RS 4 Avant
With distinctive RS styling, brilliant handling and blisteringly-quick performance figures, the RS 4 Avant is guaranteed to stop onlookers in their tracks. Packed with innovative technology and boasting the finest materials, no journey will ever be too long behind the wheel of this car.
The goodOutrageous performance figures - whoosh!
The badWatch out for the optional extras as the price will keep on rising
Audi RS 4 Avant 2.9 TFSI quattro 450PS tiptronic – first drive (2018)
Should you be planning a moonlight flit and your chosen getaway car is the latest Audi RS 4 Avant then make sure you don’t accidently fire it up in the Dynamic mode or the world and his dog will be twitching at the curtains.
That’s because the all-new generation vehicle is a potent powerhouse that can blast its way to 62mph in a rapid 4.1 seconds and onto a top speed that is limited to 155mph. That upper-limit restriction can be increased to 174mph if a performance pack costing £1,450 is added.
The car’s power comes courtesy of a 2.9-litre V6 450PS petrol engine with 600Nm of torque mated to an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox with launch control and together they make the RS 4 Avant the fastest mid-sized estate car on the planet.
Thanks to its distinctive RS design cues, the car is an instant attention grabber with RS body styling including flared front and rear wheel arches, a front bumper with enlarged air inlets, a honeycomb design grille with quattro logo in matt black, black front spoiler, lateral air inlets next to the headlights, side sill extension, an RS roof spoiler, 20-inch forged alloy silver wheels, red brake calipers, LED headlights and rear lights with sweeping rear indicators, a panoramic glass sunroof and an RS sport exhaust system to complete the styling.
The sporty theme is carried through to the interior where there is a wealth of technology to be explored in the most luxurious of surroundings. There are super sport heated front seats in fine Nappa leather with honeycomb stitching, Audi’s virtual cockpit digital instrument cluster with 12.3-inch TFT high resolution display and RS menu, an 8.3-inch colour touchscreen with sat nav and Audi Connect services, a pitch perfect Bang & Olufsen sound system, 3-spoke flat-bottomed sport steering wheel with aluminium-look gear shift paddles, head-up display and plenty of RS badging that acts as a not so subtle reminder that the car you are sitting in is a little bit special.
Admittedly, all this power, precision and performance comes at a price. Our car began life costing £62,175 but a long list of optional extras saw that price jump to a whopping £77,720.
The latest generation RS 4 Avant has shed some pounds too and that translates into a more dynamic, balanced and responsive driving performance. But despite its outrageous capabilities the car can be driven in a manner to suit your mood.
There are Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual drive modes to choose from and they alter the car’s responses significantly. For example, start off in Comfort and the RS 4 Avant is very composed and pretty grown up and responsible in its reactions. It’s no slouch, but seems to be more mildly mannered. It is the perfect mode to select when tackling bumpy roads as the fabulous suspension system irons out the surfaces. The cabin also remains well insulated against outside sounds.
Yet switch across to Dynamic and suddenly the Audi develops attitude with some real fire in its belly. The pop, crack, bang of the exhaust is a hint of what’s to come and the throttle, gear changes and braking all become much sharper.
The tiptronic gearbox is beautifully timed as it races through the eight speeds, but you can take control of the gear switching via the paddle shifts and a sport mode adds even more fun to the mix. The road-holding with quattro reassurance is incredibly assured and it seems that the harder the car is pushed the more it offers.
Corners can be attacked at speed with confidence and when faced with the open road, the RS 4 Avant eats up the Tarmac. And, in my opinion, the soundtrack from the exhaust could only have been improved upon by something like Ride of the Valkyries blasting from the stereo system!
Of course, fuel efficiency will depend on how respectfully or enthusiastically the car is driven, but the official combined figure is 32.1mpg with carbon emissions of 200g/km.
It is worth remembering though that the RS 4 Avant is an estate car and needs to tick all the boxes when it comes to practicality. With that in mind, the car can swallow up 505 litres of luggage or 1,510 litres with the rear seats dropped flat.
Space within the vehicle is also good and there is ample room in the back for a couple of adults to travel in comfort.
And with a car boasting so much firepower, Audi has ensured the vehicle is packed with safety features and driver aids to protect all occupants and pedestrians.
All in all, this Audi delivers a very clear message to anyone who thinks that estate cars are dull, bland and boring. No, they are not.