Audi's ideal getaway

car

Audi RS4, 2018, front, action
Audi RS4, 2018, front
Audi RS4, 2018, rear, action
Audi RS4, 2018, rear
Audi RS4, 2018, interior
Audi RS4, 2018, engine
Audi RS4, 2018, exhaust
Audi RS4, 2018, rear seats
Audi RS4, 2018, badge

IF you're planning a moonlight flit and the getaway car is an Audi RS 4 Avant then make sure you don't fire it up accidently in the Dynamic mode or the world and his dog will be awoken.

That's because the all-new generation model is a potent powerhouse that can complete the 0-62mph dash in a blisteringly-quick 4.1 seconds with a top speed limited to 155mph.

This restriction can be increased to 174mph if a performance pack costing £1,450 is added.

The power is courtesy of a 2.9-litre V6 450PS petrol engine with 600Nm of torque mated to an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox with launch control and together they make the RS 4 Avant the fastest mid-sized estate car on the planet.

Boasting distinctive RS design cues, the car is an instant attention grabber with RS body styling including a front bumper with enlarged air inlets, flared front and rear wheel arches, lateral air inlets next to the headlights, a honeycomb design grille with quattro logo in matt black, black front spoiler, side sill extension, an RS roof spoiler, 20-inch forged alloy silver wheels, red brake calipers, LED headlights and rear lights with sweeping rear indicators, a panoramic glass sunroof and an RS sport exhaust system to complete the styling.

Move inside and the sporty theme is just as apparent with super sport front seats in fine Nappa leather with honeycomb stitching, Audi's virtual cockpit digital instrument cluster with 12.3-inch TFT high resolution display and RS menu, an 8.3-inch colour touchscreen with sat nav and Audi Connect services, a pitch perfect Bang and Olufsen sound system, a head-up display, a three-spoke flat-bottomed sport steering wheel with aluminium-look gear shift paddles and lots of RS badging.

Admittedly, all this power, precision and performance comes with a hefty price-tag. Our car began life costing £62,175 but a long list of optional extras saw that price jump to a whopping £77,720.

The latest RS 4 Avant has shed some pounds and that translates into a more dynamic, balanced and responsive driving performance. But despite its outrageous capabilities the car can be driven to suit your mood.

There are Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual drive modes to choose from and they alter the car's responses considerably. For example, start off in Comfort and the car is very composed and almost grown up in its reactions. It's no slouch, but seems to be more mildly mannered. It is the perfect mode to drive in when tackling bumpy road surfaces as the fabulous suspension system irons out the surfaces. The cabin also remains well insulated against outside sounds.

Yet switch across to Dynamic and suddenly the Audi has some real fire in its belly. The pop, crack, bang of the exhaust is a hint of what's to come and the throttle, gear switches and braking all become sharper.

The tiptronic gearbox is beautifully timed, but you can take over via the paddle shifts and a sport mode adds even more fun to the mix. The road-holding with quattro reassurance is incredibly assured and the harder the car is pushed the more it offers.

Corners can be taken at speed with confidence and when faced with the open road, the RS 4 Avant eats up the Tarmac. And the soundtrack from the exhaust could only have been improved upon with something like Ride of the Valkyries blasting from the stereo system!

Of course, fuel efficiency will depend on how respectfully or enthusiastically the car is driven, but the official combined figure is 32.1mpg with carbon emissions of 200g/km.

But it's worth remembering that in theory the RS 4 Avant is an estate car and needs to tick all the boxes when it comes to practicality. With that in mind, the car can swallow 505 litres of luggage or 1,510 litres with the rear seats dropped flat.

Space within the car is good and there is ample room in the back for a couple of adults to travel in comfort.

And with a car boasting so much firepower, Audi has ensured the vehicle is packed with safety features and driver aids to protect all occupants and pedestrians.

All in all, this Audi delivers a clear message to anyone who thinks estate cars are boring. No they are not.

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