5k: The Star of Ronin: 2002 Audi S8

If you are a car guy and have never seen the Robert De Niro and Jean Reno classic Ronin (1998) you need to schedule yourself a few hours and pick up a copy on Amazon.  The D2 generation Audi S8 was the feature car that was driven in anger by Skipp Sudduth’s nerdy hacker/driver character who insists on getting a custom nitrous system and then hauls the giant sedan through small cobblestone covered French streets.  It is fantastic — and you can watch most of the S8 scenes in a low res clip on youtube here.  Better yet, you can buy your own 2002 Audi S8 for $6,250 in Cincinnati, OH via craigslist.  Tip from FuelTruck.

The D2 generation S8 was finally a flagship from Audi that stood up to its competition from Stuttgart and Munich.  Previous high end Audis had been unreliable and unrefined but not very thrilling to drive.  This changed with the D2 S8, which was still unreliable, but when running correctly had a rock solid in driving experience that you would expect from a 4000 lb luxury sedan.  The S8 did not drive over the mountain; you goosed the throttle and the mountain got the heck out of your way.

The 4.2 liter V8 featured all-alloy construction, dual overhead cams and 5 valves per cylinder to push out 335 horsepower (not sure where the seller gets the 400hp figure).  It is mated to the all four wheels via a 5-speed tiptronic manual slushy gearbox and Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive on demand system.

The inside of the S8 looks remarkably similar to A6, A4 and other lower edition models, but it did offer features like automatic climate control and fancy stuff a few years ahead of the lower models.  Expect those automatic systems to constantly be a source of problems on an Audi with 200k miles on the odometer. 

If you can’t stomach the lo-res clip from the link above, you can see part of the city chase in glorious hi-res here.

And the second chase here.

See a better car for chasing down the bad guys?  tips@dailyturismo.com