Audi has a halo car in the new RS4 Avant sports estate car that combines power and style in a unique styling package that sure to impress. Michael Moroney took the RS4 on a road trip and quickly got into the mood for special driving experience.
Dress to impress and deliver with substance, that’s the mood of the new Audi RS4, a performance car that tops the Audi A4 range.
The RS4 sets the pace for just what Audi engineers can do and for Audi enthusiasts this is the ultimate head turner, their absolute desire car.
You simply cannot use words such as competitive, economical or practical when writing about cars with the performance ability of the Audi RS4 Avant.
Driving this estate car is motoring at a different level and you’ll know that even before you experience the tempting growl of the 2.9 litre Audi TFSI petrol engine.
This is a car in which you will be seen and heard in. If your pocket is deep enough and your image can cope with the attention, then read on.
Audi has crafted this very unique car to lead its range, with so many features included to make the car very special and that special feeling rubs off on you when you get behind the wheel.
The low profile stance on 19in tyres, the exclusive badging and some not so subtle design features all create a car that’s hugely desirable, even if it’s not remotely affordable.
RS specific front and rear bumpers and side skirts, along with exterior mirror housings in carbon fibre look and RS specific rear bumper and diffuser along with dual oval tailpipes, all combine to create a very distinctive car.
This car’s performance ability starts with the engine. Audi has released 450bhp from this 2.9 litre V6, twin-turbo petrol engine and you can experience every bit of power and the 600Nm of engine torque. This engine gives the car a dual personality, smooth and relaxed to drive around the city or massively energetic when you want it to be on the open road.
To get the full performance value from the car you really need to drive it on a race track where the 0 to 100km/hr acceleration figure of 4.1 seconds will excite.
On regular Irish roads, this power capacity has limited application, but you know it’s there. The acceleration performance means that overtaking is never an issue, perhaps the engine’s throaty sound as you accelerate may put other drivers off a little. Many others will simply grin with envy.
Audi claims a new chassis for this performance car, and in truth it’s probably needed to cope with the power ability from the massive engine. Bring the car out on the road and it will thrill in terms of performance and handling supported by the proven Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
The car is fitted with a RS Sports suspension with variable shock absorption and for once I could notice the difference.
There are four Drive Select settings available by means of a button on the dash, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual.
I started in Individual mode and later opted for Comfort mode when out on the open road.
For the economy record this car does what it says. The rated economy figure of 11.4km/litre (8.8/100km or 32mpg) was almost achievable over my lengthy test drive.
As I criss-crossed the countryside to experience its power, my Audi RS4 attracted attention for the combination of stylish looks and the instant engine response as I accelerated.
Don’t expect the Audi RS4 to be economical as with its CO2 rating of 199g/km, the road annual tax will cost €1,200.
For someone with over €100,000 to spend on an image car, I doubt that the road tax rate will be a concern.
There is also a significant technology feel to the Audi RS4.
The dash and controls resemble those of other models in the A4 range, with a lot more features as standard to allow the driver to maximise the car’s ultimate potential.
The Audi virtual cockpit is part of the RS4 package and you can easily change the dials layout to suit your style.
The car includes Audi Pre Sense City automatic safety system, plus a host of other safety features.
The Euro NCAP rating is more out of date than other brands, even though the car has one of the most impressive safety packages on board.
Despite the huge technology offering, the Audi Smartphone interface was easy to get set up with and the car’s sound system was equally impressive.
The RS4 packages also include a 3 years subscription to the Audi connect system along with Audi emergency call and breakdown assist.
With an entry price of €102,350, this Audi RS4 is going to be as rare on Irish roads as it is unique.
Like all Audi models there is potential for personalisation and the test car package added over €27,000 to the base car list price!
The RS4 is not a big car in terms of stature on the road, but it is a very special car, for me that special driving experience will live on.