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The Audi RS4 delivers a combination of power, agility, practicality and a more mature personality that lends it a great deal of desirability.

03 Aug 2018



A bright red Audi with flared arches, massive air intakes and a growly exhaust? See one on the road and odds are that you will think that the driver is a wealthy young punk.

This is less an indictment of the brand than it is about the kinds of people who buy fast Audis. You know, the sort that rock up to Kallang Leisure Park on Friday nights to compare engine bays and engage in mini drag races.

The wagon body style may not be for everybody, but we think the RS4 Avant is an aggressively handsome car

So the question is, could you buy a fiery Audi that's capable of being a grown-up, all-rounded car? Well, the new Audi RS4 Avant might just be the answer. 

Handsome restraint

Yes, visually, the RS4 has all the hallmarks of an RS - flared wheel arches, massive silver-coloured air intakes, two large exhaust tips at the back, black contrast detailing all along the exterior.

It's an aggressive-looking car, but still reasonably restrained. We put that down to the wagon body style (Audi calls it the 'Avant'). Compared to the more stereotypically sporty looking RS5 Coupe, for example, the RS4 looks just a little more mild-mannered. 

The cabin is premium, comfortable, spacious and high-tech

Pinpoint cabin

The cabin is exactly as you'd expect from Audi - fastidiously well-put together, comfortable, luxurious and high-tech, but not particularly exciting. There's a wealth of equipment - Bang & Olufsen sound system, a head-up display that includes shift lights, oil temperature and a lap timer, massage function for the front seats - but it's all wrapped up in a package that's rather minimalist.

In fact, look past the red stitching and you'd be forgiven for wondering, why would anyone pay $392,280 (as of 6th July 2018) for a car that has essentially the same cabin as a well-specced A4? The answer is one very simple word - engineering. 

The twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 engine produces 444bhp and 600Nm of torque

Drop the hammer

Supreme engineering is the RS4's calling card. It starts at the front, where you have a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 engine under the bonnet. It pumps out a fiery 444 horses and 600Nm of torque.

The engine is paired to an eight-speed tiptronic transmission that, while admittedly not as lightning quick as a dual-clutch, still shifts gears smoothly and quickly enough for all intents and purposes. 0-100km/h takes 4.1 seconds, but behind the wheel, it actually feels quicker than that. It's a sweet engine, delivering an immaculate punch while still settling down when you want to just cruise along on the highway.

The RS4 also handles well for a car its size, with a nicely weighted steering wheel allowing for tight handling through corners. The fat 275 tyres and quattro all-wheel drive system help this mightily - trying to break traction in this car is difficult. The fixed damping is certainly on the firm side, so you could easily be tempted to check the option box for the adaptive dampers.

The 20-inch milled aluminium wheels are a stunning and reasonable $3,591 option

The car feels very complete, but small niggles pop up if you look very closely. One issue we found was that the throttle response isn't as immediate as we'd like. There's a fraction of a second lag between your throttle input and the response from the engine. For example, when you let off the throttle, and the engine takes a fraction of a second before it begins to decelerate. There's also a hint of wind noise detectable at highway speeds.

All things considered

Audi RS models have a reputation in Singapore, attracting a particular sort of crowd that tend to be younger, louder and rather boisterous. The fact that Audi cars are notoriously disposed to tuning (the engines are known to be capable of much more power) means it's no surprise that RS models have a certain boy-racer reputation about them.

The 505-litre boot is more than sufficient for all your hauling needs

This car isn't quite like that. Yes, it's still very capable of excessive amounts of speed, but the car has a much more grown-up character to it. It's not the most involving driving experience (the M models still reign supreme in this particular regard), but it's a very considered and accomplished performance car.

But more than that, it's also a very well-rounded and capable car, apt for all manner of occasions, whether the five-minute drive to the supermarket or the 400km drive to Kuala Lumpur.

The RS4 Avant is a deeply desirable car that will satisfy all your needs, whether it's high-performance or high-practicality

And that's what sets the RS4 Avant apart. It has all the practicality and subdued usability of a wagon, whilst still having the ability to go like hell when you put your foot down. It's not so shouty, trading 'look-at-me' looks for a more mature disposition. It'll appeal not just to the boy-racer, but to the grown-up crowd as well. And in our books, that makes the Audi RS4 Avant so much more desirable.

Car Information

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Audi RS4 Avant 2.9 TFSI qu tiptronic (A)
Rate it

Price

: -

Engine Type

:

V6 DOHC Biturbo

Engine Cap

:

2894cc

Horsepower

:

331kW (444 bhp) / 6700 rpm

Torque

:

600 Nm / 5000 rpm

Transmission

:

8-speed (A) Tiptronic

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

4.1sec

Top Speed

:

250km/h

Fuel consumption

:

11.2 km/L

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audi  audi rs4  audi rs4 avant  rs4 avant  avant  quattro