By Amanda Mfuphi
Recently we had the opportunity of spending time with the Audi RS4 Avant. The RS4 Avant challenges the typical stereotypes association with station wagons by fusing practicality, sportiness and performance into the vehicle. With the insurgence of SUVs offering customers the practicality (space) that was typically offered by station wagons, we have seen a few premium players in this segment of the market with both Mercedes Benz and BMW no longer offering station wagons in South Africa. It seems Audi does not want to take the foot off the pedal and continues to present a good offer for the mature station wagon fanatic who also wants a bit of an adrenaline rush in the drive.
The Audi RS4 Avant attracts a lot of attention and those we interacted it were quite pleased with the aesthetics of the vehicle. We share these sentiments. Audi has done well to the RS4 stand out without over engineering it. Upfront, you are confronted by the large black-gloss grille contrasted with the silver Audi four rings badge that is accompanied by an RS4 label. Being an RS model, the Audi RS4 has the Audi sporty demeanour with a wide front bumper, “Quattro” insignia and fog lights. The vehicle also has muscular wheel curves that stand out on the side profile. This coupled with a lowered ride height, gives the RS4 a sporty presence that signals its readiness to pounce on anything on the road at any time. We favour the RS4 in brighter colours but the navy colour which our test RS4 Avant came in gave the car some elegance and a gentlemanly character.
Adding to the exterior looks of the RS4 was the panoramic sunroof, a wider rear bumper, 20-inch forged alloy wheels, red RS brake claps and an RS double exhaust system. The exterior features are rounded up by LED headlamps with daytime lights running function.
Being a station wagon, the passengers do not suffer any space issues as the cabin is generously spacious. Their luggage has ample space as well as the RS4 Avant and has a total luggage space of 1,510 litres with the rear seats folded down. The interior features the Audi Virtual Cockpit and Navigation system as a standard. The vehicle also comes standard with RS Sports bucket leather seats with diamond stitching and lumbar support as you take on those corners. The front seats also come with massage functionality. The flat-bottomed RS multifunction steering wheel and stainless-steel pedals add a sporty and classic feel to the interior.
On the technology front, the Audi RS4 comes with a decent infotainment system that is Bluetooth and USB enabled, but we did feel that it was a bit dated. Not to worry, the updated RS4 improves on this and hopefully we should be getting that soon. Finally, the RS4 Avant comes with a parking assist system plus a rear-view camera, front and rear sensors and blind spot monitoring.
Power and drive
The RS4 is powered by a twin turbo-charged 2.9-litre V6 engine which pushes out a 331 kW of power and 600 Nm of torque. The engine is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission with selectable Dynamic, Comfort and Individual modes which alter the driving performance accordingly, by adapting throttle response and transmission shift logic. The Comfort mode offers a comfortable and sporty drive without the need to engage the sportier Dynamic driving mode. But should you decide to engage the Dynamic mode, you are reminded about the 331kW of power at your fingertips. The RS4 is equipped with an RS sports suspension which ensures the vehicle offers agility and stability for those spirited driving experiences. It also helps that the RS4 is a Quattro all-wheel drive as the vehicle always feels planted on the road even when you attack corners in a spirted manner. We must also say that the RS4 really does offer an exhilarating drive and we had to be extra careful to not get too carried away.
Contrary to its sport bias, we also found the RS suspension to offer a soft and smooth ride quality for daily living and equally enjoyable for the long trips we took on the national highway. Although the engine growls from the outside (but never over the top), the cabin is well insulated that hardly any engine noise is transferred inside the cabin. You do not have to worry too much about fuel consumption for the power at your fingertips, as we managed an average of 9.8L/100km in city driving and an average of 8.5L/100km on the open road. Taken as a whole, we were really impressed with the Audi RS4 from all angles and found it to blend practicality, sportiness and performance quite well into one offering.
The Audi RS4 is priced from R1,211,500.
Leave a comment