Let’s All Take a Moment to Remember the B5 Audi S4

When it comes to great Audis for young enthusiasts, there’s one that seems to be forgotten among journalist and media types — the B5 Audi S4. While young fans and enthusiasts love it, the B5 S4 doesn’t seem to get as much widespread love outside of die-hard Audi fans. So let’s talk about it for a minute.


Quite possibly the most memorable generation of Audi S4 is the B6/B7 generation. Not that it’s the best but it’s probably the most well-known. Why is it so well-known? To be honest, the reasons are both good and bad and they both have to do with its engine. Its 4.2 liter free-breathing V8 was a masterpiece of an engine… when it worked. Problem is, it had a massive fault with its timing chain tensioners, which would fail at around 100,000 miles like clockwork and cause catastrophic engine failure if not replaced ahead of time.

You Might Also Enjoy:  Audi now advancing testing on new "e-benzin" fuel


However, the generation of Audi S4 that came before the V8-powered car was arguably even better of a car and the one that many Audi enthusiasts actually prefer. Admittedly, its engine isn’t the most reliable but its issues are a bit easier to mitigate and typically don’t result in grenaded engines.


B5 Audi S4 – Santorini Blue


Powering the B5 Audi S4 is a 2.7 liter Bi-Turbo V6 which makes around 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Or at least that’s what it made when new. While that’s quite a bit less than the 340 hp from its V8-powered successor, the B5 S4’s little Bi-Turbo V6 actually has a trick up its sleeve. You can tune it.

You Might Also Enjoy:  VIDEO: /Drive shows us the nostalgia of a tuned B5 Audi S4


Of course, you can tune anything but tuning a naturally-aspirated engine, especially one as high-strung as the B6/B7 S4’s 4.2 liter V8, is rather tricky. It’s super easy to tune a turbocharged engine, especially one with two turbos. All you need to do is give it an ECU tune, slightly bigger turbos and some bigger injectors and call it a day. Those few things will bump that 250 hp to well above 300 hp, potentially even further than the 340 hp of the B6/B7 S4’s V8.


That tune-ability makes it an enthusiast’s dream, as you can get a car for less than $10,000 that can easily win stop-light drag races with much newer sports cars. Especially thanks to its Quattro all-wheel drive grip.

You Might Also Enjoy:  LIVE PHOTOS: Audi AI:ME Concept at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show


Plus, the B5 Audi S4 was available as a wagon, even in America. So for not too much money, you can find a bi-turbo Audi S4 Avant with immense tuning and modding potential that has the potential to whomp on more powerful, newer sports cars.


So if you’re looking for something relatively inexpensive but also really fun with a ton of potential for mods, the B5 Audi S4 certainly deserves your attention. Of course, it’s not the most reliable of cars but you have to weigh that in your purchase. Plus, if you do a little research and learn about its common faults, you can stay on top of them and keep it running like a clock. It’s worth it, we promise.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.