Butterbean of the Road: 2003 Audi RS6

What does it mean to be the best of something? The best car? How could you answer that question? It is like asking who was the best heavyweight prize fighter of all times? Rocky Marciano certainly had the best record of all times…but saying he is the best prize fighter is like saying the Ferrari 250GTO is the best sports car of all times. But there are so many other sporty cars, and other prize fighters. Perhaps it is easier to say that something or somebody was the most captivating of his (or its) time. Think about Eric “Butterbean” Esch. With a record of 97-24-5, he certainly didn’t have best record of all times, but his physique, 378 lb curb weight, and boxing style denied the paradigm of the times, but he beat up boxers that looked like fighters while he looked like a Nathan’s hot dog eating champ. The Audi RS6 was the automotive equivalent of butterbean — it had an automatic transmission, fat fender flares, and hefty 4000 lb curb weight, but with a twin turbo V8, this C5 RS6 destroyed many “sports” cars. Find this 2003 Audi RS6 offered for $15,000 in San Jose, CA via craigslist.

From the seller:

2003 Audi RS6
VIN: WUAPV64BX3N904740
condition: like new
cylinders: 8 cylinders
drive: 4wd
fuel: gas
odometer: 176000
paint color: silver
size: full-size
title status: clean
transmission: other
type: sedan
There were only 800 imported into the US, it was Audi’s first supercar, and famously the fastest 4-door sedan in the world at the time (Nick Mason of Pink Floyd had one), and was claimed to have done 200mph on Top Gear:

To most, it looks just like an ordinary plush A6 business sedan, but with twice the power, wider wheel arches, aggressive lower stance, sports handling and rear-spoiler – the visible differences are subtle, not “shouty”. It’s does NOT have a barky loud exhaust note, your neighbors wont complain, instead its a satisfying German V8 grumble, that increases in pleasure instantly with a twitch of the foot; handling twisty icy mountain roads with speed, precision, solid yet nimble feeling, and an exhilarating growl, the embodiment of Wagner’s Valkyrie. It’s so understated, yet it just exudes power and imbues confidence – the ultimate sleeper AWD supercar.

Gets compliments everywhere it goes. This one is not only one of the few, it’s in unique condition, and also been THE car most wanted to own for a decade, as well as bringing a smile to my face every day for another decade. It has a garage, but is not a “garage-queen”, its been the company car, driven constantly both locally and multiple long-distance trips to Napa, LA, Vegas, Mammoth, Tahoe … etc. But am now moving on from CA, to TX, need a Diesel (not a Bahn-burner / Tahoe-snowcar made for NorCal).

Recent : Award Winner at the August 2022 “Legends of the AutoBahn” car show in Pacific Grove, pictures as shown

Engine Specs :

  • 4.2L V8 Twin Turbo, Quattro all-wheel drive
  • 515~525 Horsepower (up from 450hp stock), 580 Ft.lbs Torque
  • 0 to 60 in 3.1 seconds
  • Custom tune ECU (engine computer) and TCU (transmission computer)
  • Level-10 Torque Converter (yes, addressed the weak spot of this car, at the beginning)
  • Wagner Intercoolers (larger, one-piece cast-metal, replaces leaky plastic-capped stock IC) with Silicone Hoses
  • Forge Alum. diverter valves. Replaced stock rubber vacuum hoses with (robust) silicone

Audi-Original :

  • Carbon Fiber Intake and Engine cover
  • Huge 6 piston Brake calipers, cross-drilled Brake Rotors (+ Hawk Performance/Street Brake Pads)
  • Sports suspension with Dynamic Ride Control (the original hydraulic anti-roll system, working and hasn’t/isn’t leaking)
  • Active Hydraulic Engine Mounts (newly replaced)
  • Carbon Fiber Interior Trim
  • Brushed-Alum electric side mirrors (memory). One-touch electric fold-in. Heated & Auto-dimming anti-glare.
  • Alcantara (suede) headliner (in perfect condition)
  • Punched leather sports steering wheel with Paddle shifter, and electric column adjust (memory)
  • Punched leather sports brushed alum Tiptronic Shifter
  • Tinted electric Moon-roof, with Alcantara (suede) sliding under-panel
  • Backup sensors, auto-reversing mirror
  • Honeycomb-mesh front grills, and rear diffuser
  • Auto-dimming Rear-View Mirror, with integrated Compass (red display)
  • Driver/Passenger electric (memory) heated leather seats front and back, all heaters working. All seats are original leather imprinted with RS6 logo
  • Huge trunk with battery, inflatable donut spare wheel, built-in Skibag, hooks for luggage net (also included)
  • Front/side/pillar/rear airbags … Airbags everywhere
  • Factory Bose Sound System including Factory Sub-woofer
  • Immaculate interior, dash, buttons, light and sunroof controls (no worn button/labels)
  • Immaculate stalks controls (no worn labels)
  • Original RS6 Instrument cluster and central display (no dead pixels on-screen). Includes navigation/directions, car-check, and mileage/trip-computer display.
  • Two Remote Keys with Audi RS6-logo Leather Fobs. Plus one Valet Key

After-Market Upgrades :

  • Replaced side-mirror glass with Audi euro-spec “anti blind-spot” aspherical mirror glass. Heated & Auto-dimming anti-glare.
  • Audi RNS-E DVD Navigation, Radio, SD-Card MP3 and Stereo (big-screen color LCD, imported from Europe)
  • An extra Audi pop-up folding cup-holder, replaces original stock nav controls
  • RS6 logo Floor Mats (new, non-stock, custom-made)
  • LED Tail Lights, and LED Interior Lights (red footwell)
  • LED Door Projection lights (Audi + RS6 logo)
  • Integrated USB and Bluetooth A2DP, MP3, Hands-free Phone connectivity
  • BlinderXL Laser Defense / front-parking sensors
  • Escort 9500ix Radar Detector (red display) with GPS Speed/Redlight camera location, and false-detection memory, hardwired, under-mirror-mount
  • Roadhawk HDR dashcam, with GPS and night-vision, hardwired, discretely mounted behind rear-view mirror
  • 3M-Solarguard tinting on Rear-Passenger Windows, and Rear Window

Other :

  • Zero-days of track time (but Audi did race these in GT and Touring class and won)
  • More than 700 lbs lighter than the only-recently-re-introduced-to-US Audi RS6 4L Turbo V8, 500lbs lighter than the newer C7 S6 4L Turbo V8, and 1000lbs lighter than a Porsche Panamera 4L Turbo V8 (all based on same engine … older is better)
  • Enormous smile on face whenever sleeper-sedan shames a Tesla/Ferrari/Porsche/Ricer … $ priceless

Also Includes:

  • Immaculate set of 4, original Audi rims (with TPMS sensors), original spec 255/40R18 Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position 99Y (ultra high-speed) Summer Tires at 100% (9 / 9) tread.
  • Plus 1 extra “spare” wheel, at 40% tread, on same immaculate original rim, with storage bag
  • Extra Floor mats : Lloyds plush mats (new), plus Lloyds All-Weather (snow/mud) rubber mats (new)
  • No CEL, no ECU fault codes
  • CA SMOG-certificate, Aug 20th 2022
  • Clean CA Title. Registered thru April 2023
  • Carfax available to serious buyers

Available extras (not included) :

  • Set of 4, 18″ Michelin X-ICE Snow Tires at 75% (6.5 / 9) tread, on OZ Superleggera rims, comes with storage bags
  • Thule Aero Roof Rack, with the exact “feet” made for this chassis
  • Thule Bicycle rack, and Ski/Snowboard Racks

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