Audi B8/8.5 S4 Buyer’s Guide


FCP Euro’s Audi B8/8.5 S4 Buyer’s Guide

Audi’s legacy of producing fast and comfortable sedans didn’t stop with their fifth generation of mid-size sedan. The B8/8.5’s lineage can be traced back to the first fast Audi, the Sport quattro, a homologation special designed to allow Audi to enter Group B and dominate with their all-wheel-drive. The ’80s may be long gone—along with Group B—but the all-weather capability and outright quickness remain a staple in Audi’s lineup to this day.


Audi B8/8.5 Background 

The B8/8.5 chassis code represents the fifth generation of mid-sized Audi sedans, coupes, convertibles, and Avants produced from 2008 to 2016. The model range slots above the compact “A” chassis comprised of the A3, S3, and TT, and below the “C” chassis comprised of the A6 and S6. The S4 and S5 use VAG’s MLB platform, which it shares with Audi’s other sedans and the Porsche Macan. The fifth-generation S4 is separated into two different chassis codes, the B8 and the B8.5. The B8 covers the S4/S5 from 2008 to 2012, while the B8.5 covers those same models from 2013 to 2016. 

When introduced in 2010, the B8 S4 was a significant step up in design from the outgoing B7. The new chassis reduced the overhangs and was stiffer, giving the new S-models a considerable bump in agility. Audi reintroduced a forced-induction V6 to the engine bay in the B8 S4. A reduction in cylinder count and displacement with the new 3.0T engine was balanced by adding a roots-type supercharger. 

On paper, the B8 S4 arrived with seven fewer horsepower than its predecessor, a theoretical step back. In real world conditions, however, the B8 is significantly quicker than the B7. The supercharger gives the V6 a fat and flat torque curve far better than the old V8. The horsepower, too, is delivered across a broader curve, giving the B8 more available power throughout the power band making it ultimately better for daily driving duties. 

The 3.0T was installed in the new S4 and S5 Cabrio, but until 2013 and the transition to the B8.5, a direct-injected 4.2L V8 related to the 4.2 V8 that powered the R8 supercar resided in the engine bay of the S5 Coupe. 

Audi sold over 57,000 B8/8.5s by the time their production ended in 2016. Since then, 3.0T-equipped S4s and S5s have become performance staples in the used market. Their reliable power plants are easily tunable, producing significantly more power over stock with only a few modifications. In true Audi fashion, they are wrapped in a roomy and comfortable chassis that can confidently power through harsh weather conditions. 

Is The Audi B8/8.5 S4 Reliable? 


The B8 and B8.5 S4 is generally more reliable than most Audis. The 3.0T engine holds up very well to abuse at the stock power level and can handle more added power with the stock internals. Chassis and brake issues don’t really exist for this chassis either. Numerous owners have documented 200,000+ mile B8s online. The secret to their longevity is proper maintenance and quality parts. Insufficient service and maintenance is the downfall of these Audi models.

One of the most serious issues is for buyers of early B8s to be aware of concern the DSG transmission electronics. This was resloved in the B8.5 with revised parts. If you’re considering purchasing a B8/B8.5, the best thing you can do is have it inspected by a dealership or independent shop beforehand. Any seller who isn’t hiding issues should agree to this. Without a PPI and a well-documented maintenance history, you should expect underlying issues to crop up, and that any repairs that are required won’t be cheap. High-performance Audis are engineered to tight tolerances, and their parts at the dealer are expensive. However, doing minor services and maintenance yourself is a great way to keep those costs down, especially if you take advantage of the FCP Euro Lifetime Guarantee

Notable Options 

Audi offered B8 and B8.5 buyers a large list of options to choose from, as with any European luxury car manufacturer. Regardless of trim level and options, all models came equipped with a sunroof, leather sport seats, and multi-zone climate control. Each model was available in the lower Premium Plus trim, or the higher Prestige trim. Any component comprising the Prestige package could be added to a Premium Plus. Those options include: Audi MMI Navigation Plus Package, Audi Adaptive Light, Audi Advanced Key, and Audi Side Assist. Finding a secondhand car with every option you desire will be tough, so be flexible to assure you get in on the B8/8.5 experience. Which options should be top of your list? Visit our full guide to learn more

Engine: 3.0T V6 

The 3.0T V6 was the new kid on the block when the B8 S4 debuted, becoming an instant hit for its easy upgradability and available power. It uses an AluSil engine block and aluminum cylinder heads combined with direct fuel injection and a roots-style supercharger to produce 333 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. S4 buyers could spec either a 6-speed manual or the 7-speed S-Tronic DSG. Replacing the aging V8 with a genuinely reliable engine capable of good power numbers was a must for Audi at the start of the 2010s, and the 3.0T hasn’t disappointed. 

  • Engine Type: Supercharged 90° V6 
  • Displacement: 3.0L 
  • Horsepower: 333 hp @ 5500–7000 RPM 
  • Torque: 325 lb-ft @ 2900–5300 RPM 
  • Compression Ratio: 10.3:1 
  • Max RPM: 7300 
  • Cooling: Water-cooled 
  • Induction: Roots-Style Eaton Supercharger (11.6 PSI) 
  • Injection: Direct Fuel Injection 
  • Valvetrain: DOHC with variable intake and exhaust timing 
  • Valves: 24 Valve 
  • Bore x Stroke: 84.5mm x 90mm (3.33in. x 3.54in.) 
  • Timing Chain: 4-Chain Configuration 
  • Oiling System: Wet-sump 
  • Engine Oil Capacity: 6.8L (7.2 qt) 
  • Required Octane: Premium Unleaded (91+) 

Transmissions: 6-Speed & DSG 

Two transmission options were available throughout the B8/B8.5 S4’s run. Out of the gate, you had the choice of the 0B4 6-speed manual transmission or the DL501 7-speed DSG. Neither transmission is the wrong choice in these cars; both offer benefits depending on the type of driver behind the wheel and what the car will be used for. Both the OB4 6-speed manual and DL501 DSG found in the B8.5 S4s are bulletproof. Early model B8s occasionally had DSG electronics issues that were resolved in the B8.5 generation. 

0B4 6-Speed Manual 

It’s tough to go wrong with a row-your-own gearbox, and the 0B4 doesn’t disappoint. It’s a traditional H-pattern, fully synchronized transaxle that uses a hydraulic clutch system. Both simpler and lighter than the two-pedal options, the 0B4 is a trouble-free choice. It was the only transmission offered from the start of the B8 through the end of the B8.5, so there are quite a few cars out there using them. 

DL501 S-Tronic 7-Speed DSG 

In terms of speed, this is as good as it gets from Audi. Rivaling Porsche’s PDK, the S-Tronic DSG is a stout and reliable box capable of handling significant power. It is arguably the most common gearbox option, too, available throughout the S4’s production. Its dual-clutch system makes it quicker and more accurate than the 0B4. Plus, its ability to shift itself through the TCU makes it an outstanding choice for daily driving. 

Factory Performance: 
3.0T 0-60: 4.9 seconds
¼ mile: 13.4 seconds  

Factory Performance: 
3.0T S-Tronic 0-60: 4.7 seconds 
¼ mile: 13.2 seconds

What Do They Cost? 

Depreciation is the secondhand market’s best friend. The earliest B8s have been around for the better part of 13 years, and many have seen plenty of miles. The best examples still carry a hefty price tag, but you can find examples cheaper than a new Corolla with good service history and higher miles. Unfortuantely, there are also plenty of B8s with a bunch of miles and some sketchy service history. Luckily, the B8.5s are still new enough that almost all are taken care of. Either chassis is a good buy for a fast daily commuter, depending on how much you spend. Note: pricing was taken at time of first writing circa 2021.

Used Audi S4 Pricing (B8) 

S4 2010–2012 


Used Audi S4 Pricing (B8.5) 

S4 2013–2016