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XCAR: Audi RS4: Fast and Loud
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XCAR: Audi RS4: Fast and Loud

4:49 /

The Audi RS 4 is fast, spacious and gloriously noisy. What's not to love?

In the mid-90's Audi went a little bit mad. The German firm hopped into bed with Porsche and they sort of jiggled up and down on one another for a while and then 9 months later a feralous estate appeared. That estate was called the RS2. It had a modified 2.2-liter turbocharged 5-cylinder engine and 311 brake horsepower. It hit 62 miles an hour from rest in 4.8 seconds and did over 160 miles an hour. Most interestingly though was its 1.5-second naught to 30-mile-an-hour run. It was faster than a McLaren F1. RS stands for Rennsport and that denotes the highest tier of the Audi lineup. Now what RS cars are is a core of absolute madness wrapped in a veneer of Q-car-esque German refinement. The followups to the RS2 was the first RS4 which came in 2000 and boasted a twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6. The 2nd RS4 appeared in 2006 coming with a 4.2-liter naturally-aspirated V8 and 414 brake horsepower. It's widely regarded as one of the best RS cars ever made. In 2012 though a new one rocked up and it's a bit special. To the untrained eye this may look like a standard Audi A4, but there are a few RS hallmarks to look for. So at the back we've got a giant splitter framed by 2 pretty massive oval tailpipes. Up front we've got a very massive and quite shiny chrome grill and that's sitting just above quite a vampiric chin spoiler but also it's got some pretty epic airdams to keep its giant engine cool. At each corner you get some pretty massive wheels, 20 inches in this case and they sit beneath blistered wheel arches that hog back to the original Audi Quattro. All around the car there's a liberal coating of RS4 badges that set it off quite nicely and subtlely. Oh and there's one more thing, the noise. That slice of our old deliciousness comes from a 4.2-liter 444 brake horsepower naturally-aspirated V8. I mean it sounds like a NASCAR. It's amazing. So you should be able to tell an RS4 from its noises. Well, also it's quite incredible turn of pace. From that most beefy of engines, Audi's managed to coat a naught to 62 time of just 4.7 seconds and it will do a limited 155 miles an hour. Considering the RS4 weighs nearly 1900 kilos that is very, very impressive. This RS4 though won't do 155 miles an hour. You see if you give Audi an extra 1300 quid over the asking price, they'll move the speed limit up from 155 to 174 miles an hour. Audi's legendary interior quality is all present and correct too. You can adjust the bolsters to keep your ass and all kidneys corseted during a more spirited drive. When you look at all the fun you can have in an RS4, how much power it has, how fast it is, how practical it is. You realize in a world of eco cars and austerity it's a big old poke in the eye to the establishment. Why shouldn't cars like this exist? Why can't we have a car that does absolutely everything? Now I've been saying for years that there's no such thing as the perfect car, something that can do the tricks like carry it 150 miles an hour and still manage 50 miles to the gallon. It needs to be practical. It needs to be fast. It needs to be economical and it needs to be fun. And while the RS4 falls down by quite some margin on the economy front, it's damnly the only car you'll ever need. I just wanna have again they make the next one better.

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