The Audi RS 4 is a high-performance compact executive car available since 1999. It is the fastest and sportiest version of the Audi A4.
Audi RS 4 Design and Introduction
The first introduction of the Audi RS 4 was only available in the Avant (wagon) body style. It was built on the Volkswagen Group’s B5 platform shared by the A4 and S4. It featured a twin-turbo 2.7L V-6 engine which was heavily modified with enlarged intake ports, side-mounted intercoolers, enhanced connecting rods, and a re-tuned management system. It produced up to 375 horsepower and 325 lb ft of torque. The engine was paired to a 6-speed manual transmission and a quattro four-wheel drive system. It used the Torsen T-1 automatic torque with a 50:50 bias in the center differential. The performance figures were quite impressive, making it from 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h) in 4.9 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. The exterior styling of the RS 4 is distinct from any other A4 models. It has a wider track that calls for flared wheel wells, unique bumpers, and other aerodynamic adjustments to ensure maximum performance. It also had performance brakes, wheels, and tires with vented and floating cast irons discs with double-piston floating calipers up front. 18-inch wheels were available in regular and winter versions. The first generation Audi RS 4s were only sold in limited markets, mainly in Europe, and it was discontinued after 2001.
Second Generation Updates
In 2006, the Audi RS 4 was reintroduced on the B7 platform and first unveiled at the 2006 North American International Auto Show. The time had finally come for North American Audi lovers to be able to purchase their own Audi RS 4. Other new features included the offering of a 4-door sedan and 2-door cabriolet convertible options on top of the 5-door Avant (wagon) that we had already seen in the previous generation. It is powered by a 4.2L V-8 engine that was also used on the B6 S4, but had been modified with different block construction and other changes allowing for a higher rpm threshold. The result is a whopping 414 horsepower and a 0 to 62 mph time of 4.8 seconds. The interior features were robust, including a Bose ten-speaker stereo system and an optional Audi Navigation System that was quite ahead of its time. Laser beam welds took care of most of the spot weld places, offering additional rigidity and safety in this high-performance vehicle.
Third Generation Introduction
In 2012, a new Audi RS 4 Avant was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, built on the B8 platform and with a stylish exterior design update. Carbon fiber inserts and other relatively minor updates were found in the interior. It stuck with the 4.2L V-8 engine, now producing up to 444 horsepower and 317 lb ft of torque, and paired to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. This dropped its 0 to 60 mph time to 4.7 seconds. The brakes saw major improvements to vented ceramic discs and 6-piston Brembo calipers, helping keep the brakes cool through any spirited driving session.
Fourth Generation and Major Engine Change
The fourth and current generation of the Audi RS 4 came in 2017, unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The exterior now features slightly sharper and more aggressive looks, while the engine was replaced with a twin-turbocharged 2.9L V-6 that still made 444 horsepower like the previous V-8, and now had 443 lb ft of torque, all while getting better fuel economy. It now has a 0 to 62 mph time of 4.1 seconds, showing that the new V-6 is able to outperform the outgoing V-8, and that is in big part due to the smaller, lighter engine used. 2020 saw a minor redesign of the Audi RS 4, still with its classic oversized wheel flares and massive exhaust tips sticking out the rear end. For those who want only the best in performance that Audi has to offer, in a midsize luxury car, this is the right choice.