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Audi RS4 Road Test

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#1 VaTRaXoΣ

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 04:27 PM

Audiʼs new RS4 is one of the best sport sedans in the world and itʼs certainly one of the best cars weʼve driven this year. Before our test, we assumed that the new, 420-horsepower, 317 pound-foot monster could easily claim the title as the best Audi out there, given its numbers alone. Was that so? Our anticipation for this drive mounted for months (years, really, if you consider the previous RS4 models that didnʼt come to the United States), and in that time we got ourselves in a nice old stew over how it would feel to finally put a grip on the magical, all-wheel drive power sedan.

What few people realize is that the RS4 is not actually built by Audi, but rather by Quattro GmbH, a separate company that is owned by Audi AG. These are the same people that create the S-line sport packages (not the S4 or S6 models, mind you; nor does Quattro GmbH design or build the all-wheel drive system that bears its name—yes, we are slightly confused, as well). The RS4ʼs assembly is unique to the current Audi lineup, requiring an entirely separate and more time-consuming (in other words, expensive) build procedure. The engines are built in Györ, Hungary, and shipped to Audiʼs assembly plant in Ingolstadt, Germany, for insertion in the chassis—this differs not at all from a normal A4 or S4. But at Ingolstadt the cars receive only dummy wheels, tires and suspension setups; the soon-to-be RS4s take another trip to Neckarsulm, Germany—home to the companyʼs motorsports group and Quattro GmbH—where the best of Audiʼs workforce receives the vehicles, installs their suspension systems, track tests them, and gives them one final German raised-eyebrow once-over. Each RS4 receives some twenty hours of handcrafted attention and testing in this final location. Our insider sources tell us that final move to Neckarsulm (necessary, really, because stopping the fast-moving A4 assembly line in Ingolstadt to install special systems for a low-volume product wouldnʼt be very efficient) accounts for a third of the carʼs price premium over the S4.


Edited by VaTRaXoΣ, 20 March 2007 - 04:28 PM.

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