Back in the mid ’00s, Audi shocked the world with a sport sedan so good, enthusiasts though it came from Porsche. The B7-generation Audi RS4 was a triumph and one of Audi’s absolute best all time sports cars. But was it actually good enough to take on Porsche? In this retro-review, pulled from a 2005 issue of Top Gear magazine, we get to see how well the B7 Audi RS4 took on the Porsche Cayman S.
At the time, the Porsche Cayman was a novel thing. Porsche had made mid-engine cars before but the Cayman was its first attempt at actually making a budget-911, so to speak. And it was brilliant. In fact, it was so good that Porsche enthusiasts felt the brand was intentionally holding it back, so it didn’t surpass the 911, in terms of fun and engagement. Surely, a front-heavy, all-wheel drive, four-door sedan couldn’t compete, right?
Surprisingly, it could, back in its day. Obviously, the two were very different cars, with very different means of getting your heartrate up. Though, they were both very capable of getting your heartrate up. The Audi RS4 did so in brutal fashion, with a sensational 4.2 liter V8 that screaming to its 8,250 rpm redline, delivering 414 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque, the latter of which was available between 2,250-7600 rpm. Its six-speed manual was slick and easy to operate, and its steering was sharp and tight. It was a monster of a sport sedan back in its day.
On the flipside, the Cayman S, with its 3.4 liter flat-six made a comparatively measly 295 horsepower and 251 lb-ft. Though, its six-speed manual was even sweeter to use and its steering/handling/chassis balance were all obviously far superior. The Audi RS4 was quite a bit faster but the Porsche was more engaging to drive through a twisty road. However, that’s not to say the RS4 wasn’t fun on a twisty road — it was — nor that the Porsche was slow — it wasn’t. They both were excellent all-around machines but excelled at different things.
Which one was better? Top Gear pulled the ole fence-sitting position. Both were incredible and you couldn’t go wrong with either. If you want to see what both cars were like back in 2005, check this review out.
[Source: Top Gear]