Audi RS 4 und Audi RS 4 B5 auf der Straße

Four can handle it

Audi RS 4 senior meets junior

Those who want to form the future, have to know their past. That’s why blog author Maximilian Kranl snatched the all-new Audi RS 4 and met up with the owner of a senior one in the Altmühl Valley. A memorable drive that produced two winners – but only one car that could’ve been sold on site.

Audi RS 4 vor Restaurant
When young meets old: Audi blog author Maximilian Kranl went on a cruise with the new Audi RS 4 with (almost) namesake Maximilian Karl and his first generation Audi RS 4.

By now, I’ve finally understood what the band “Tote Hosen“ meant when they sang about “days like these“. I really had to pinch my cheeks when I went to the Audi garage in the early morning. What I was getting from there? A brand-new Audi RS 4. Misano red. Ceramic brakes. Full equipment. Sought and found. The dull tapping of the engine starting grabs me from my dream and throws me right into another dream. At least, that’s what the day promises to be: Summerly temperatures with 21 degrees Celsius, bursting sun light. Off to the Altmühl Valley.

By the way, I’m not driving on my own, but meeting someone whose name is quite similar to mine: Maximilian Karl – industrial engineer at Audi, tinkerer and owner of the first Audi RS 4 B5. A gem in Avus silver, as I was told. An enthusiast, they said.

A drive with the new Audi RS 4

Now there is no reason needed to let 450 hp (331kW) on one of the perhaps most beautiful streets on this side of the alps. Still, there is more to this meet-up of those two car generations than circling through a left curve and then onto a right curve. It’s an ode to the good old times when gears were changed by hand and cars were still thought to have souls. My companion knows his way around the valley – but he won’t just guide us through it. As one of the first private individuals, he will drive with the all-new Audi RS 4 and pass his judgement. What will he say? And which will be the one he would rather take home?

Fortunately, the day is only beginning. I’m resisting the temptation to directly switch the drive select control to dynamic. I’m choosing to stroll along in the comfort mode, it’s around 13 kilometers to our meeting place in Eitensheim. You’ve never heard of it? Me neither. But now everyone there knows me. Whether it’s the color or the fact that the RS 4 has just recently been presented – either way it’s definitely an eye-catcher. Effortlessly, I ride along the country side with the fast Avant, just like on rails, it’s paving the trail – and the tractor I’m passing by with just a little twitch of my right foot. Superiority – that’s what describes this moment perfectly.

Which RS 4 would the two Maximilians rather keep in their garages?

Even though I’m sitting in the faster car today, I’m the last one to arrive at the meeting point. The photograph and Max with his RS 4 are already waiting at the supermarket parking spots. Full beard, side parting, dark sun glasses. Jeans and a grey sweater – and already with a mischievous grin on his face. There’s one that knows what’s awaiting him. “It’s become a beautiful car. You can still find a lot of elements from mine: The broad gage, the strongly flared wheel wells, the crisp rear”, Max says while looking at the car with scrutinizing eyes. We go through the route one more time: It will take us through small and even smaller towns, through the woods and some hills and end in Greding. Again, and again, we will drive by the Altmühl and be happy about streets with little traffic.

First against fourth generation: Audi RS 4 Avant

RS 4. Two letters, one number – the incarnation of a sports car in a station wagon. 18 years lie between the first and the latest generation. Sure, the new one is larger, bigger, faster, more versatile.

Audi RS 4 Lenkrad
The Audi RS 4 combines high-performance with suitability for everyday use. The 2.9 TFSI engine with an output of 331 kW (450 hp) makes it the sporty spearhead of the A4 family.

All the same, they still share one DNA – that’s obvious. De facto, they’ve become more similar with the recent generation. While two models with V8 high-rev engine lie between, the new one relies on the concept of the B5: Six-cylinder in V-arrangement, close to three liters displacement, two turbochargers and the all-wheel quattro drive. That’s
the recipe for high performance in everyday life.

By the way: This has little to do with everyday life. Because faster than anticipated, I ‘m sitting down in Max’s Audi RS 4. A dream come true. The B5 has been running for more than 200,000 kilometers. Max never had any problems with the gem that had been delivered to him from Switzerland.

Maximilian Karl has a good laugh: During the test drive he leaves his namesake behind him.

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Although 18 years lie between the two RS 4 brothers, they do share certain similarities: The wide track, the flared wheel arches and the angular rear.

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Full speed ahead: The two Audi RS 4 cars swept across the winding Altmühltal valley with little traffic.

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While looking at the old navigation system, I have to think of my first Gameboy. Max provides me with additional information. “It has a performance increase of around 440 hp. And the coupling is a bit sturdy”, he shouts from driver’s seat of the new one. I thank him for the trust and roll off. That works surprisingly well and after a few kilometers, I drift into the world of boost pressure and patina.

While Max dictates the route, speeds effortlessly and we tackle a few serpentines, I’m trying to find a rhythm. The sitting position somewhat feels wrong, the brakes need a strong kick, the chassis is rock-hard and until 4,000 revs, there is a turbo lag. But once gotten used to, everything starts to make sense. Slowing down. Braking down a gear. Steering. Accelerating. Curve by curve into ecstasy. Here you still have to work to be faster. My joy grows, when I notice that I can still see the rear lights of the new RS 4.

Heckansicht Audi RS 4 und Audi RS 4 B5

Youngtimer owner Maximilian overtakes the Audi blog author in the Audi RS 4 B5: Compared to its direct predecessor, a high-revving V8 engine, the newly developed V6 biturbo reaches a completely new dimension in power and efficiency. The new engine accelerates the RS 4 from zero to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds.

And Max? Despite my efforts, he disappeared quickly, parked the car at the town square in Greding and lit himself a cigarette. Taking a breath. “Awesome thing”, he says visibly relieved to see his car intact. “It’s really astonishing what has changed in 20 years. The new one’s engine is a force. The below torque is mind-blowing and the gear switches perfectly. It’s fantastic to drive”, he accounts.

To serve the stereotype, we’re getting a hamburger and sit down next to a fountain and the cars. A perfect opportunity to theoretically offer him to choose one of the two. “As nice as the new one is, I’ll stay with mine. Old cars just fascinate me and I would probably miss the manual gearbox”, Max says in a regretful voice.

A deep connection between man and machine

I understand him very well: The old one’s charm has impressed me as well. He is down to earth, the connection between man and machine is somewhat closer, the drive more of an experience. We sit for another while, philosophize about the technology and agree that there’s a need for the both of them in your garage. As we’re about to enter our cars, a black BMW stops next to Max’s old RS 4. The driver puts down the wind glass, looks out the window, calls out to Max and asks if his car would be up for sale. A certain pride is clearly visible on Max’s face. He quickly shakes his head and responds: “Sorry, I’m not giving it away”. It seems like not all dreams are coming true today.

Audi RS 4 und Audi RS 4 B5 auf einer Brücke
A harmonious picture: The two RS 4 family members during the trip.

A getaway with the Audi RS 4 of the first and fourth generation

During the test drive with the new Audi RS 4 Avant and the Audi RS 4 of the first generation in the Altmühl Valley, the two drove through curvy country roads and low-traffic roads. In the end, the younger one leaves the RS 4 of the first generation far behind. The two family members in comparison:

The two-tone Audi Sport entry lights and the illuminated sill panel strips with an RS 4 logo greet the driver while entering the car.
The black interior underlines the sporty character of the new RS 4. The sport seats are heatable, covered with a combination of leather and Alcantara and care for comfort with a lumbar support seat.
Aside from the standard LED headlights, optional Matrix LED headlamps with shaded trims are available. Next to these are additional, vertical side air intakes that make the high performance Avant appear even wider. quattro blisters emphasize the strong bulges over the wheel housings, which have been extended by 30 millimeters (1.2 in) on both sides.
That's what senior looks like: The headlights of the first generation's RS 4 are visibly smaller.
The RS multifunction sports leather steering wheel enables a comfortable handling of the infotainment system. The steering wheel rim bears the typical RS emblem.
The steering wheel of the Audi RS 4 – already equipped with an RS emblem 18 years ago.
The single frame radiator grill with the three-dimensional honeycomb structure is clearly broader and more flatter. The quattro lettering and RS 4 emblem are situated on it.
The radiator grill of the RS 4 first generation is smaller and equipped with different air inlets. Elements like the broad gage, the wheel wells and the rear are still designed in a similar fashion.

The two-tone Audi Sport entry lights and the illuminated sill panel strips with an RS 4 logo greet the driver while entering the car.

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The black interior underlines the sporty character of the new RS 4. The sport seats are heatable, covered with a combination of leather and Alcantara and care for comfort with a lumbar support seat.

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Aside from the standard LED headlights, optional Matrix LED headlamps with shaded trims are available. Next to these are additional, vertical side air intakes that make the high performance Avant appear even wider. quattro blisters emphasize the strong bulges over the wheel housings, which have been extended by 30 millimeters (1.2 in) on both sides.

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That's what senior looks like: The headlights of the first generation's RS 4 are visibly smaller.

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The RS multifunction sports leather steering wheel enables a comfortable handling of the infotainment system. The steering wheel rim bears the typical RS emblem.

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The steering wheel of the Audi RS 4 – already equipped with an RS emblem 18 years ago.

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The single frame radiator grill with the three-dimensional honeycomb structure is clearly broader and more flatter. The quattro lettering and RS 4 emblem are situated on it.

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The radiator grill of the RS 4 first generation is smaller and equipped with different air inlets. Elements like the broad gage, the wheel wells and the rear are still designed in a similar fashion.

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Audi RS 4 Avant
Audi MediaCenter

Audi RS 4 Avant

Audi Sport GmbH celebrates the world debut of the new Audi RS 4 Avant (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 8.8; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 200-199) at the IAA 2017. It combines high performance with tremendous everyday usability. Its 2.9 TFSI engine with 331 kW (450 hp) and 600 Nm of torque makes it the sporty vanguard of the A4 family. The standard quattro drive distributes the power of the V6 biturbo to all four wheels. Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 8.8 (26.7 US mpg) Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 200-199 (320.3)* (Figures on the fuel consumption and the CO2-emissions vary in case of given ranges depend...

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Consumption and emission figures of vehicles on this page:

Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 8.8; Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 200 – 199. Figures on the fuel consumption and the CO2-emissions vary in case of given ranges depending on the used combination of wheels/tires. // www.audi.de/DAT-Hinweis

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