4 Avant Carbon Edition 2.9 TFSI quattro 450PS tiptronic
not beat about the bush:
when it comes to describing Audis
RS 4 Avant only one word will do
IF YOU THINK that's a term more readily associated with supercars then
you probably have never driven a RS 4. For a start it's exceptionally quick
it rockets from zero to 62mph in just 4.1 seconds and can hit 174mph;
its quattro all-wheel drive system blesses it with limpet-like grip; and the
oh-so-tractable turboed V6 under its bonnet punches out 443bhp and a heroic
442lb ft of torque.
Menacingly hunkered down, blistered wheelarches stretched tightly over meaty
lo-pro 275 tyres, flaring air-intake 'nostrils' topped by RS Matrix LED headlights
bracketing a deep, elongated hexagonal honeycombed grille at the front and a
fastback glasshouse with fist-sized oval tailpipes at each rear corner, it's
mean, lean and, in the case of our test car, very green.
Green not as in save-the-planet green but painted in a stunning eye-catching
metallic Sonoma green. As to matters 'green', the RS 4's official Combined Cycle
economy is 32.1mpg. Amazingly, given it awesome bite, our week's test average
came out at an impressive 29.8mpg although some extended bursts of hardcore
driving forced that down to the mid-twenties. Not that the average RS 4 owner
will lose and sleep over that.
this latest fourth-generation super-estate is not just any old all-seasons supercar
but comes with room for five as well as a 505-litre boot. The spacious cabin
is a work of art woven with an urbane blend of leather, Alcantara and acres
of high-gloss carbon-fibre that gives you a spirit-lifting buzz every time you
settle inside. Audi RS cabins are rich in perceived quality, something that
now even their best top-end rivals can't quite match.
is a work of art woven
with an urbane blend of
Alcantara and acres of
that gives you
a spirit-lifting buzz
every time you settle
It's hard to decide what grabs your attention the most as you swing back the
wide-opening door the RS-branded 'Super Sport' front seats upholstered
in fine black Nappa leather with honeycomb-pattern quilted design centre panels
enhanced by contrasting red detail stitching look superb, and are even more
holding and comfortable than they look and they look pretty damn
The seats also come with three-stage heating and extendable front cushions for
personalised under-thigh/knee support. The driver additionally gets power-adjustable
pneumatic backrest bolstering for that bespoke fit along with a massage function
and a two-setting seat/mirror position recall. Next comes the über-sporty flat-bottomed
steering wheel, its grippy rim wrapped in perforated soft hide. Paddle-shifters
and comprehensive multifunction controls can, of course, be taken for granted.
Impossible to overlook too is the brilliant multi-configurable 12.3-inch 'virtual
cockpit' instrument panel ahead of the driver, seamlessly integrated with Audi's
intuitive MMI navigation and infotainment system with its own stand-alone central
8.3-inch touchscreen. The system is feature rich and not only can it be accessed
using your fingertip but incorporated with the hardwired MMI control cluster
on the central tunnel close to your left thigh is a touchpad enabling you to
enter your destination by 'writing' commands with your finger
or if that's all too much for you, using voice commands.
The infotainment system includes DVD playback, Jukebox with 10GB hard drive
memory for music, online live traffic information, DAB radio radio reception,
Bluetooth, Audi Smartphone Interface, etc. But the best part is that it all
works without a hitch while letting the driver order up a customised mix of
entertainment, navigation, vehicle and trip computer information, all displayed
precisely as they want it between the two screens.
is equally foolproof, with important controls not sited on the wheel self-evidently
close by even if it's your first outing in the cabin it's easy
to find the right button. Added to that there's a first-class head-up display
covering road speed, speed limit and other core information. Exactly how it
should be in something this fast.
the RS 4s
pizzazz is the exuberantly
refined way its
lightweight 2.9-litre V6
belts out the power
its potent direct injection
biturbo set-up delivers
443bhp and 442lb ft
between 1,900 and
5,000rpm, giving it
and enabling it
to rocket off the line
and pass 62mph in
you keep your cool at all times is a highly effective three-zone climate control
system with slim air vents set along the full width of the dash. Perfect. Out
of the polluted cityscape you might power down your widow for a breath of clean
air and the satisfaction of hearing the invigorating yet politically-subdued
snarl from the RS Sport exhaust system whenever you surge through the 'box.
Most things on your wish-list will already be fitted as standard to the Carbon
Edition (it would take a full page just to list them so we haven't) but that
doesn't mean there aren't more goodies to be had our test car
came with a few of the more popular including an absolutely first-rate head-up
display, Driver Assistance Pack (Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop&Go and Traffic-jam
Assist, Pre-sense Front that extends the collision warning and automatic braking
function of Pre-sense City to cover the entire speed range up to 155mph, Predictive
Efficiency Assistant, Camera-based traffic sign recognition, Collision Avoidance
Assistant, Turn Assist to detect approaching vehicles and apply braking to help
avoid a collision when turning at junctions, and Active Lane Assist).
Other must-tick items include electrically-adjustable front seats with memory
function for the driver, a Comfort and Sound Pack (Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound System,
Advanced key with electric handsfree boot opening, and rear-view camera), powerfolding
door mirrors with auto-dimming and memory function, and Audi Phone Box with
wireless charging. Together they bumped the £70K price-tag up to £76K but that's
arguably still a justifiable amount of money for one of these awesome Vorsprung
durch Technik machines.
Between the RS 4's luggage-friendly boot and generous front cabin there's more
than enough room to comfortably accommodate two, or even three, adults without
cramping their social space. And thanks to deceptively generous glazing, visibility
is not just excellent for the driver but for all of his or her passengers, wherever
they choose to sit.
Despite the lowered RS Sport suspension and 20-inch forged aluminium alloys
wearing low-profile rubber-band tyres the RS 4 is agreeably comfortable. Whilst
you can specify Audi's Dynamic Ride Control with adaptive dampers (£2,000),
the default set-up delivers a commendably tied-down fluency.
do, of course, get Audi's competent Ride Select that enable you to alter the
throttle response, gearshift characteristics and steering feel between three
pre-set modes: Auto, Comfort and Dynamic. A separate Individual setting allows
you to adjust the vehicle's characteristics to your own preferences. Refreshingly,
even in its compliant Comfort mode the RS 4 remains resolutely responsive.
its very best to
stop you putting a wheel
wrong is Audis
Ably enhanced by a
Sport rear differential
Stabilisation Control with
the RS 4 boasts a degree
of wieldiness that
will leave just about
trailing in its dust...
its very best to stop you putting a wheel wrong is Audi's renowned quattro drivetrain.
Ably enhanced by a Sport differential plus Electronic Stabilisation Control
with torque vectoring, the RS 4 boasts the degree of wieldiness that will leave
just about any rival trailing in its dust. The fact that it performs with such
panache on even rubbish blacktop is hard to grasp until you've been in the car
when it performs. Until then, take our word on it.
key components contributing to its tenacious traction and grin-inducing agility
include the fluently direct steering and the awesomely reassuring brakes (ventilated
and perforated front and rear discs) that, even with a light pressure from your
right foot, haul the RS 4 down from three-figure speeds with total confidence
For those who like to know these things, a tad more power is sent to the rear
axle than the front during normal driving. However, whenever necessary, as much
as 70% can be distributed through the rear diff. At the other extreme, as much
as 85% of torque can be deployed at the front axle. While you really can sense
the RS 4's traction permeating its body, any such switching is done with such
finesse that you really wouldn't and don't ever need to
notice. You'll be too busy spearing unerringly through the trickiest of corners
with your only thought as it grips and turns and grips even harder being 'bring
on the next one'.
Motivating the RS 4's pizzazz is the exuberantly refined way its lightweight
2.9-litre V6 belts out the power its potent direct injection biturbo
set-up delivers 443bhp and 442lb ft between 1,900 and 5,000rpm. If you're already
a fan of the RS 4 you won't need reminding that the previous version's bigger
V8 could only stump up 317lb ft. In real-life the V6 (also found in the RS 5)
has 24-carat 'point-and-squirtability' enabling it to rocket off the line and
pass 62mph in a smidgen over 4 seconds. Even in its 'restricted' default state
it hit triple figures in around 10 seconds and run on to 155mph (ask your Audi
dealer nicely and, for £1,450, he'll unlock its full 174mph potential
it has pace aplenty, it's also tremendously civilised in everyday driving. And
that's down to the slick-changing, silky-smooth eight-speed torque converter
it's partnered with. With optimised gearbox ratios, quick-shift paddles on the
wheel and a sport programme, it's the power behind the throne.
matter how angelic or devilish your right foot, power is fed to the blacktop
smoothly via Audi's permanent four-wheel-drive quattro system. Motorways are
cruised effortlessly; the V6's muted growl virtually unheard while a glance
at the driver's computer will confirm that fuel is being consumed at the rate
of 36+mpg. All of which, on long-haul trips, means close to 500 miles between
this much poke on
tap its easy to overlook
what lies behind
in the RS 4 Avants
that would be
a 505-litre boot.
The tailgate is powered
and can be quickly
opened or closed with
the key fob, cockpit or tailgate button, or by swiping your foot under
the rear bumper.
Whichever method you
use, the boot is both
a sensible shape and
easy to load...
this much poke on tap it's easy to overlook 'what lies behind'
in the RS 4 Avant's case that would be a 505-litre boot. The tailgate is powered
and can be quickly opened or closed by the key fob, cockpit or tailgate button
or by swiping your foot under the rear bumper. Whichever method
you use, the boot is both a sensible shape and easy to load.
If you're not carrying rear passengers, that is
you can drop the versatile 40:20:40-split back seats to open up a 1,510-litre
loadbay. You might consider the RS 4 a tad too tasty to be seen towing anything
but if you do have the need then it will haul a braked 2,100kg.
Stunning sure-footed pace and surprising space, Audi's driver-focused mid-sized
über-wagon blends real-world usefulness with hardcore sporting prowess and the
eye-catching charisma of an Aston. There can be few more rewarding ways to spend
seventy grand! ~ MotorBar
Audi RS 4 Avant Carbon Edition 2.9 TFSI quattro 450PS tiptronic
Maximum speed: 155mph | 0-62mph: 4.1 seconds | Test Average: 29.8mpg
Power: 443bhp | Torque: 442lb ft | CO2: 200g/km