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Audi RS4 2006 review


For now he is content to play with the new Audi RS4 at around half of that speed.

We are on the Pirelli Test track at Vizzola, north of Milan in Italy.

Half the track is soaked with sprinklers keeping the surface slippery to show off the benefits of the Audi all wheel drive system.

Werner sets the car up by putting it into a deliberate oversteer - much like rally drivers do - to zip in and out of a series of witches hats.

"This is not the fastest way around here...but it's the most fun," said Werner, who with Tom Kristensen and JJ Lehto won the Le Mans 24 Hour race last year in an Audi R8.

The diminutive Werner has the car singing like Pavarotti and dancing like Fred Astaire around the witches hats.

It is artistry in motion, excessive oversteer in a car that has inherent understeer from the all wheel drive system.

RS4 is the latest high-powered offering from quattro GmbH, Audi's performance division.

It is top of the tree in Audi's A4 range and will hit our shores this year.

The motorsport derived RS4's rev limiter says it all at 8250 rpm out of the 4.2 litre V8 with high-revving FSI technology.

Peak torque of 430 Nm is reached at 5500 rpm.

In real terms this means the car is a gem to drive around town with the ability to accelerate sweetly in second of third gear with no necessity for frequent gear changes.

On the Pirelli track the car's high-revving ability pushes it to 100 kmh in just 4.8 seconds and from 0-200 kmh in just 16.6 seconds.

The RS4 comes with a six speed manual.

Auto is not even under discussion.

Audi R8 race cars have won Le Mans four times and have not necessarily been the fastest cars.

In endurance racing reliability is king.

The RS4, while a performance heavyweight, is a light weight car.

The front wings and bonnet are aluminium, as is most of the chassis.

RS4 has the latest evolution of the quattro technology.

Flatten the accelerator in first and all the power reaches the ground without breaking traction, even on the wet Pirelli circuit.

Braking is also enhanced with perforated ventilated 365mm front brake discs and 324 mm discs at the rear.

Audi has fitted the latest Electronic Stability Program to the RS4, that is able to be disabled in two stages, the first doing away with traction control, the second ESP, for more enthusiastic driving.

While the RS4 may resemble the garden variety A4, the cars are markedly different.

Audi's new-look new grille is more aggress- ive, the car sits 30mm lower, there's new wheels, addition air inlets, discreet rear spoiler and the rear has two purposeful, and large, chrome tailpipes screaming to all that this is a car that means business.

The interior is sporty with wrap-around seats, leather, and splashes of aluminium and carbon.

RS4 also features a flat bottom to the steering wheel and an engine start button...which is possibly one extra the car could do without.

If you do happen to stall this beauty you then have to turn the key before using the starter button, two motions instead of one.

It's a retroism the car could do without.

There's also a sport button on the steering wheel that gives even more dynamic perform- ance.

Audi says this makes it seem as if the engine is responding sooner to a hit on the accelerator...and a flap in the exhaust system opens to give the RS4 a more sportier into that an even bigger and better V8 note.


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Range and Specs

Quattro 4.2L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $30,030 – 36,190 2006 Audi RS4 2006 Quattro Pricing and Specs