Driven - June 2017

The B7 Audi RS4 – The more door, Quattro V8 racer?

The B7 Audi RS4 – Driven

The era of analogue, man and machine connections has become a rather rare occurrence in modern automotive machinery. Electronic nannies seek to tame the wave of kW’s that even the most unassuming of ‘fast’ cars now have. Me being a rather backwards human frankly, I loved this era, the sheer amount of fear that these cars were able to place in there pilots, but more to the point, they highlighted the greater need for driver skill and the size of the man meat that was needed when pressing on.

 

B7 Audi RS4 South Africa

Now, being a rather primitive being, that was automotive nirvana and replication of this sensation is a constant feature in my motoring escapades. Enter the B7 Audi RS4, an 11-year old, 4 door saloon with three pedals protruding from the firewall and a stonking good 4.2 Litre V8, mated to the grippy AWD Quattro drivetrain. From the exterior, highly unassuming, with only large oval-shaped exhausts to suggest any sporting prowess. In its prime, good for a 4.6 second 0-100 sprint and despite the “Big Three’s” 250km/h handshake, would only run out of puff at around 266km/h. This arguably was a drive I had lusted after for since its conception and frankly, in the cold month of June, brought an awkward bout of the chesties.

Climbing into the cabin, one is instantly groped by the enormous Recaro leather buckets, as the busyness of the cabin hints as to the progress that interior design has come.  Design and fascia are high quality, even by today’s standards, and feels well put together but ultimately still very much a button-heavy setup. The biggest and shiniest of these being most important,  as I quickly identified the centre console mounted Start/Stop button.  A quick stab at this lets lose to a deep and burly roar, as the Audi comes to life. The steering wheel, with its perforated leather and flat bottom aluminium accents, feels meaty to hand and hints as to the capability that the brute beholds.

B7 Audi RS4 South Africa

Driving

On the move, the V8 soundtrack is rather invigorating, even at low speeds, and yet seems to only get better as you chase the stratospheric redline at 8 200 rpm. The cruising ability is ever apparent as you can potter around rather easily. With 430 N.m on tap, 90% of which is delivered from 2 250 to 7 600 rpm, the in-gear pulling power is immense and lofting around town proved effortless. This was not the focus of the RS4, however. It’s not a city run-around but a raging brute, onwards, in pursuit of the perfect driving road which was soon on the agenda. A short drive out of the hustle and bustle of the city and the R563 between Hekpoort and Krugersdorp comes into sight, a short 9.3 km stretch of tarmac that provides for some decent fun.  No Sport modes and dynamic setting trickery here, just a poke at the traction control button, a drop at the cogs and the smiles begin. The V8 is truly ridiculous. It sounds so damn good as it pushes you on vicariously, as you don the façade of a Tiff Needell or a Chris Harris. The Gearbox is slick and slides through the ratios at the greatest of ease, with a short throw and this invigoration that makes you feel rather good. The pedal placement is perfect with hell-toe shifts being ever so easy, the V8 caterwaul from the exhausts coaxing more exuberance with the throttle.

Enquire about a new or used Audi vehicle at Audi Centurion here!

B7 Audi RS4 South Africa

When shown some corners, the AWD system on the B7 Audi RS4 does a very good job of keeping things under control, with it being almost idiot proof when jumping on the gas existing corners. A light controlled understeer tone envelopes the driving experience, that keeps you from pushing too hard into the corners but this never seems to kill the fun, it’s almost a warning of impending doom. Only when being stupid does the front let go all together but even still in such a slow and controlled motion, it allows for plenty of time to regain composure before kissing the guardrail.

 

Enquire about a new or used Audi vehicle at Audi Centurion here!

 

Khanye Ngwenya 

Junior Writer