Audi’s RS, which in German stands for ‘RennSport’ and literally means ‘Racing Sport’, has always been at logger-heads with BMW’s M and Mercedes-Benz’s AMG. These purpose built sport itineration of their lesser siblings, in road trim, have always delighted and increased the palpitations of motoring aficionados all over the world. This week, we would look into the 2013 Audi RS4 Avant. The Avant is a sport compact with 5-door practicality generally seen in Europe and America and a favorite tool for soccer moms. Hang on a bit, this RS4 is a 450hp behemoth, which sings well into the stratospheric 8250rpm range. Need we say more?
2013 Audi RS4 Avant Review
Let us start with some of the figures first. The 2013 Audi RS4 Avant pumps out 450HP and 430Nm of torque from a free breathing 4.2L V8. If we take just the HP figure, then the RS4 slots between the BMW M3’s 414hp and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG’s 480hp, both of which are rear wheel drive cars. The RS4 Avant on the other hand is a Quattro and in the real world scenario, this makes a lot of difference.
Yes, we do agree that driving a rear wheel drive car is fun and is easier to induce an over-steer which helps in getting the nose pointing to where we want to go. But that’s only applicable for those who can react fast enough and are supremely in control of the car. This is where the RS4 Avant excels. Having a full time Quattro working and distributing power and grip to all wheels, an average driver can extract almost the full potential of the car at any driving conditions. This is what the RS4 Avant is all about. It’s a sports compact with practicality and usability.
The styling is relatively untouched from its, shall we say, tamer sibling the Audi S4. But there are a few design elements that really do stand out and are unique to the RS line. In the front we get the black out single frame front grill and a beefier front bumper with massive air dams. The rear is draped with Audi’s diffused black bumper and the signature RS oval tailpipes. The uniqueness of the squared bulged arches over the wheels sets the tone of the RS4’s increased masculinity over the A4 and the S4.
Our tester came with the 20’ 5 V-spoke design allow wheels, but even if it were to wear the 19’ wheels it would be sitting 20mm lower than the S4. The RS4 Avant is muscular and along with its lowered stance is a rolling showstopper on the steets. For more street points, take it to a popular café and park it close to the entrance. It is guaranteed to turn heads.
As an owner of a 2004 Kawasaki ZX-10R, which had introduced petal shaped brake discs on sport bikes, I was pleasantly surprised to find a similar configuration on the RS4. The wavy patterned discs actually reduces the rotating mass by as much as 3kgs, which may not seem as much, but when it’s rotating it does feel exponentially lighter. It’s like getting an aftermarket lighter rims, the weight savings does wonders for cornering and braking.
For 2013, Audi’s RS4 has forgone the manual tranny in favor of the 7-speed S-tronic dual-clutch gear-box. The direct injected and naturally aspirated 4.2L V8 mated to the dual-clutch won’t leave even those who swear by the manual tranny short changed.
As with all Audi’s there are different ECU modes to play with as well as an Individual setting where one can set individual parameters for engine, tranny, suspension and exhaust note. Setting the dial to ‘Comfort’, the RS4 chuggs along in everyday comfort. The acceleration is not vicious, the ride is supple and the exhaust note won’t wake up the neighbors. In ‘Dynamic’ mode the RS4 Avant transforms into a track tool. The gearshifts are crisp, suspension is hard and the exhaust burble is mouth watering. The RS4 blips the throttle while downshifting and is accompanied by loud bangs from the exhaust, it feels and sounds like a proper racecar. This mode is good, but we felt that the suspension was a tad too stiff for the road and we had to change back to a subtler setting once our triage with the occasional round-abouts and interchanges were done. This is where we praised Audi’s ‘Individual’ setting option and were able to fine tune a setup that fit our needs, the settings are mentioned at the end of the article.
The RS4 grips through the bends, there is tons of it and poise through its well-sorted chassis. And the slingshot effect right after the apex brought a smile each time. One would absolutely love the vocal outburst as the V8 runs through its rev range. The RS4 Avant adds a healthy dose of aphrodisiac to its drive. It’s a feeling that few cars are able to match, let alone surpass.
The interior of the RS4 Avant is reminiscent of the Audi S6 we had tested out earlier. There are carbon-fiber accents all around along with Audi’s trademark aluminum details. The seats provide for excellent comfort and at the same time hold on to the driver and front passenger in a bear hug. The duality of its character and comfort makes it more than just one car. It’s two very different cars rolled into one.
The RS4 Avant to me is a pleasant change. How often do we see a station wagon in Dubai and one such as this, which can shame many supercars out there without breaking a sweat? It’s practical and can be used every-day. It’s at ease going to the nearby IKEA as it is running lap after lap at Dubai’s Autodrome. At AED 319,000 as tested, we feel that one gets two very different cars rolled into one.
|2013 AUDI RS4 AVANT|
|Rated Output||450hp @ 8250 rpm|
|Rated Torque||430Nm between 4000 to 6000 rpm|
|Transmission||S Tronic 7 speed|
|Max Speed||280 km/h|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||4.7 s|
|Fuel Consumption combined (l/100lm)||10.7|
|Price (AED)||290,000 – 319,100 as tested|
CarbonOctane’s recommended setting
|Set the dial to Individual|
For a change I decided to get my hands on the camera. Here are the results and I sincerely hope that you like them, Brian worked on the post-processing :
** Our tester came with the “Style Package” : 20” alloy wheels, 5 V-spoke design, Dynamic Ride Control, Engine compartment in Carbon, sports differential, sport exhaust, top speed limited to 280kmph & “Equipment Package” : Bang & Olufsen, Bluetooth, Comfort Key, Dynamic steering, MMI Navigation, Panoramic sunroof, Rear View Camera and “Optional Equipment” : Audi exclusive black styling package and Audi side assist