history of being owned in New York, Florida, Maryland, and more. It’s well traveled.
  • NOS and other stickers of questionable taste on the doors – as if this was an extra in Fast & Furious 87: Dom’s Last Ride, but this time for real.
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Hmmm….Photo: CarFax

Now, there are 41 entries for service records, and on the surface that’s a good thing – looks like everyone kept on top of the car’s maintenance. But they don’t really say what exactly was serviced, and you’ll never get complete paperwork for this car unless you start knockin’ on the doors of all the owners.

Why is the Audi RS4 special?

RS is “M” in Audi, and this car, along with with E9X and Mercedes C43 AMG, ushered in the short era of small V-8-powered sedans from Germany. All sounded amazing, and the Audi brought its typical four-wheel drive to the party.

It’s exclusive – only around 2,000 were sold in the U.S., and the only transmission choice was a joyous six-speed manual. This thing is a rally car dressed in a tuxedo.

Great, so what’s the problem.

This V-8 revved to 8,250 RPM, and was taken pretty much verbatim and placed in the butt of an R8. It’s a really wonderful motor. It’s also a pain in the ass.

This was the early days of direct-injection, and carbon build-up will rob you of advertised power. You need to remove the intake manifold and clean out all eight cylinders. Is that included in the CarFax’s “75,000-mile service”? That’s the fun part!

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You can have any speed you like, as long as it’s six. Photo: CarFax.

Here’s my favorite though. Timing chain guides. They go boom. Audi says they will last up to 155,000 miles. ‘Up to” being the key phrase there. Perhaps you’re thinking this isn’t such a big deal, and normally it isn’t because timing chains are on the front of an engine block. But on this V-8, the timing chain is located on the back half of the block, making it an engine-out service. Why would Audi do this, knowing you would eventually need to replace it? Because of reasons.

Cost for new guides? Upwards of $4,000, depending on the shop. Suddenly, rod bearings don’t seem so bad, do they?

Another fun thing to go wonky are the brakes. These eight-pot (that’s crazy) calipers are taken from a Gallardo, so they offer plenty of stopping ability. The Brembo discs are the issue;  the drilled surface fills with brake dust and fails to dissipate heat. You’re also in for some vibrations, man. On a car with this much mileage, it’s important to check ’em out.

Scared yet?

Talk me out of it

Even if the engine is close to going boom, with its low price, you can set aside some extra for maintenance, then have one awesome daily driver. They will hear me coming a mile away…

So, talk me out of it.

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