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You Can Get a Really Cheap V10 Audi S6 — But Should You?

It has recently come to my attention that the V10-powered Audi S6 from the mid- to late-2000s is monstrously cheap. This is true: There are about 20 listed for sale on Autotrader, and nearly all are under $20,000. Many are far closer to $10,000, with the cheapest example listed for just over $11,000.

This is pretty impressive, when you really think about it, because this Audi S6 was powered by a Lamborghini engine. It used the same 5.2-liter V10 from the Gallardo, though it was de-tuned a bit in the S6. The engine only put out 435 horsepower in the S6, compared to 500-plus in the Gallardo, depending on which version you got.

Still, even though the S6’s powertrain wasn’t quite identical to exactly what you got in the Gallardo, the Audi was still impressive: A modern luxury sedan with an exotic car engine and huge horsepower — all for the price of a Corolla. What’s not to love?

Well, maybe a lot. A general rule of thumb about these heavily-depreciated European sport sedans is that they’re cheap for a reason — and frankly, the idea of combining aging Audi reliability with Lamborghini powertrain technology and low, Corolla-level pricing doesn’t seem like an especially good proposition. That’s particularly true when you consider that European luxury vehicles that get to this price level generally suffer from deferred maintenance, since someone who purchases an Audi S6 V10 for $15,000 can’t necessarily afford to maintain it like someone who purchases it new for $75,000.

And, indeed, the S6 was $75,000 back when it was new. In fact, that was the entry price, with things increasing from there. As a result, it can sure seem like a good deal for $15,000 or less — but, buyer beware: Pay just $15,000 for the car, but expect maintenance and repair bills to potentially pile up quickly.

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  1. Everyone should buy heavily depreciated German sport sedans… life is too short to spend driving boring reliable cars. There’s a real excitement to fixing old German cars, and the joy out of making a supposedly “unreliable” car into a reliable one is incomparable. I’ve been daily driving a 2000 540it for 38k miles now and it’s never left me stranded. It’s currently at 212k miles and I plan to keep driving it for as long as I can.

  2. If you buy this, you should also be preparing for an engine out reseal at some point 

    The 5.2 is a great motor but it leaks… From everywhere 

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