Nowadays, we have Audi RS cars that make over 600 hp, are the size of ’90s SUVs and have enough electronics to make the Starship Enterprise blush. But Audi’s RS cars weren’t always giant electronic rocketships. No, there was a time when Audi’s RS cars were fun, pure performance cars that got your blood pumping with exhilarating fun, not with trillions of electrons firing. The original B5 Audi RS4 is proof of that.
The good folks at Piston Heads were able to sample a B5 Audi RS4 that came straight from Audi UK’s historic center. So this RS4 is basically a museum-perfect classic. The bright yellow paintwork shows off the ’90s design perfectly and proves that the decade won’t be known for its style. However, it looks so uncluttered, unlike most modern Audis which have so much bodywork going on and LEDs on absolutely everything. This B5 RS4 is so simple that it’s beautiful.
Then it comes to the engine. Back in the ’90s, Audi wanted its 2.7 liter BiTurbo V6 to be damn powerful, so it bought the best British engine tuner in the world — Cosworth. After purchasing Cosworth Technologies, it had the British company tune its 2.7 liter V6 to have a monstrous, for the time, 380 hp which was capable of rocketing the RS4 from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds. At the time, the RS4 was the fastest saloon in the world.
It’s truly an envious thing, to drive a perfectly preserved original RS4. Audis simply don’t drive with the same level or connection or passion as they once did. Current Audis are great, don’t get me wrong, but they lack the sort of driver connection that they once had. Drive any current Audi and you can feel that it’s being propelled around by clever software more so than your talents. However, the original RS4 is an analog thing with beautiful hydraulic assisted steering and but one suspension setting that is just right, as opposed to have three different setting without a perfect one.
Check out Piston Head’s latest review of an absolute classic Audi and become very, very jealous.