The Audi RS4 is offered for the first time in three different body versions. No matter if a sedan, station wagon or convertible, the RS4 offers new dimensions in driving dynamics by combining innovative ideas. The exciting looks of all three versions and exquisite level of equipment that stands up to for the uppermost opulence standards make the RS4 line-up, the latest high-performance products from quattro (Audi’s sports division) to stand among the most desirable vehicles on the market.
The 2007 Audi RS 4 produced by Quattro Audi subsidiaryoffers abundant innovations, delivering top performance both on the road or on the track. This latest RS model mixes racing technology with a high standard of useful value for everyday use. In developing this car, Audi’s designers and engineers have succeeded in implementing a sports concept on the road that is competent of delighting its driver in every situation, whether in daily motoring or on the race track.
Following the quattro GmbH tradition, the RS 4 bridges the gap between racing and everyday motoring. By combining emotion and functional excellence the new car meets all the demands made by the owner of a sports car in general and an Audi in particular in today’s motoring world.
The “RS” abbreviation is Audi’s guarantee for matchless performance, industrial innovation and exclusive driving dynamics. Two examples are sufficient to underline the RS4’s potential. First is the 420 bhp V8 featuring high-revving principle, and also the pioneering FSI (direct fuel injection) technology. Second of all, the RS 4 is equipped with the newest “Quattro” permanent all-wheel drive system with asymmetric/dynamic torque distribution that under normal driving circumstances transfers 40 percent of the power to the front train and 60 percent to the rear. It suits perfectly a sports car offering such high levels of performance as the RS 4 is.
The new vehicle has undergone a serious weight-loss treatment that optimized every component in order to attain minimum weight. As a result the power-to-weight ratio has an outstanding value of only 8.66 lbs per bhp.
The 2007 Audi RS 4 is quite an exclusive, clever automobile with extraordinary drive train qualities, and offers unmatched driving dynamics by any other car in its segment.
The original RS 4 had its debut in 1999 and was the first high-performance vehicle independently produced by the Audi performance subsidiary. That vehicle redefined the concept of a supercar. In a truly striking way, the first RS 4 proved the immense outlook potential of Audi’s high-performance vehicles.
The first RS, the RS 2 Avant astonished the motoring world with its performance in 1994. This five-cylinder turbo model was built for a slight over a year. And offered 315 bhp. 2,881 units were produced of this sports car based on the Audi 80 Avant. The RS 2 has become a hunted classic with a dedicated fan club.
The very first Audi RS 4 Avant was a massive success due to its exceptional blend of family practicality and everyday transportation qualities blended with outstanding driving performance, previously exclusive characteristic of pedigree sports cars.
The success of the first model was impressive: although the RS 4 was built for just 14 months, more than 6,000 units of this sports car were sold in Avant body style.
Later the RS family was expanded with the addition of the RS 6 that become successful in short time and produced a passionate fan club of its own. The RS 6 was the very first RS model to be produced as both as a sedan and an Avant. In total over 8,000 units of the RS 6, were sold worldwide.
By developing the new RS 4, Audi has proved once again that there is no need for concession in developing a high-performance car fully suited to everyday driving. Indeed, the RS models emphasize the manufacturing and technological expertise of Audi more than practically any other vehicle.
The RS4 is Audi’s first high performance vehicle to use the high-reving concepts. All previous S and RS models were supercharged. The RS4 sets a complete new set of standards for Audi and can now really take on the BMW M3 . Many say that it is actually better than the M3 that is now in production. The BMW will make a come-back next year in a completely new installment, also featuring a V8 high-rev engine. Another vehicle to take on the Audi RS4 will be the recently announced Lexus IS500, which will offer comparable levels of performance. Other fast sedans such as the Cadillac CTS-V or Mercedes C55 AMG are a poor match for the RS4 in terms of performance.
Body & chassis
The RS 4 conceals racing technology and performance in civilian clothes. While many of its features resemble similar to the rest of the Audi A4 line-up, the RS 4 is far more than just a “fast” derived of Audi’s midrange sedan.
The car combines the sporty with an equally high level of practicality. The large inlets on the front fascia provide optimum cooling of the V8 FSI engine. The flared wheel arches are oversized to accommodate the 18-inch or 19-inch wheels. The one-inch lowered suspension offers a sporty look, but also delivers an outstanding levels of driving dynamics.
The redesigned rear air dam includes the two large-size tailpipes as well as the low profile effective spoiler integrated in the luggage compartment lid. The rear side panels are clear testimony to the saloon’s dynamic driving potential also in terms of their looks. Further in the development the engineers at quattro GmbH have widened the car’s track both front and rear. Finally, all these modifications to the body of the car are important not only in terms of aesthetic appeal, but also above all in terms of function.
The characteristic single-frame radiator grille and the far-reaching outline of the headlights, borrowed from the Nuvolari concept car, underscore the family pedigree of the three new RS 4 versions.
Nine exterior colours are available for the RS 4. The range extends from the subtle Avus Silver to the brilliant Imola Yellow. Moreover, through Audi’s customisation programme, there are offered to even the most eagle-eyed customer a virtually limitless range of individual colours and combinations.
The power-unit is the key to the thrills offered by any sports car. In the new RS 4, quattro GmbH has placed for the first time a compact V8 unit featuring petrol direct injection. This 420 bhp high-revving engine uses the FSI technology taken up to a next level. It features a lot of the experience gleaned in building the equally high-revving race engine from the Le Mans-winning Audi R8. That proved to be the most triumphant racing car in the world, with which Audi has among other things gained the title in the legendary Le Mans 24-hour race in four out of the past five years. The R8 was also equipped with a V8 FSI as an efficient source of propulsion that took it that decisive extra lap.
With this top power-unit featuring an innovative yet already incredibly successful technology, the fuel is injected straight into the combustion chamber, producing an uniform fuel/air mixture. Due to the cooling effect of the directly injected petrol, Audi’s engineers were able to increase the engine’s compression ratio. This has further enhanced the engine’s efficiency.
The figures are proof of the terrific potential of this eight-cylinder unit. The V8 revs up to 8,250 rpm. 420 bhp are already delivered at 7,800 rpm. With a displacement of 4,163 cc, this supercar engine breaks through the magical barrier of 100 bhp per litre, a truly dazzling accomplishment for a production saloon.
90 per cent of the maximum torque is maintained constant throughout an impressively wide engine speed, ranging from 2,250 all the way to 7,600 rpm. As a result is excellent there is pulling power at all times, enabling the pilot to drive in a relaxed style without frequent gear changes.
The performance on the road is more than impressive: the RS 4 saloon accelerates to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds; the RS 4 Avant follows just one-tenth of a second behind, and the Cabriolet likewise reaches the 60mph mark after just 4.5 seconds. The speedometer needle touches 100 mph in 10.8 seconds. On all three versions, the speed is electronically limited when the needle reaches 155 mph.
Audi used the high-revving engine principle for the very first time in the RS 4’s naturally aspirated V8. The advantages offered by this principle are the greater power output at high engine speeds, the even power flow and keen responsiveness all across the revs range. Further strong points of the car are the outstanding agility and fast-revving response as well as the racing-like engine sound drivers of such cars expect. The V8 engine provides a maximum level of propulsion in virtually all driving situations.
The engine has an ultra-compact design, and fits snugly into the engine compartment of the RS 4 without requiring major modifications to the body. The camshaft and the ancillaries (exception the alternator) are all driven by a chain for easy maintenance. An all-new development, the eight-cylinder unit powering the RS 4 includes such features as customized pistons and con rods, a fresh crankshaft jointly with its bearings, and new cylinder heads. A split exhaust system with engorged pipes provides even higher power output.
Putting all this power on to the ground was of course a major challenge. Audi’s answer was– of course – its quattro permanent four-wheel drive system. A quarter of a century’s knowledge and market control in the all-wheel-drive car segment represent genuine benefits for Audi’s customers. The RS 4 features a new generation of quattro drive with asymmetric/dynamic torque distribution.
A self-locking centre diff that works without any additional sensors or actuating elements directs the power to the front and rear axles in line with demand. Indeed, the RS 4 still achieves surface grip when other drive concepts have long since come up against their limits. In changing road conditions the power can be immediately diverted depending on the achieved level of torque. The new power distribution system, which under normal road conditions transmits 40 percent of the power to the front wheels and 60 percent to the rear, makes the Audi RS 4 an even more remarkably dynamic drive. Besides traction, controllability, stability, load reversal and transition response, aspects of agility and steering have also been substantially enhanced, underscoring the highly sporty character of the car.
Audi has also adapted a six-speed gearbox for the handling needs of a sports car. With its precise shift through the gate and its short travel, it really augments driving pleasure and prompts the driver to change gear more often than the universally free-revving engine actually needs.
drive wheels Quattro 4WD, Torsen Centre Differential, DRC Dynamic Ride Control
gear ratios 3.667:1, 2.050:1, 1.462:1, 1.133:1, 0.919:1, 0.778:1
Such a good drivetrain deserves a corresponding chassis. The standard sports suspension features the DRC system (Dynamic Ride Control) and ensures that the engine’s power is translated appropriately into propulsion.
This superior ride is achieved by using a high-performance aluminium suspension with a four-link front axle and a trapezoidal-link rear suspension. The precise steering combined with sensitive feedback, sporty agility and excellent directional stability make the RS 4 the perfect car for both the motorway or country road, and for the racetrack.
Both wheels on the four-link front axle is guided by four aluminium transverse links. The trapezoidal-link rear suspension offers top-class driving dynamics. This torsion-proof and non-flexing trapezoidal link absorbs a large portion of the forces acting on the wheel. Together with the track rod further to the rear, this special configuration defines the behaviour of the rear axle with ultimate precision.
The 1.3 inch lower ride height compared with an Audi A4, the 1.6 inch wider track at the front and 2 inch wider track at the rear, as well as the sporty spring and damper settings, help the RS 4 to meet the developers’ ambitious handling objectives and place it in the realm of a genuine sports car.
The racing derived brakes, represent new dimensions in their innovation. The perforated and ventilated brake discs measure 14.4 inch in diameter at the front and 12.8 inch at the rear. They were designed in a floating arrangement, meaning that the cast-iron friction ring of the brake system is bolted on to the aluminium brake disc cover. The result is a significant improvement in the brakes’ resistance to fading, particularly under extreme loads. A further side-effect of this technology is a reduction in unsprung masses. The specifically flow-enhanced brake ventilation incorporating NACA jets on the under-body of the car ensures optimum cooling of the brakes, however high a load they are subjected to.
Featuring eight-piston fixed callipers originally developed for motor sport on the front wheels (four pistons and two brake pads on the inside and outside of each brake disc) as well as single-piston floating callipers on the rear wheels, the Audi RS 4 offers supreme stopping power and directional stability.
front brakes Cross-Drilled & Inner-Vented Discs, ABS, ESP, EBD
rear brakes Cross-Drilled & Inner-Vented Discs, ABS, ESP, EBD
The servotronic steering has been specially tuned to the requirements of the sports saloon. With its direct response and short travel, it is outstandingly well suited to the overall character of the RS 4.
Tires & wheels
The RS 4 is fitted as standard with 18-inch wheels and 255/40 R18 size tyres.
19-inch wheels are optionally available. For the RS 4, Audi’s designers produced a range of light and attractive cast alloy wheels of five-spoke design. The special manufacturing method used means the wheels are stronger, thinner and lighter. The tyres are size 255/35 19. The 19-inch wheels can also be optionally fitted with Pirelli P Zero Corsa sports tyres, which are specially designed for the RS 4 for racetrack use.
There are innumerable resemblances to the motor racing around the interior of the RS 4. The most evident are the use of carbon fibre and aluminium. The moment you get in, it is clear you are taking a seat in a sports car. The engine is engaged at the push of a button.
In the saloon and SW, the front passengers are provided with sports bucket seats. With a high side sections, they provide a maximum support even when the car is driven energetically (for example round a racetrack). On those seats, the width of the seat base and seat back can be adjusted electrically as preferred. Even an improved lateral support can be obtained by pressing the Sport button.
Aside from that the Sport button calls up a modified, more progressive engine response with greater spontaneity of throttle response and an even more sporty sound from the exhaust system, this function inflates the seat side sections, supporting the driver even more securely. The RS bucket seats are available either in full leather throughout or in a combination of leather and cloth. Sports seats are available as an option.
The convertible is equipped with leather-upholstered sports seats, which likewise provide very good support but also take the higher comfort requirements of Cabriolet drivers into account. Here too, RS bucket seats are available as an option.
The driver information system welcomes the driver upon entering the car with the exclusive RS welcome logo. An oil temperature gauge as well as a stopwatch with lap timer function have also been incorporated into the typical RS-design cockpit. Useful extras for those special track days so beloved of RS 4 drivers.
A rigid body with comprehensively coordinated deformation properties, state-of-the-art restraint systems – such as the two-stage front airbags – and, last but not least, the sideguard head airbag system provide an exemplary level of occupant protection. This head-level side airbag system covers virtually the entire side window area, from the A-post to the C/D-post. The airbags themselves are inflated by a hybrid gas generator, which maintains the airbag pressure for several seconds to provide ongoing protection.
This means sideguard provides full protection even in a secondary collision such as when the car rolls over following initial impact. And the new RS bucket seats, in conjunction with the belt system, offer additional safety and restraint in the event of a side-on collision so that the RS 4 does not even require side airbags in order to meet the stringent crash test requirements.
TopSpeed artists tuning recommendation
The RS4 is a rare blend of elegance and sportiness. Although it is a high-performance car, that could beat many declared sport vehicles, there aren’t many design elements to indicate that. And, maybe this is the charm of the RS4, being a wolf in sheep clothing. Tuning it into something like a Subaru Impreza or Lancer Evo (both of which the RS4 can easily overcome) seemed pointless to us. Therefore, we tried to enhance a bit the elegant part and, also add a drop of individuality. Dual tone paintwork is something you might have learned by now we like a lot. It is not very expensive, and can add a lot more character to a car. For the RS4 we have chosen to paint the spoiler and the front grille surrounding element in black. That gives the car a more intelligent look, resembling that of a dog with a black face, such as a boxer. A black wide stripe was also added to the side to lower the car visually. This is for the first time we use in a car a less aggressive spoiler than the stock version. Yes, we have chosen a spoiler that looks more elegant. The AutoUnion grille is know made from only one piece and the “Audi” logo was lowered a bit on the grille. Add to all of that 19” elegant wheels inspired by those on the Nuvolari concept, and the recipe for a refined RS4 is complete.