VIDEO: Carfection’s History of Audi RS Avants Part 4/6 — B7 Audi RS4

B7-Audi-RS4-Avant

So after the first Audi RS6 Avant, the folks from Ingolstadt decided to go back to the A4 as their platform for the next RS Avant. So the B7 Audi RS4 Avant was born and the rest is history. The B7 RS4 is largely considered to be the best RS car Audi’s ever developed and this video from Carfection shows why.

Based on the B7-generation Audi A4, the B7 RS4 is a proper looker. It has the perfect wagon proportions, a sharp-looking face and aggressively flared wheel arches. It looks like a proper muscle wagon and we love it. But what makes the B7 RS4 Avant so special isn’t its looks. It’s its engine.

Under the hood lies a 4.2 liter naturally-aspirated V8, rather than the twin-turbo setup from the previous RS6. This engine is a variant of the very same one in the original Audi R8. Which means it’s brilliant. Back in the mid ’00s, the Audi RS4 Avant made 414 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. The first figure is pretty darn good, even today, but the latter figure is a bit soft by today’s twin-turbocharged standards. However, that just means you have to rev it out to really make its power and that’s no hardship. It revs to around 8,000 rpm and makes the most wonderful noise doing it. Plus, its throttle response is knife-edge sharp and it’s as smooth as double cream all the way to redline. Lovely.

Paired to the 4.2 liter V8 is a proper six-speed manual gearbox. No automatic option was available. And it’s apparently a wonderful gearbox, with a slick gear change. So when you do hit that stratospheric redline, you get to shift a slick manual and do it all over again.

Combine that superb powertrain combination with tenacious Quattro grip and balanced steering and the B7 Audi RS4 Avant is one helluva ride. It very well could be the best Audi not called the R8 ever.