An absolutely stunning Luxury car, with its 420-hp peak in full bloom at 7800 rpm, the RS 4 is blessed with an engine that is flexible and rev happy. That brain-warping noise isn't a false pretense. As you'd expect, the RS4 is by no means slow--60 mph comes up in 4.8 seconds--and yet, it never delivers that insane, punchy rush of fast Audis past. What it does serve up is the innately more defined, linear, and lag-free powerband of an old-school, small-block sports car. Although low-end grunt is brawny and a through-the-roof redline run can make your toes curl, the V-8's most impressive quality is midrange torque. Lazy, three-grand shove comes cheap and easy all day long, even though the RS4 is just as happy ripping its tach needle off the post.With all that leather and carbon-fiber trim, the Audi RS 4 looks decidedly sporty inside. But despite the overtly athletic nature of the car -- and the many strategies to reduce its weight -- the interior is replete with modern gadgets. Standard equipment includes a sunroof, a lap timer, rear Parktronic, and heated front seats. Our car had the optional Premium package that adds a navigation system, a 10-speaker Bose/Audi Symphony stereo system with a CD changer in the glove box, and heated rear seatsThe RS4's all-wheel-drive system also departs from tradition. Standard Quattro practice usually favors a 50/50 front/rear torque split, but here, a 40/60 split is meant to grant the Audi more Mercedes- and BMW-fighting ammunition. A new version of the S4's Torsen center differential also allows up to 100 percent of the engine's torque to go to either axle if needed. The end goal, Audi claims, was to marry the chassis balance and steering feel of a rear-wheel-drive car with the grip and idiot-proof nature of all-wheel drive.
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