Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Audi RS4 Avant: A seriously special drive

Avant's style and speed brings thrills to the road

Post Thumbnail

The Audi RS4 Avant was the first high performance car I drove when I became this newspaper’s motoring writer way back in 2006.

Back then it had 414bhp and it was the fastest thing I’d ever driven. It’s fair to say it blew me away and I’ve had a soft spot for Audi’s performance models ever since.

Seventeen years, a few grey hairs, and more than 1,000 cars later I discovered the 2023 version of the RS4 still puts a huge grin on my face.

The V8 engine that powered the 2006 model has been superseded by a twin-turbo V6 engine. It may have fewer cylinders but it has more power, with 450bhp on tap.

That’s enough to get it from 0-62mph in around four seconds and it’ll go on to 155mph, or 174mph if you pay extra to have the electronic speed limiter removed.

Not everyone will notice the RS4’s fantastic performance potential though. At a casual glance it’s just another Audi A4 estate. It’s only when you look closer and spot that it’s lower to the ground and has bigger wheels and extra scoops and bulges that you realise it’s something a lot more special.

Impressive versatility

It is seriously quick. Switch the car to sports mode, put the foot to the floor and it pins you back in your seat.

If anything the grip is even more impressive than the performance. With huge tyres, four-wheel drive and zero body roll, the RS4 holds its line through even the hardest of cornering. You would need a race track and a higher level of driving skill than I possess to find its limits.

What makes the car even more impressive is its versatility. High performance estate cars are quite rare and the RS4 is comfortable and practical enough to be used as your main or only car.

There is room for adults in the back and at 495 litres the boot is big enough for a couple of dogs or the whole family’s luggage. Drop the rear seats and there’s a huge 1,495 litres of load space.

The Audi RS4 is packed with creature comforts as well. Electrically adjustable seats are upholstered in soft quilted leather. There’s three zone climate control, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, a 360 degree camera and all manner of other goodies.

The interior is beautifully put together and feels as opulent as you’d expect in a £70,000 car. The only thing I lamented is Audi’s misguided decision to get rid of its intuitive rotary controller and instead go down the touchscreen route.

No ordinary estate

I drove from down the east coast to Edinburgh in my RS4 and at 70mph on the motorway it cruises as quietly as any executive saloon. Only when you pull off overtaking manoeuvres in a heartbeat do people realise you’re not driving an ordinary estate car.

The suspension is on the firm side of comfortable but you soon get used to it and it’s a small price to pay for the car’s huge performance capabilities.


I took the RS4 for a spin on some quiet Perthshire country roads. While going nowhere near the edge of the car’s performance envelope – I wanted to give it back to Audi in one piece – I had a tremendous time throwing it round some bends and enjoying the thrill of its acceleration.

The eight speed automatic gearbox is absolutely seamless and you can change gears yourself using paddle shifters if you want to get more involved.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the Audi RS4 all over again. It’s a car I have a lot of fondness for.

We’re now in the last few years when cars like this will still be made. I know climate change is real and we need to change the way we live but part of me will miss the thrills of the Audi RS4 and other cars of its ilk.

The Facts

Model: Audi RS4 Avant

Price: £71,785

0-62mph: 4.1 seconds

Top speed: 155mph

Economy: 28.5mpg

CO2 emissions: 224g/km