Paul Maric road tests and reviews the 2014 Audi RS 4 Avant.
Earning status or gaining a good reputation in an industry is tough work. That’s why any Audi vehicle boasting an ‘RS’ badge must be pretty special. Sitting above Audi’s ‘S’ sport models, ‘RS’ variants boast a slightly more Spartan interior (to make room for performance enhancements) and a lot more power.
The Audi RS 4 is now only available in automatic station wagon guise. That’s not a bad thing, because as a performance wagon it looks very impressive. While the styling isn’t as ‘out there’ as the previous generation RS 4, it’s hard to mistake the dual exhaust pipes and gaping front air inlets.
Inside the cabin, it’s all about performance. Sport bucket seats, carbon fibre highlights and a short-cut steering wheel set the theme. The luxurious cabin is stylish and elegant, keeping with the regular theme of Audi’s higher end models.
No RS model would be complete without a mammoth engine; the RS 4 is no exception. Crammed under the bonnet is a high-revving 4.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine. Producing 331kW and 430Nm of torque, this sweet sounding engine is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
The big engine and all-wheel-drive help the Audi RS 4 dash from 0-100km/h in just 4.7-seconds. Fuel consumption is rated at a combined 10.7L/100km, which isn’t too bad for a car with such performance credentials.
Twisty roads bring out the best in the RS 4. The intelligent, high-tech all-wheel-drive system helps extract the most out of the car by sending torque to each wheel with grip and individually braking those without.
Feedback through the steering and brakes is superb and fitting for a low-slung sports car like the RS 4. Each gear continuously revs to the 8,000rpm+ redline, while the exhaust note and engine note are simply to die for.
Away from the hills and in the car’s comfort driving mode, the RS 4 is sedate and comfortable to drive, which is why it’s the perfect split-personality sports car.
Available in station wagon form with an automatic gearbox only, the Audi RS 4 is priced from $149,400. Be careful of the options list, which can stretch from $250 for sun-blinds to $13,500 for carbon ceramic brakes.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 4.2 litre V8 producing 331kW and 430Nm
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
Safety: Not tested
Price: From $149,400