These features include the high engine speed concept now being introduced for the first time in a production Audi, innovative FSI technology, as well as the latest generation of quattro drive with asymmetric/dynamic distribution of torque. Developing a maximum output of 420 bhp, the V8 revs up to a speed of 8250 rpm. With its displacement of 4163 cc, this engine exceeds the magical barrier of 100 bhp per litre - truly outstanding in a production saloon. Maximum torque of 317 lb-ft comes at 5500 rpm in this very compact engine, with 90 per cent of the engine’s torque consistently available between 2250 and 7600 rpm. The result is excellent muscle and pulling force at all times, enabling the driver whenever he – or she – wishes to drive in truly relaxed style without frequent gear changes.
Audi has chosen its trendsetting and groundbreaking FSI technology for the RS 4 saloon, direct gasoline injection ensuring even more effective combustion of the fuel/air mixture and, as a result, an even better power yield. This is matched by the highly responsive development of power, the RS 4 accelerating to 62 mph in 4.8 seconds and reaching 125 mph in 16.6 seconds. Top speed is cut off electronically at 155 mph.
The challenge, of course, is to get all this power on to the road in perfect style and with optimum handling. And for no less than 25 years, Audi’s answer to all the particular requirements in this respect has been that magical name “quattro”. Now the latest generation of Audi’s permanent four-wheel drive featured for the first time in the RS 4 offers asymmetric/dynamic torque distribution and a self-locking Torsen centre differential, making a significant contribution in enabling the RS 4 with its sports suspension to enter new dimensions in driving dynamics. Indeed, Audi quattro technology still provides traction when other drive concepts have long reached their limits. And in this case quattro drive is further enhanced by Audi’s DRC Dynamic Ride Control, significantly reducing both body roll and dive.
The brakes also enter new dimensions, an 18-inch brake system ensuring optimum stopping power. The cross-drilled, inner-vented brake discs at the front measure 365 millimeters in diameter, as opposed to 324-millimetre brake discs at the rear. Flow-optimized ventilation geometry incorporating Naca jets on the underfloor of the car ensures first-class cooling of the brakes under all conditions.
The RS 4 features racing technology in civilian clothes. While many of its features look similar to the new Audi A4, the RS 4 is far more than just a “fast” derivative of Audi’s highly successful midrange saloon. Quite simply because the car is an almost entirely brand-new development tailored to the highest performance requirements.
The single-frame radiator grille, the rear section with the distinctly horizontal orientation of the car’s lines, and the side surfaces with the shoulder line plastically filling in the car’s contours, all prove that the RS 4 is a member of the A4 family. However, the radiator grille in diamond look, the additional air intake scoops in the front section, as well as the wheels developed specifically for the RS 4, clearly set the car aside from a “normal” Audi A4.
The newly designed rear air dam encompassing two extra-large tailpipes as well as the discreet but highly effective spoiler integrated in the luggage compartment lid and the rear side panels all bear clear testimony to the saloon’s dynamic driving potential also in terms of their looks. Compared with the Audi A4, the entire body of the car has been lowered by 30 millimeters. And at the same time the development engineers at quattro GmbH have widened the car’s track both front and rear. At the end of the day, however, all these modifications to the body of the car are significant not only in terms of design, but also above all in terms of function.
Inside, the RS 4 combines the straightforward function of a sports car with the luxurious ambience so typical of all Audi models. The dominating materials are leather, aluminium, and carbon. But at the same time the RS 4 comes with all the additional qualities so typical of a genuine sports car.
This superiority becomes clear immediately when you take your seats in the car: The RS bucket seats with their high side sections provide excellent support. A further feature of these bucket seats is the control button on each seat for inflating the side support elements adjusting perfectly to the driver’s anatomy. The sports steering wheel tapering down at the bottom and the engine starter button on the centre console, in turn, are also clearly reminiscent of motorsport, just like the aluminium pedals.
You start the engine of the Audi RS 4 by pressing the starter button housed conveniently in the centre console right next to the driver. Pressing the sports button in the steering wheel, in turn, the driver is able to modify the gas pedal control map, giving the engine even sharper and more direct response.