When the brand-new B9-generation Audi RS4 Avant first debuted, we were a bit nervous. The newest Audi RS5 Coupe was actually met with a bit of disappointment. It’s a bit too soft, too calm and too steady. Compared to the fire-spitting excitement of the previous-gen RS5, this new one’s disappointment was a crushing blow. So when Audi dropped the new RS4, we were nervous that it, too, would be bland and we so desperately wanted it to be brilliant. Turns out, our fear was for naught, as the new Audi RS4 Avant is brilliant.
In this new review from Top Gear, we learn that the RS4 Avant is everything we hoped the RS5 Coupe would be and then some. Admittedly, a lot of its brilliance is due to the fact that it’s a wagon and not a coupe, which makes its overall package make so much more sense. Still, we’re breathing sighs of relief at hearing that it’s a superb fast Audi.
Mechanically, it’s identical to the RS5 Coupe. Under the hood lies the same 2.9 liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that makes 450 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, which is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and Quattro all-wheel drive. All of that combines to hustle the RS4 Avant from 0-60 mph in a claimed 4.1 seconds. But Top Gear calls rubbish on that claim, saying that it will likely hit closer to 3.2 seconds, as they recorded an RS5 Coupe running the latter time. So it’s seriously, properly fast. At that speed, the RS4 will roast a C63 AMG and BMW M4 as if they were standing still.
But that’s not what makes the new RS4 Avant brilliant, as the RS5 is just as fast. What makes the new RS4 so fantastic is actually how it drives. Though, that’s contingent on certain option boxes being ticked. So not every RS4 will drive as well as TG claims. However, if you option it the right way, there’s nothing on the road at anywhere near its price that can dispatch any road, in any condition, like the RS4 Avant.
The necessary options are as follows: DRC (Dynamic Ride Control), the optional sports read differential and the sport exhaust. Nix the dynamic steering, though, which is no good. DRC is the important one, though, as it adds adaptive dampers with each wheel being diagonally-linked with hydraulic fluid, much like you’ll find in a McLaren Super Series car. So as the car moves, the brain makes hydraulic fluid load up whichever part of the car needs it and can do so on a wheel-by-wheel basis. Mat the throttle and the back end loads up and stiffens, so as to not squat as much. Chuck the RS4 into a corner hard and the outside suspension will stiffen up so as to keep the body as flat as possible. Slam on the brakes and the front end stiffens to remove brake dive.
On the flip-side, though, the DRC system actually makes the RS4 Avant more comfortable on regular roads, when in Comfort mode. So it’s a necessary option, as most RS cars can feel a bit spikey over rough pavement.
According to Top Gear, the Audi RS4 Avant is a remarkably good car that’s fun to drive, incredibly fast and even very practical. It’s performance is also miraculously accessible, as the RS4 is capable of making supercars look silly in any weather condition, while carrying kids and luggage. Don’t just take it from us, though. Take it from Top Gear, “There’s no situation when you couldn’t extract almost 100 per cent performance from the comfortable, refined, tightly finished and rather clinical new RS4. It’s not just a good fast Audi. Right now, it’s the definitive one.” Why don’t we get this in America, Audi?