Audi RS4 Avant 4.2 FSI quattro26 | 09 | 2012Scotcars rating

    Stunning RS4 Avant, Audi's most eagerly awaited A4, arrives ... and it doesn't disappoint


    It’s been eagerly awaited since production of the previous model stopped four years ago, and judging by the reactions I got on the road it’s going to be warmly welcomed by enthusiasts (watch our video of the new Audi RS4 Avant on-track). The RS concept has been one of Audi’s many success stories, not for numbers of sales – 7390 of them have been sold since they were introduced in 1993 – but for the effect they’ve had on the brand’s image.

    The iconic RS badge can be seen across the range and is the ultimate for the driver who knows about cars and what they want from them. This is the third generation of the RS4 Avant and is seen by aficionados as the one to have, providing supercar power but coupled with the everyday practicality of an estate car.

    The bulk of customers are expected to come from existing RS4 owners who’ll get a higher spec of car with the latest technology for the same relative price as their last one. Audi are happy to say this latest version is the best yet and the ultimate RS – and they seem to know what they’re talking about.  

    On the Road

    Almost two months before the car goes on sale in the UK , Audi organised a special jaunt to take some of the first versions from Britain, over to Germany and back to their birthplace at the vast production plant at Neckarsulm near Stuttgart . The near-600 mile trip turned out to be something of a marathon with huge delays and jams caused by a combination of crashes and roadworks on both sides of the Channel, but it certainly gave me plenty of time and a variety of conditions to put the car through its paces.

    Without doubt it is a fabulous machine, oozing technology and brilliant engineering. The hand-built, four-and-a-bit litre normally-aspirated V8 engine is a delight, powering the car to 62mph in under five seconds with a wonderful roar from under the bonnet and a marvellous rasp from the back-end exhausts.

    The test car had the £1300 option of having the top speed restriction raised to 174mph and on the German autobahns, I managed to get some way towards that in between the jams. With the three-differential, S tronic, quattro, dual-clutch transmission the car simply took off and stuck to the road like glue whatever the conditions. On some road surfaces though, the huge 265/30 tyres on the 20-inch wheels generated quite a bit of noise into the cabin but that was usually at speeds which could only be dreamed of in the UK.  

    Comfort and Safety

    The car has retained the established RS4 design but the flared wheel arches, silver door mirrors and low stance on the road give it a sensational look and fantastic presence. As we’ve now come to expect with every Audi, build quality is first class and all round there’s a feeling of high standards and excellence.

    On the inside the focus is on the flat-bottomed steering wheel around which all the controls are easy to follow and operate. The range of options, both technically and for comfort and convenience, is vast and Audi confidently say their “bespoke ordering” by customers means that it’s highly unlikely there will ever be two RS4s exactly the same.  

    Should I Buy One?

    It’s for the enthusiastic driver who wants performance but needs the practicality and space of an estate.

    Keep up-to-date with all the latest news by following us on

    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £54,925 / £63,920
    Engine / Power: 4163cc / 450PS
    How fast?: 0-62mph 4.7secs / Max 174mph
    How big/heavy?: L4719mm W1850mm H1416mm / Weight 1795kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: 26.4mpg / 249g/km CO2
    InsGP/Road tax: 41/ Band L £450
    Alternatives: BMW M3 Coupe; Mercedes C63 AMG estate

    User Comments

    Login or register to post comments.
    Send to friend
    Click here to add message:

Car Review Finder