You’d bet your last tank of unleaded that a new Rennsport model would pack more power than the car it replaces – and, in this case, you’d be running on fumes.
The B9-generation RS4’s 444bhp remains unchanged from its predecessor, although because this 90deg V6 is so different in character from that car’s V8, the same can’t be said for the way in which that power reaches the road.
It comes as no surprise that this car has the chassis to deploy that power. On a damp day at MIRA’s proving ground, with ambient temperatures low enough to warrant a thick coat, our test car blitzed a 3.9sec sprint to 60mph on one particular run and took less than 10sec to reach triple figures. A Table Mountain torque curve illustrating 443lb ft between 1900rpm and 5000rpm did hint at that kind of pace, but it’s quite exceptional that the accelerative punch of an often docile, mid-sized family car only begins to taper at about 130mph.
This engine has delectable breadth too. Hitch fourth gear at 20mph and you’ll have doubled your speed in the time it takes to say ‘cylinder-selective adaptive knock control’.
Rather than going for a second clutch, as was the case for the B8-gen RS4, Audi has fitted an eight-speed torque converter. Perhaps our test car would have gone quicker with a dual-clutcher, but this engine develops quite a bit more twist than can be reliably put through Audi’s S-tronic transmission and, in truth, an effortless torque converter better suits the RS4 as an everyday car.