Ingolstadt Caffeine · Audi RS4

If morning coffee isn’t what you need to kick start your day, you might have a strong credential to be an Audi RS nut. Let’s face this: why family wagons have to be boring? Taking the kids to school can be the excuse for a joyride without your wife suspecting anything! Owning an Audi RS can be the best excuse for turning your commute into something more interesting.

The caffeine of a 450 hp  4.2 liter aspirated V8 of your family wagon can be endless throughout the day. I think we all love the smell of 100 octane fuel and the roar of true horsepower in the morning.

Cars like Audi RS’s will play the part of a “go-everywhere, do-everything” sort of vehicle and can be placed in almost any context. It’s fast, makes a wonderful screaming noise, has got Quattro four wheel drive, has a large boot and can be parked either at a supercar rally or at the supermarket. It’s a clever blend of aggression and discreetness in one cool looking package.

The idea of bringing an Audi RS was Escape on Wheel mind for a long time. We were curious how this Autobahn rocket could stack up against the “usual” supercar crowd. Of the RS line up we always loved tha fact that it can stand against more exotic cars with a boot full of equipment and comfortable leather seats.

It’s one of the most beautiful German cars on the market today and Audi’s RS6 little sister. Its design reflects well its personality: for those who know what it is, it’s a thing of beauty; for those who do not know much about cars it’s just another German estate driven by someone they hate. It’s the supercommuter with the same attitude as Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde we all would love to use every day.

Our Escape started at our HQ in the outskirts of Brescia. Federico took delivery of the car the night before in Brescia and we packed all our stuff the night before leaving for Cars & Coffee. With a full tank of 100 octane and 3 hours of highway travel in front of us before reaching Principato di Lucedio in the coutryside of Piemonte. We were ready to go on a supercar hunt with almost 2 tons of steel and a potent V8.

We set out in the Highway early in the morning and with almost no other car on the left lane, we tested the RS4 cruising capability. We set the chassis and transmission into comfort, set the cruise at 140 km/h and enjoyed some relaxed cruising before we could unleash the car against any supercar we could find. In comfort it proved to be a stiffer ride than your average wagon yet damped enough not to give you backache and relax while driving. The leather sport seats are supportive and smell like a proper leather interior. Sports seats on a family wagon? Oh yeah. In Comfort, the car has more wheel travel, the exhaust baffles are closed and cylinder deactivation is on: in one word, this is the pussycat mode.

Our relaxed cruise lasted until we reached the Pero Nord gas station outside Milan, where we met with a couple of friends and their awesome machines. we would have been easily mistaken for a fast diesel support car carrying some spare tires and luggage. On the highway, we had no particular trouble in keeping up with their pace despite being a little slow in catching up when those beasts accelerated hard.

Travelling with such a loud orchestra in front of us, we discovered a hidden feature of the RS4: it’s a fantastic resonation chamber! We had nearly 1500 horses whose sound was reverberating loudly in our trunk!  With the car set into “Dynamic” with a stiffer chassis and with a more aggressive engine response, we were able to keep up easily and have lots of fun pushing the car to its limits.

We followed the group for a good half an hour before taking the first exit on the right to hunt some roads in the countryside and test the car full potential on more entertaining roads. With empty countryside roads and the exhaust valves completely open, we decided to carve some corners. Predictably, the traction is incredible and despite it has oversteer in the middle of the corner, it proves to be quite capable despite being a long wheel base car.

After all, an Audi RS is a performance car for the real world. We never thought as a track day special wagon but as an entertaining car to use on your commute. Despite being so, it doesn’t compromise anything.

The way the 4.2 liter engine behaves could be described as pure hooliganism: after all it’s the same powerplant as the old R8! The DSG gearbox provides adequately fast gearshifts and adds a lot to the enjoyment of such a vehicle.

The roads around the Principato di Lucedio are some of the most tempting if you want to be arrested for speeding: long empty straights in the middle of nowhere look like honey for bees when you have plenty of horsepower under your right foot. After all, we still needed to burn a few drops more of 100 octane before being mistaken for a diesel car parked next to exciting gasoline powered beasts. It may go undercovered among the crowd, but boy people look at it when you rev it to 8.000 rpm.

One of the best features of the RS4 is that it can be anything you want: it can be a grand tourer, a commuter and a supercar. Seeing it next parked to cars like the ABT RS6 and the 911 GT3 RS at C&C our car may have looked a bit too “business like” also because there are plenty around, but honestly speaking it represented what everyone wants from a supercar.

The RS4 may be a cool factory sleeper capable of smoking quite a few cars on the straight line. The fact that no one was caring much about her made it look a bit more special: it’s a showcase of usable performance and it is capable of taking we love about performance cars into an everyday context.

Some may think that “compromise” is what defines best cars like these. The RS4 is not a compromise: it’s what we all need in the end. It’s part of Audi’s effort to take on a sort of “definitive” vehicle. In Escape on Wheels vision, its place among C&C supercars was rightfully earned.

On our way back home, we joined our friend The Outlierman’s Jag F-type and a Mercedes 300 SLR for a joyride acting like proper gentlemen drivers. We could have stayed with them until reaching Milan but we wanted to take advantage of the wonderful sunset light to snap a few pics for this article.

After a couple of roads in the countryside south of Biella we ended up on the shores of the Lago di Viverone, a cool place we didn’t know existed.

After a whole day spent with the RS4, we relax admiring the light of sunset on the deep blue finish of our wagon. Under such circumstances we discover how elegant and beautiful the car looks: It’s one of those Audis with romance that will never fail to satisfy you at the end of the day.

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