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5 cars
tommallett

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Why I'm looking forward to the next RS4 (with a little trepidation)
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Why I'm looking forward to the next RS4 (with a little trepidation)
  • Why I'm looking forward to the next RS4 (with a little trepidation)
  • Why I'm looking forward to the next RS4 (with a little trepidation)
  • Why I'm looking forward to the next RS4 (with a little trepidation)
  • Why I'm looking forward to the next RS4 (with a little trepidation)
Audi’s new RS4 is nearing our shores and I am looking forward to driving it. The last RS4 was a thing of great beauty and poise to my eyes. It reacted to throttle and steering inputs in a way that no Audi had done before, and R8 aside, none has afterwards either.

BMW’s E46 M3 CS was a work of art, but the Audi made it feel old when it landed at my door in late 2005. It had a thunderous V8 that revved smoothly to the red line in a cultured crescendo. Not only is the engine very good but it proved to many, me included, that Audi could produce an RS model that flowed down the road, could be steered on the throttle and felt genuinely keen to tuck its nose into an apex.. The previous RS4 had been unsubtle to say the very least, the appeal lay in how much power you could achieve by twisting up the volume on the turbocharger. In a moment of genius this had changed.

Sadly Audi followed up their triumph with the RS6. I am not suggesting for one moment that the current RS6 is particularly awful, but it certainly lacks the inner beauty that made the RS4 so special. It came to me as I followed a chap called Jamie cross country. Jamie, not too shabby behind the wheel of a motor car, was safely ensconced in the figure hugging Recaro of an RS6. I was in a Renault Megane R26, which for the uninitiated is a cracking car, right out of the top drawer. In a 20 minute dash he could not shake the lively Renault for the big Audi’s rump. Despite a 355bhp power advantage the RS6 settled into understeer, ran out of brakes and bounced over the rough country road like a bucking bronco. Put simply, it was trying to obliterate the road ahead, trying to smash the metaphorical nut shell with a sledgehammer, rather than slicing it open neatly and precisely in the way that the talented RS4 would have done.

The RS3 and even the more junior S models have failed to scale the heights achieved with the RS4 and R8. It has left me wondering whether that set of engineers has been poached or whether they simply failed to realize what made the previous car so special.

I am looking forward to the next RS4. My enthusiasm is possibly misplaced as it is based solely on the idea that it comes in dog-carrying Avant form and has a brilliant fore-bearer. Let’s just hope that Audi has taken the scalpel approach with the new RS4.

Photographs: Courtesy of Audi
revver
Tech specs (and looks) are promissing, they are keeping a natural aspirated V8 which is kinda brave in this day and age of forced induction: www.autoviva.com/news/audi_rs4_avant_brings_a_combin...
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28.02.2012 @ 12:26
Anonymous
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