Audi RS4 – Top of Audi A4 Range Finally in USA

The Audi RS4 is the highest performance model from Audi’s popular A4. Final assembly is by Quattro GmbH, Audi’s high performance house, in Neckarsulm, Germany. AutoPacific had the chance to drive the RS4 from Pasadena to Willow Springs Raceway in early May. The car goes on sales in the USA in June, 2006.

Audi RS4 Ritz Blog.JPG

Subtle Styling Tweaks Even With Substantial Exterior Sheetmetal Differences
Available in the USA only as a 4-door sedan, but in other markets as an Avant (wagon) or cabriolet (convertible), the RS4 is very different from the rest of the A4 line. First, only the basic body shell is the same. Doors and roof are common, but front fascia, front fenders, hood, rear quarters, decklid are all unique to the RS4. Ride height has been lowered by 1.2-inches and the USA-spec RS4 rides on 19-inch tires. With all this uniqueness, the appearance of the RS4 is not, at-a-glance, hugely different from the A4.
The fenders have muscular flairs that cover larger 19-inch tires and wheels riding on a wider track. This forces the rear quarter panels to be unique and Audi uses this as an opportunity to style a unique decklid with a subtle integral spoiler.
Exterior appearance is strong, subtle and powerful. But, it is still clearly an Audi A4.

Interior Top Notch
The interior is very upscale using the high quality materials and design shapes Audi is known for. There is composite instrument panel trim. Seats are by Recaro with the RS4 logo stamped in the leather.
But, the key is what is under the highlly unique body.
Powertrain and Chassis

Audi RS4 4.2L V8 Blog.jpg

The roar of the 4.2L 32-valve V8 is unmistakeable. Comforting almost. Different from Audi’s “typical” 4.2, the RS4 has only common bore centers. Built at Audi’s factory in Gyor, Hungary, the RS V8 is unique even down to the metallurgy in its block. Unique heads, unique pistons, unique intake and exhaust system, unique cooling system. This is one purpose-built engine. The resulting 420-horsepower give the car the one-hundred horsepower per liter that is considered pretty OK among enthusiasts. Zero to 60mph times are said to be under 5-seconds.
The RS4 transmission is a 6-speed manual only. Why no DSG? Apparently couldn’t handle the torque from the 4.2L V8.
To stop the car, Audi has installed 14.4-inch cross drilled front rotors and 12.8-inch cross drilled rear rotors. There are NACA ducts positioned to cool the rear brakes by up to 170-degrees.
Handling finesse is a top priority and, in addition to Audi’s latest version of its Quattro all wheel drive system, Audi adds Dynamic Roll Control (DRC), Electronic Stability Program and much more.
We’ve already heard the RS4 is powered by a Hungary-built engine. The basic car begins life at Audi’s Ingolstadt plant where it moves down the line where its uniqueness won’t slow down the mass produced models. Fitted with common shocks and tires, the RS4 is shipped to Quattro GmbH at Neckarsulm where it gets 20-hours of hand work by highly skilled workers. Following end-of-line dynamic tests and test drives, the RS4 is ready to be shipped.
Quick, Order Yours Now
If this $66,000 rocketship is your cup of tea, then get your order in now. Audi hopes to sell about 10,000 RS4s worldwide over its run. It has been on sale in Europe since late in 2005, so they get a year head start on the American market. Apparently the USA will get about 1,000 RS4s a year. There are 750 active orders from the USA in early May 2006, so you might want to get in line now if you want to get your RS4 any time soon.

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