Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Supercar in Any Guise

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Supercar in Any Guise

Article excerpt

Byline: By Edward Stephens

Supercars come in all shapes and sizes but few are as discreet as the new Audi RS4. Unless, that is, it's an RS4 in Imola yellow, which is anything but discreet.

Select any other colour and the chances are that only the enthusiasts will pick you out in a line of traffic. So in many ways, if you are lucky enough to own one of these cars, this is the colour to select ( if only to highlight to everyone else your impeccable taste on choosing one of the great cars on the road today.

As soon as you slip behind the wheel, there are a number of clues to what is in store for you.

For starters, you sit in figure-hugging bucket seats which have button- operated side and thigh panels which come in to hug you closely when you decide to corner your car quicker than normal.

Then there is the starter button, located on the transmission tunnel. Key starts are obviously for wimps and this is not a car designed for the midweek shopping run.

Push the button and a naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 bursts into life like a growling lion you have just disturbed from his slumbers by falling over him in the African bush.

And if you are not sensible with it, this pounds 50,000 powerhouse from Audi could be just as dangerous.

For this model was developed from race car technology thanks to Audi's dramatic success on the track with FSI direct petrol injection.

Despite the absence of a turbo charger, the RS4 will whisk you to 62mph in just 4.8 seconds and to 124mph in just 16.6 seconds.

But while this is performance to rival the best in the world, the power is delivered in such a way that the RS4 always feels stable and you always feel totally in control.

Putting 420bhp on the road through one axle can lead to all sorts of handling problems, but the four-wheel-drive of the Audi quattro system tames the power and gives you dynamic performance with no theatricals.

The RS4 is beautifully engineered. It is taut, light to handle and has a super slick six-speed gearbox which makes it a delight to drive. And if you find it's not exciting enough ( are you mad? ( you can push the destruct, sorry Sport, button which sharpens up the throttle response even more and alters the electronic stability programme so it intervenes later and for less time. …

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