Wednesday, 15 February 2012 10:19 AM
When viewed from the rear three-quarter in these hell yeah, hell-red pics, the 2012 Audi RS4’s blatantly flared arches, cannon-shaming twin oval exhaust pipes and 19-inch deep-dish and definitely dishy alloys – 20s are available – all tell a story that’s about as performance-saucy as we dare repeat, before 9pm at least.
Indeed, they’ll have to keep impressionable kiddies at bay when this wide, low and rather luscious new RS goes on show to the public at Geneva, in March.
The devil’s dreamboat is back after a few years in hibernation, and Audi look to make the right sort of returning splash with more power, speed and techno-enhanced handling.
An estate of emergency indeed!
For around £55k – and on sale in the UK towards the end of the year – RS4 drivers will enjoy some pretty serious kick, courtesy of a the same screaming, naturally-aspirated 4.2-litre V8 as found in the RS5, that’s pumps its max power at a heady 8250rpm. All 444bhp of it. That’s 30bhp extra over the last RS4. Torque is a chunky 317lb ft, but with turbos it’d be a whole lot chunkier. The quoted combined economy figure is 25.7mpg.
Still, 62mph will come and go in 4.7secs, and with a little extra spent on an Audi factory performance pack, the new RS4 will top out at a whopping 174mph. Otherwise it’ll be limited to 155mph.
This impressive performance is meted out by a 7-speed double-clutch automatic gearbox with plenty of switch-options for lightning shifts and full-bore launches. The straight and narrow is maintained, of course, by Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system, with clever differentials and electronics splitting engine torque front and rear, and even individually between the wheels. Cornering should be supreme.
On top of the sultry wide arches and big rims we’ve already discussed there are a few less eye-watering differences outside, keeping the RS4 postcode an exclusive place for power.
The front grille gets extra aggression to back up its “RS4” badge with a matte aluminium frame housing the gloss black grille, while a deeper, cut ‘n’ vented front bumper directs the fast-air flow for cooling and aero duties. Trademark Audi LED excellence keeps the RS4’s headlights seriously trick and tough. RS4 also sits 20mm lower than your average A4.
Behind the huge, light and lovely 19s you’ll have spotted big brakes - 365mm front discs pressured by 8-pot calipers should all but stand the RS4 on its nose.
Inside, it’s a maniacal manic-depressive’s dream with dark and hard black everywhere. Black leather bucket seats; suitably embroidered with the RS badge of pride and power, a flat-bottomed and perforated black leather steering wheel and lashings of carbonfibre complete the RS4's sinister inner space.
Of course, this is also a practical family car – perhaps for a family of fighter pilots? – and as such it can carry up to 1430 litres of longer loads, with the rear seats stowed. In-transit sideboards have never had it so good!
By Daniel Anslow
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