RS4 Avant is Audi's supercar rivalling station wagon

Lance Branquinho

Audi has a niche product in South Africa that none of its rivals can match, the RS4 Avant.

Despite station wagons being desperately unpopular in Mzansi, Audi’s produce planners believe that the market for a vehicle with exceptional performance and cavernous luggage capacity does exist.

Powerful SUVs have stolen much of the appeal once held by high-performance station wagons, but for the purist, this RS4 remains peerless.

A station wagon always has superbly balanced proportions and styling, due to the elongated roofline and with all its RS-styling upgrades, the RS4 is an exceptionally attractive vehicle.

One of the most significant benefits a high-performance station wagon has over a similarly powerful SUV is its much lower centre of gravity.

The RS4 rides 30mm lower than any of Audi’s A4s, which share a similar platform, and much lower than the brand’s SUVs.

A low centre of gravity means greater stability and lateral agility. In short: it is much more confident and faster through corners.

Very rapid wagon

Powering the fourth-generation RS4 is a twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 engine. It boasts 331kW and 600Nm of torque, with those outputs driving all four wheels via Audi’s sophisticated Quattro technology.

An eight-speed automatic transmission cleverly adapts to your driving style and road conditions, whether you are crawling along in morning traffic or require intuitively faster shifts when the road opens up and you wish to exploit the RS4’s dept of dynamic talent.

It is a desperately easy car to drive quickly and with confidence. The seating position is excellent, and Audi’s vaunted cabin architecture and ergonomics make it a rewarding place to spend hours tallying the miles.

The RS4 is astonishingly fast, capable of 0-100kph in 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 280kph. But its truest dynamic appeal is overtaking acceleration, where you never have to fear that the margin of safety when passing slower traffic is too close. A surge of power and torque simply rockets you past.

With the RS4 Audi has a car which looks spectacular and is immensely fast. It is also rewardingly comfortable when you require it to be.

Best of all is that with 505-litre of load space which converts to 1505-litres with the seats down. Those numbers make the station wagon configuration is unrivalled when you need to occasionally deputise it as a utility vehicle.

Audi markets the RS4 at R1 211 500.

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