“Larry, Can you tell Vincent what it is you need”? Larry: “Something very fast. Audi S8. Something that can shove a little bit. I’m also gonna need a nitrous system.”
The psychology of buying cars is changing with more and more of us opting for the attractive leasing deals. I too have given this a try with a 2016 Mercedes C250d. However, calculate a deposit of near £3k + just under £300 a month for 2 years and you have spent almost £10k on a car, which you are just going to hand back with nothing to show for it.
There are then further charges for contracts, early termination (if you can’t quite get the timing on the next lease), refurbishment costs to alloy wheels and body work dents etc. On the plus side you have a brand new car and don’t have to deal with the public when it’s time to sell.
Next, there is a number which we are willing to pay a stranger in exchange for a car without any come back or warranty. It seems to be around the £15k – £20k mark before we want the safety of buying through a dealer. Therefore you purchase something like a Porsche 911 approved used at £40k, keep it for 3 years and think it’s worth £30k, which it is from the dealer but not by you.
Which brings me to the other end of the market with the easy buy and sell. It’s the £5k – £10k like a Golf GTI or my newly acquired Audi S8 (WF51EOY). This is a truly wonderful thing and it should be costing around £80k in 2001 with a full Audi service history and 81k mikes. From 1999, the S8 was updated and the most note worthy improvement was that big 4.2l V8 being given an extra valve per cylinder and 360HP taking the 0-60 time down to 5.5 seconds. The 5 speed tiptronic gearbox includes shifting buttons on the steering wheel and sport mode, more than adequate for what you’ll be getting up to in the 5 metre long aluminium limousine. Onto the weight of the thing, given the scale and torsen Quattro system, the figure is only 1750kg due to the aluminium space frame chassis. Safety features are also high and being the first car awarded with 5 star driver and passenger ratings along with front, rear and side airbags, the only non-current missing item is iso-fix.
Let’s not forget this is a Movie Car, an A List of a movie at that. Attempting to be sold by Robert De Niro and drifted through Paris by ex-F1 racing driver Jean-Pierre Jarier. This is the NOS equipped Audi S8 d2 in the film Ronin, arguably the greatest car chase in film history.
Performance – 0-60 in 5.5 and limited to 155, however understand some have made it to 170mph.
MPG – somewhere around 20 if you’re not fleeing the scene with precious metals.
Competition – this car now falls in the future classic / young timer category. I was considering a Mercedes 500E, however these are now over £20k for a good one. Others include BMW 7 series, Mercedes E55 among others.
Servicing – Audi charge £255 for an interim service and £699 for a major. Cambelt on this one was replaced at 64k miles.