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Thread: The nine year itch

  1. #1
    Admin Erik's Avatar
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    Dash The nine year itch

    Got this emailed to me and was very close to deleting it as spam.

    However it's a bit better than the usual.


    The following article appeared on the october edition of Automobile Magazine. I think it could be interesting for the forum. I donīt know if it can be published "as is". Itīs up to you.



    "The other day, my friend John calls me with a car question. He's got a 2002 Saab 9-5 wagon. "When you step on the gas," he says, "it makes this really bad noise, which is the same thing it did last time before the turbo died." He describes the malady in greater detail and I listen intently, considering all the possible causes of the problem, before offering my expert diagnosis: Get a new car. Man, for the sake of all that's holy, just get a new car. I know new cars are expensive, but nothing is more expensive than a nine-year-old European car. If Elin Nordegren really wanted to ruin Tiger Woods, her divorce lawyer would've stipulated that she henceforth be driven in a fleet of 2002 Mercedes-Benz S600s. No! Take the yacht! Take the mansions! Anything but that!
    The nine-year-old European car looks compelling on the surface. You see something like an Audi A8, lithe and aluminum, for $12,000 and think, "How could I go wrong? This was a $70,000 car when it was new. Even if I have to put some money into it, it'll still cost less than a new Chevy Malibu." That is the fantasy. The reality is that every time a mechanic cracks the hood, you'll somehow have a bill for at least $1000. As my old independent BMW mechanic candidly put it, "It's the same skill set whether you're working on a BMW or a Ford, but with the BMW you just get paid a lot more."
    Say you buy the nine-year-old car of your dreams for $15,000. You end up putting $2000 per year into it, and after five years you sell it for $6000. You've now spent $19,000 to drive this miserable, anxiety-creating trouble bucket. Meanwhile, the person who bought a new car for $25,000 has spent $2000 on brakes and service (if that), and the car is worth $10,000 after five years. Net expense: $17,000, sans headaches. You can play with the math on depreciation, insurance, and repairs, but the bottom line is that your fancy nine-year-old bargain could ultimately cost you more than a brand-new vehicle of more modest pretensions. And for what?
    Not for prestige. Driving a new BMW 7-series says, "I've arrived." Driving a 2002 745i says, "I've arrived at a tent in my mom's backyard, where I live because it costs so much to keep this car on the road." People admire new cars and they admire thirty-year-old cars, but the nine-year-old car exists in a drab netherworld, neither new enough to confer status nor old enough to imply connoisseurship. The Ferrari 360 is a beautiful car, but the valets will know that it's worth about the same as a nice new Corvette.
    Well, who cares what the valets think? That's an excellent point. And I do believe that you should buy a car to satisfy nobody but yourself -- if the Pontiac Aztek is what ignites your bliss, then have at it, you big freak. The problem is that cars improve so quickly that your mundane new car is often functionally superior to an eight-year-old super-duper luxury machine. By the time I bought my 1998 BMW M3, its 240 hp was surpassed by a Honda Accord V-6. Today's M3 is tomorrow's Buick, my friends. And it's not just horsepower -- fuel economy, safety, interior quality, and in-car electronics march ever forward. A guy driving a 2011 Ford Fiesta might have satellite radio, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity. Meanwhile, if the guy in a 2002 Bentley Arnage wants in-car entertainment, his options are a six-disc CD changer or an escort service.
    To recap, nobody thinks your nine-year-old car is pimpin'. And even if it's got a big V-8, it might have about the same power as a new four-cylinder Hyundai Sonata turbo. But that's not the worst part. The worst part, and I speak from experience, is the reliability. Or the utter and complete lack thereof.
    My brother-in-law bought a seemingly cherry 2001 BMW 530i and eventually came to distrust it so much that he started renting cars whenever he had to drive farther than ten miles. My 1991 Saab 9000 Turbo was about nine years old when it began covering more miles on flatbeds than it did under its own power. I know a guy who has a Land Rover Discovery that he claims is reliable, but when I asked if it had blown the head gasket, he replied, "Of course." If that's your answer to that question, then you have the proper expectations for Discovery ownership.
    This is a well-known maxim, but it bears repeating: a $70,000 car may depreciate to eighteen grand, but it's still a $70,000 car whenever anything breaks. To name but one example, my Saab's leather shift knob became frayed, so I ordered a new one from the dealership. The dealer quoted me $165 -- borderline criminal but worth it for a leather knob that would probably last for the remaining life of the car. I went to the dealer to pick it up, and to my surprise, the parts guy arrived at the counter with a rubber shift knob.
    A rubber shift knob for $165? Was this the work of the famed rubbersmiths of Boergflappen, a hand-hewn piece crafted from virgin stock carefully chiseled from the secluded Arctic rubber mines of Gnorkflug, predistressed by the calloused hand of Stig Blomqvist himself? No. It was a piece of crap with nasty flash lines and a shift pattern glued on top. I told him to keep it. If I'm paying $165 for a piece of rubber, it better be a Catwoman costume containing Michelle Pfeiffer. Also, the year should be 1992.
    If that's what Saab is asking for a shift knob, imagine the bill when the air suspension craps out on your 100,000-mile Mercedes-Benz S-class. To paraphrase the late, great Notorious B.I.G.: mo' problems, mo' money.
    So beware, all ye who scan the classifieds in search of the perfect union of panache and value. Sure, the 2003 Audi RS6 had 450 hp, only 1436 of them were sold in the States, and you can find them now for less than twenty grand. But buying one is a horrible idea. Isn't it?"


    Read more: http://www.automobilemag.com/feature...#ixzz1b6FRIfvT
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  2. #2
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    I use a different calculus. $25K for an RS6. Let's say you have to dump an additional $20K into it. That's $45K minus fuel and normal running costs. You STILL have a wicked fast car that beats the pants off of anything you can get for that kind of money new.

    Buying a new $45K car? You're going to take a $20K depreciation hit anyways. And there's NOTHING on the market at that price point that's as good as a well sorted and mildly tuned RS6; $20K worth of depreciation happens no matter what you do, and the car just gets older and worse. Throw $20K into an RS6 and you've got a monster. And while a 2002 7-series may not "buy prestige" (if that's actually something you care about, and a true car lover tends not to), the USDM RS6 is and will always be a limited club of around 800 owners, and will always be an Audi that never saw a production line, but was assembled in Neckarsulm in a special production run. Does it matter? Yes, it does. Our RS badges may look like a Hungarian-built RS3, but it's very much the same as the M badge on a 1988 M6. Looks the same, but for those who know the difference, it's a significant one.
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  3. #3
    Registered User The RS6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kismetcapitan View Post
    Our RS badges may look like a Hungarian-built RS3
    Ouch

    Take into consideration that there will be only about 3-4000 of RS3's made. Half the number of the RS6.

  4. #4
    Registered User speedtrapped's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kismetcapitan View Post
    I use a different calculus. $25K for an RS6. Let's say you have to dump an additional $20K into it. That's $45K minus fuel and normal running costs. You STILL have a wicked fast car that beats the pants off of anything you can get for that kind of money new.

    Buying a new $45K car? You're going to take a $20K depreciation hit anyways. And there's NOTHING on the market at that price point that's as good as a well sorted and mildly tuned RS6; $20K worth of depreciation happens no matter what you do, and the car just gets older and worse. Throw $20K into an RS6 and you've got a monster. And while a 2002 7-series may not "buy prestige" (if that's actually something you care about, and a true car lover tends not to), the USDM RS6 is and will always be a limited club of around 800 owners, and will always be an Audi that never saw a production line, but was assembled in Neckarsulm in a special production run. Does it matter? Yes, it does. Our RS badges may look like a Hungarian-built RS3, but it's very much the same as the M badge on a 1988 M6. Looks the same, but for those who know the difference, it's a significant one.
    Very well said......Anyone who buys this car and thinks it wont cost them should spend some time on this forum. I have owned many high performance new cars, v10 S8, 911 c4s, cl65 amg, and my V.....I still love getting into my RS6 and stretching my right leg down to the floor....it blows all those cars away. Btw, net I am into my car for $45k after the major upgrade...
    Ebony/Black, DBR Stage 3 race kit, -SOLD :( 996TT Proto 650 basically a sardine can with a rocket attached to the back...11' CTS-V, 540/579RWP hehehehe ;)

  5. #5
    Registered User 4everRS's Avatar
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    good article, but I have to agree with speed and kisme. For 4 doors, awd, and power, this is still one of the best deals out there.

    I guess the difference is if you're an enthusiast, or a "toyota" driver

    Disclosure: Cars are usually a really bad investment. Unless you have a true classic
    Avus Silver RS6 - Viper Stage 2 ECU/TCU - Water/Meth Injection - Frozen Rotors - Hbars - clear corners - Hella smoked tails - gutted precats

  6. #6
    Registered User skribe's Avatar
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    I lost an inconceivably large sum in depreciation on the last new car I bought.... which makes my RS 6 a relative bargain. Although I will say I don't think I could put up with it if I didn't have a decent warranty.

    A few times I've been approached by dudes who have all kinds of admiration for the car, (which reminds me of its legendary status...) and who then start asking questions that tell me they're doing the math on ownership.

    I tell those guys that unless they're prepared to put 10k a year into it, don't do it.

  7. #7
    Registered User 4everRS's Avatar
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    Owning an RS6 is like having a really hot wife. Everyone wants to check it out, gaze at it's unique features, look under the hood, and maybe even take it for a ride, .. but if they knew how much it costs to maintain, both in money and emotion, they might think again.

    In all seriousness, what else is available at this price, including service costs.
    Avus Silver RS6 - Viper Stage 2 ECU/TCU - Water/Meth Injection - Frozen Rotors - Hbars - clear corners - Hella smoked tails - gutted precats

  8. #8
    Registered User speedtrapped's Avatar
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    Btw, if the itch continues, there is an ointment for it....sorry, lull at work bored
    Ebony/Black, DBR Stage 3 race kit, -SOLD :( 996TT Proto 650 basically a sardine can with a rocket attached to the back...11' CTS-V, 540/579RWP hehehehe ;)

  9. #9
    Registered User ben916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skribe View Post
    I lost an inconceivably large sum in depreciation on the last new car I bought.... which makes my RS 6 a relative bargain. Although I will say I don't think I could put up with it if I didn't have a decent warranty.
    In 2004, upon large pressure from "congress", I reluctantly bought a 2004 Honda Accord V6 EX Auto - Silver ext/black leather interior for $29k (out the door, taxes, etc)...
    It looked like ever other Honda out there and one of my co-workers thought it was a Buick.... REALLY?!?!? Are f-ing blind?!?!? That was when I really had to search for something else...
    Had a couple of recalls on it and rotors turned and some other issues here and there. So NO it wasn't free of issues or maintenance....
    Sure, it ran like a top and didn't get better than 25mpg, but it was soulless and passionless - it really was just transportation and nothing more. That might be fine for some.

    The first time I had heard of the RS6 was the Speed World challenge and watching Galati/Probst(sic) take off from the start and rip into the first corner - eye opener.
    The next time was watching some Sunday morning car show where they test drive most anything out there except exotics (two guys from Canada - Legendary motorcars?) The fat guy, Tom Hyanic?, took the Misano Red RS6 onto a small tight track and worked it. "Do you need a car like this? Probably not. Do you want a car like this? POWER!!!"

    The hooks were set deep after a chance encounter to drive one in 2006 - I was more scared of driving it versus actually getting to drive it...
    Then DuckWingDuck let me drive his for the day - Congress would not approve of that sale.

    Then the sewing machine Accord got hit - lightly but more cosmetic than anything else - traded that thing in, for the wife, on a new 2010 MDX (talk about gutless...) - I got a whole $8k on the trade in, "It is just like every other Silver EX black leather Accord out there, but you have taken really good care of it"
    Looked at a S4 Avant with 70k on the clock for $28k... didn't do it for me, yeah it was fast but it didn't set the hooks like the RS6 did...

    A one car family with two jobs and daycare and kindergarten = more frustrating than any $$$ being saved...

    Then an autotrader hit in Los Angeles - $31k @ 36k miles - right colors (silver/black - not a raiders fan) - Picked that up with Dave Hall on the phone - I was lost in the admiration of the car...
    I had primed the wife that the costs are more than the Accord and so is the maintenance. She was fine with it - thank goodness!

    Sure, it is an 8 yo car and it doesn't scream "look at me" but that isn't why I bought mine. Mine isn't "Mid life crisis" - but some might argue otherwise
    I wanted the sleeper status, I wanted power on tap, I wanted a 4dr sedan but I also understood that it ISN'T the Accord, you have to pay to play as this would be my daily driver.

    Most important thing was getting the warranty - without that - deal breaker...

    If you know what you are expecting at the beginning = it is good to be informed.
    If not = there is a dealership lot with an Accord or Yaris with your name on it...
    SOLD - 03 RS6 Avus (905355)
    Current - 03 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 double cab - the YETI, lifted, winched, snorkeled, lockered, skidded, geared

  10. #10
    Registered User ZCD2.7T's Avatar
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    I think the article is hilarious, and sadly, deadly accurate.

    I would have LOVED to buy an RS 6 earlier this year when I bought my new (very slightly used) 2011 S4, but I just couldn't make myself do it.

    The car is my DD, and since I know 3 RS 6 owners personally, I knew that it wouldn't likely fulfill that role without significant effort and cost. So, I (and I'd call myself a real enthusiast) decided that ~100 less HP was a fair trade-off for much better handling, modern electronics and very limited maintenance costs.

    I'm thrilled with my ride, as I'm sure you guys are with yours. I just couldn't make myself afford to join your "owner's club" in the end.

  11. #11
    Registered User speedtrapped's Avatar
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    In the end, your car should always be YOUR choice. Hell I'm sure I catch silent snickers for owning a cts-v wagon, but I love it. My RS6 is a labor of love. I never get bored of her, and I have been thru many cars in a short period of time. But if its a DD and you plan to put alot of miles on it, then I agree its not practical.
    Ebony/Black, DBR Stage 3 race kit, -SOLD :( 996TT Proto 650 basically a sardine can with a rocket attached to the back...11' CTS-V, 540/579RWP hehehehe ;)

  12. #12
    Registered User Spidercat's Avatar
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    The car is a legend among real car-guys (and gals).

    For me, it's worth every penny. No regrets. It's the most satifying car I've ever owed- by a lot.

    Just be honest with yourself about what you can afford to maintain.
    Cheap, fast, reliable: choose two

  13. #13
    Registered User ttboost's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=4everRS;223354]Owning an RS6 is like having a really hot wife. Everyone wants to check it out, gaze at it's unique features, look under the hood, and maybe even take it for a ride, .. but if they knew how much it costs to maintain, both in money and emotion, they might think again. QUOTE]

    ...and for every hot chick out there, there is a guy who is tired of fu.... well you know....
    2013 Audi S8

  14. #14
    Registered User vitalian's Avatar
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    So many people tried to talk me out of buying my RS6 and into buying something more "practical and reliable." One of those people was my husband. I said, "Three words: Just drive it." He did. Not only did he change his tune (direct quote: "You MUST buy this car!"), I spent three days (and a full tank of gas) trying to pry the keys out of his hand.

    I am a responsible person. I have a responsible job, I pay all my bills and taxes, and (with the possible exception of the speed limit) I don't break the law. But dammit, everyone needs to live a little, and that car puts a smile on my face every time I push the gas pedal.

    I think the article is hilarious and well-written. But I gotta disagree, at least insofar as whether or not something is a "bad idea" is in the eye of the beholder.
    2003 RS6, Mugello Blue/Ebony - SOLD :-(
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    Registered User Jimmy's Avatar
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    I like the commentary !! I appreciate what the article says....but that's all.

    Cars like these involve a large amount of emotion. Sure, a Honda makes all the sense in the world and they are decent enough cars, and so does a pair $20 shoes from Kmart. I 'walk' a different road...much like you(s).

    To me; cars in general speak volumes about its owner. There's zero wrong with driving a Honda...I just can't do it. I'm not low maintenace by any stretch of that meaning. I shower and shave every day, get my hair cut every month and my shoes are all over $100. And I care to stand out with cars that aren't 'normal'. Call me crazy. The heck with depreciation and the cost of ownership....the smiles are worth it.
    SOLD ! 2003 RS6 Mugello/Silver -MTM
    2001 allroad 6-speed (300K+), 1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E, 2007 Mercedes-Benz CLK63, 2010 BMW X3, 1986 16V Scirocco, 2005 Mercedes E55 Wagon

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    owned for two months. driven daily. three major road trips and 4500 miles so far. keeping up with maintenance is something to be cognizant of, but it's no different than any other serious high-performance car, and certainly cheaper than my Skyline - out of total expenses so far, modifications (which are optional) have cost me far more than maintenance and fuel.
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    Registered User Elevens's Avatar
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    Mine is a daily Driver. And the 2 best parts of the day are driving to work and driving home. Of course the driving experience is enhanced with a few Mods. Catless non res exhaust, good Tune and a good suspension Upgrade. And that's It. The car is a Monster. With no Cats the whistling Turbo's draw all kinds of attention when I step on the gas. On the Road, nobody challenges it just seems to earn maximum respect by looks alone. Low an aggressive. There's no other car on the Planet for me right now. Even though I must admit there are some pretty hard AMG's out there. But they don't have the Timeless lines of our old RS6's. As a matter of fact not even Audi has anything new I would prefer over my RS. I Guess I'll be keeping mine till either it or I die..............
    03 RS6, VIPER ECU, MTM TCU, Milltek Full Catless Non Res setup from Turbos to the boxes(ROAR'S), H&R Coilovers, Hotchkiss ARB's, 19x10's with 275-30-19 PSS's at each corner, Kenwood 9960 Head unit, V1 Radar Locator. 517 Trans Rebuild, ScrollProducts Turbo Rebuild.

  18. #18
    Registered User JSRS6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elevens View Post
    Mine is a daily Driver. And the 2 best parts of the day are driving to work and driving home. Of course the driving experience is enhanced with a few Mods. Catless non res exhaust, good Tune and a good suspension Upgrade. And that's It. The car is a Monster. With no Cats the whistling Turbo's draw all kinds of attention when I step on the gas. On the Road, nobody challenges it just seems to earn maximum respect by looks alone. Low an aggressive. There's no other car on the Planet for me right now. Even though I must admit there are some pretty hard AMG's out there. But they don't have the Timeless lines of our old RS6's. As a matter of fact not even Audi has anything new I would prefer over my RS. I Guess I'll be keeping mine till either it or I die..............
    ^^^ what he said...
    Avus RS 6, RNS-E/BT/RVC, Eurocharged/MTM, SuperSports, PSS9/Hotchkis, SS Lines/EBC Reds, FMU/BMC, Sportec vents, 007's, 9500ci, Black Optics/Headlights/Trim/Rims, CC; coming soon: stage 3 snow meth

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