One of the most common question you get asked as a motoring journalist is “what car would you buy?’. My answer has always been, an Audi RS4 Avant. Just as well then that the latest model has just hit the streets.
Powered by a monstrous 4.0-litre V8 which produces 450PS — that’s 447bhp to you and me — it will scorch from standstill to 62mph in 4.7secs and, if you go for the £1300 de-restricted option, it’ll carry on to an eye-watering 174mph: otherwise you’re restricted to 155mph!
It’s not turbocharged: instead Audi has opted for a normally aspirated engine. But it is thirsty, as a claimed average of 26.4mpg testifies.
But what the heck! You don’t stump up £54,925 to buy an RS4 to be light with your rig foot.
The latest RS4 Avant — it’s not available in saloon form — has been eagerly awaited since production of the previous model stopped four years ago.
Audi’s RS concept has been one of Audi’s many success stories, not for numbers of sales – only 7390 of them have been sold since they were introduced in 1993 – but for the effect they’ve had on the brand’s image.
It remains the ultimate for the driver who knows about cars and what they want from them. This is the third generation of the RS4 Avant and is seen by aficionados as the one to have, providing supercar power but coupled with the everyday practicality of an estate car.
The new RS4 Avant doesn’t go on sale in the UK for another two months, but the bulk of customers are expected to come from existing RS4 owners who’ll get a higher spec of car with the latest technology for the same relative price as their last one.
It’s a fabulous machine, oozing technology and brilliant engineering. The hand-built, four-and-a-bit litre V8 engine is a sumptuous delight, with a wonderful roar from under the bonnet and a marvellous rasp from the back-end exhausts.
With the three-differential, S tronic, quattro, dual-clutch transmission the car is faster off the blocks than Usain Bolt.
The car has retained the established RS4 design but the flared wheel arches, silver door mirrors and low stance on the road give it a sensational look and fantastic presence.
And as we’ve now come to expect with every Audi, build quality is first class and all round there’s a feeling of high standards and excellence.
On the inside the focus is on the flat-bottomed steering wheel around which all the controls are easy to follow and operate.
The range of options, both technically and for comfort and convenience, is vast and Audi confidently say their “bespoke ordering” by customers means that it’s highly unlikely there will ever be two RS4s exactly the same.
So, is the new RS4 Avant still the pick of the bunch? You bet. Now where’s that Lottery ticket?