crankandpiston takes the Audi RS4 Avant for a thrash in Dubai, UAE. Don’t worry, this isn’t your standard family shifting estate car…
|Engine||Power||Torque||0-100kph||Top speed||Weight||Basic price|
|V8, 4163cc||450hp @ 8250rpm||317lb ft @ 4000-6000rpm||4.7 secs||250kph (limited)||1795kg||$78,924|
When Audi unveiled the new RS4 Avant at last year’s Geneva Motor Show, company execs and PR specialists alike waxed lyrical and unceasingly on the new model returning to its routes. Hence why the new B8 RS4 is only available as an Avant estate model. The sporty coupe lovers among you who are about to start weeping into your cereal can rest easy though. This is not just a slightly faster A4: this is a true blue – or Sepang Blue in this case – albeit slightly larger sporty Audi.
Moving on from the slightly rounded looks of the B7 predecessor (which first hit the scene back in 2006), this new third generation RS4 is an altogether more aggressively carved animal. Yes, it may well measure 4719mm long and 2813mm wide (that’s 20mm and 24mm respectively longer than its A4 Avant counterpart) but it’s also 20mm lower – thanks to a taut RS suspension setup – meaning the RS4 should be suitably planted through the turns. An injection of aluminium into the chassis, suspension arms, and brake housing means the RS4 Avant also weighs in at a not unreasonable 1795kg.
So far so numerical then, but there’s more to the RS4 than just a quick maths lesson. Tweaks to the front grille (now with an aluminium look finish), wedge-shaped LED headlights, roof rails, and a new cavernous front bumper and sharpened bonnet lines add a whole new aggression to the model. And rightly so, given that it’s nearest competitors include the dynamically restyled BMW M3 and the Mercedes C63 AMG. There’s even a bit of bling courtesy of the traditional RS4 matte-aluminium look wing mirrors, the enormous 20-inch ten-spoke forged aluminium alloys that fill the wheel arches so superbly (OEM rarely looks so good), and various RS4 monikers about the front and rear bumpers. These combined may split opinion, but they make this particular reviewer say ‘phwoar!
Moon Silver (read grey) upholstery ratchets the oomph factor down quite a bit on the inside, though typically Germanic quality from the boys and girls at Audi mean it’s beautifully put together and showcases some nice touches. The flat-bottomed multifunctional steering wheel for example is a nod to Audi’s Quattro world rally car. The Alcantara effect on the semi-bucket leather seats boast some cheeky RS4 embroidery, and the gorgeously crafted gear-lever is a piece of art in itself.
There are though a few issues though. I’ve yet to get my head around Audi’s somewhat counter-intuitive rotary dial controller for the main driver information and entertainment system: turning the dial clockwise causes the dial on the screen to go counter-clockwise, and I’ve yet to work out how to change that. Legroom may well be ample in the front, but headroom is a little lacking and room in the back is not as copious as expected from an estate car. One particular gripe also concerns the warning beep that sounds (and sounds, and sounds, and sounds) when the driver’s door is opened while the engine is still running. It can start to grate, quite quickly.
Hit the stop/start button next to the gear lever though and you’ll soon forget these minor foibles, the roar of the 4.2-litre V8 under the bonnet immediately filling the cabin. The naturally aspirated unit (no turbo or supercharging here) boasts 450hp and 317lb ft or torque, meaning the new RS4 is capable of hitting 0-100kph in 4.7 seconds and an electronically limited top speed (naturally) of 250kph. Audi boffins will hoik this up to 280kph though should you throw in a few extra coffers. Odd then that the opening few thrashes with the RS4 are a little underwhelming.
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