The £62,175 Audi RS4 Avant is one of the most practical fast cars you can buy. It combines a big boot with a seriously powerful engine that’ll blast it from 0-62mph faster than plenty of hardcore sports cars. This all-new model promises to be quicker and more efficient than ever before but will that be enough to tempt you away from the likes of the Mercedes C63 AMG Estate?
1. How it looks
Back in 1999, the very first RS4 had other fast estates licked when it came to bonkers racing car-inspired styling. Thankfully, this latest generation is no different. From its flared wheel arches and giant alloy wheels to its brushed aluminium details and drainpipe-wide exhausts, your RS4 is unlikey to get mistaken for a humble diesel.
All these modifications are there for a reason, too. Huge intakes feed air to its all-new twin-turbocharged engine and two slits beside the angular headlights funnel high-speed air around the front wheels to reduce drag and help the RS4 rocket through the air.
2. How quick it is
The latest model comes with a smaller 2.9-litre V6 instead of the 4.2-litre V8 fitted to the old car but still produces a meaty 450hp thanks to a pair of fat turbochargers. These also boost the car’s pulling power to a heady 442ft/lb – more than a Lamborghini Huracan supercar.
Combine this with Audi’s grippy quattro four-wheel-drive system and the RS4 can deliver power to the road with the ease of a renaissance painter playing pictionary – it’ll happily demolish the 0-62mph sprint in just 4.1 seconds.
3. How easy it is to drive fast
This clever four-wheel drive also makes the RS4 a doddle to drive quickly and on a quiet country road it feels as surefooted as a sumo-wrestler who’s had a crash course in moving gracefully from the home of Russian Ballet.
It’s even better with the Dynamic Ride Control system. It adjusts the settings for the steering, suspension, gearbox, exhaust and four-wheel-drive system to deliver sporty handling when you want and comfortable, relaxed cruising when you don’t.
4. What it’s like inside
The RS4 takes the already plush A4’s cabin to a whole new level. Every surface is adorned with some kind of squidgy plastic, cold brushed metal or soft, supple leather. The special RS sports seats are supportive and easy to adjust and every button is sensibly laid out and easy to reach.
As with other posh Audi models, you get a high-resolution infotainment screen and a futuristic 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit digital display that replaces conventional analogue dials with special RS-specific graphics. These make the RS4’s cabin feel even more special and streets ahead of the slightly old-fashioned system you get in a C63.
5. It’s an estate – so the dog can come too
Some sports car are just about practical enough to live with every day but none of them can touch the capacious RS4 Avant for outright practicality. Its back seats are more than roomy enough for six-foot-tall passengers to stretch out and the generous 550-litre boot (60 litres larger than in a Mercedes AMG C63 Estate) means you can even bring the dog along for the ride, but you best tell it to hold on tight…