Audi RS4

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The Audi RS4 is the ultimate performance version of the Audi A4 range of cars, a sports-focused compact executive car produced by quattro GmbH for German car manufacturer – Audi. It slots above the Audi S4 as the fastest, sports-focussed model based on the A4’s “B” chassis. It is only available in quattro permanent four-wheel drive.

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The initial version was only produced as an “Avant”, Audis name for a station wagon/estate car. The second version was released initially as a saloon/sedan, with the Avant following a short while later. A Cabriolet version was also added.
After a long hiatus, the second generation RS4 (Typ 8E), built on Audi’s “B7” A4 platform, by quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm, Germany (a wholly owned subsidiary of Audi AG), became available to European customers in the summer of 2006. It was introduced at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in January, and arrived in August 2006 North America. There was no RS4 built on the Audi “B6” platform which served as the basis for the Audi A4 between 2000 and 2005.

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The B7 RS4 is an almost complete departure from previous RS cars, as it was launched as a saloon/sedan, with an Avant and Cabriolet (convertible) version arriving later. Only the RS6 had taken this similar route (saloon and Avant) before, the previous RS4 and RS2 were available exclusively as Avants. The production run of the B7 RS4 was 2006 to 2008 inclusive, although only 2007 and 2008 model year were sold in the USA. In 2007, the base MSRP in the USA for the sedan was $68,725. There was a single “premium package” option that had a $4,700 MSRP that added all of the items that one would expect from a luxury car, including but not limited to a garage door opener, automatic headlamps, seat memory, automatic mirror dimming, DVD-based GPS navigation, satellite radio, Bose speakers, sun shades, bluetooth phone and rain-sensing wipers.

The model year 2008 base MSRP for the sedan in the USA was $69,785. The single “premium package” combining all of the usual luxury vehicle features was retained but the price dropped to $4,000 and allowed the option of having an iPod interface instead of a CD changer. In addition, two new cosmetic packages were offerred in 2008 for the sedans. The more expensive of the two is the “exclusive package” for $3,800 that included a two tone red and black interior, badging, floors mats and trim. The $750 “titanium package” included black painted exterior trim, titanium colored rims and mirrors and black interior trim. The B7 RS4 Cabriolet was made available as a model year 2008 vehicle in the USA, with a base price of $84,775, but had been available as a 2007 model in Europe. In the USA the only option that had an extra charge on the convertible was to have it painted in the “Sprint Blue” color; other options were available in Europe.

Other notable non-North American features to be found on cars destined for the European, South African and Australia/New Zealand markets, are the smaller, flat bottomed steering wheel (complete with “Sport” button), and the figure-hugging Recaro shell-type race bucket seats, complete with electrically inflatable upper and lower side bolsters.

Power comes from a 4.2L, V8 Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) engine. This is a highly reworked variant from the old 4.2 L V8, having cylinder-direct fuel injection, and 4 valves per cylinder, instead of 5. It produces a total output of 420 PS (414.3 hp/308.9 kW), over 100 PS (99 hp/74 kW) per litre. The engine also produces 430 N·m (317 ft·lbf) of torque. Kerb (curb) weight of the saloon variant is stated at 1680 kg (3704 lb).

The RS4 is also equipped with the 14.3 in (363.2 mm) iron front brake discs (cross-drilled and radially vented), and Brembo eight-piston calipers from the Lamborghini Gallardo, although lighter 380 mm (15 in) x 38 mm (1.5 in) Carbon/Ceramic composite front discs (with Brembo six-piston monobloc aluminium calipers) were an option from 2007 model year onwards. Another focus of the B7 RS4 was on the quattro permanent four-wheel drive, with the ‘third generation’ asymmetric/dynamic Torsen T-3 centre differential, featuring a 40:60 front-to-rear torque split under normal conditions. Audi stressed that this would result in a more neutral response in corners, and a fun driving experience. Also more aggressive Torque Bias Ratio (TBR) was used and set to 4:1, as opposed to 2:1 on standard A4.[citation needed] That means that one side of the differential can handle up to 80% while the other side would have to only handle 20% of applied torque. The B7 RS4 also incorporates Audi’s Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) suspension mechanism, where a fluid mechanical linkage between diagonally opposing front and rear suspension dampers is used to counteract vehicle pitch and roll.

Audi factory numbers indicate that the B7 RS4 saloon can accelerate from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.8 seconds and arrive at 200 km/h (125 mph) in 16.6 seconds. Many independent tests have shown that the stock B7 RS4 can readily achieve 0-60 mph times around 4.4 seconds. This is consistent with the pattern of conservatism that is usually found in Audi’s official performance numbers. To date, approximately 10,000 B7 RS4s have been built of which around 1,700 are in the USA.

Scribbled on November 25th 2006 in robson.m3Rlin.org
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