Recently I was lucky enough to find myself in beautiful Sonoma, California at the new Audi Forum located at the Infineon Raceway. While there for Audi Product training, I was introduced to one of the most stunning examples of Audi engineering, the RS4. At first glance the RS4 appeared to be only a more refined version of the A4 with huge fender flares, eloquently placed RS4 badging and enormous brakes all the way around.
As I studied the RS4 in more detail it became very clear this was no ordinary four-door sedan. With its race inspired engine technology taken from the Lemans Champion R8, it produces a gripping 420 horse power to all four wheels. I knew there was only one way to see what this vehicle was made of.
After putting my helmet on, I opened the door and sat inside. Situating myself into the proper seating position, I felt the interior wrap around me. With the Recaro leather seats at my back and switchblade Audi key in my hand I was definitely ready.
I placed my foot on the aluminum clutch pedal and felt the resistance, knowing this clutch was there to hold up to some serious power. With the key in the ignition I turned my wrist and then it happened, the beautiful sound of eight cylinders dancing to the rhythmic deep tone of the dual exhaust underneath my seat. The smile on my face was ear to ear and I was off down the first stretch of the Infinion Race Track. Not knowing what to expect, I took the first swooping uphill left turn with caution. This car was taking a corner at 55 miles an hour without any body roll or tire noise and I knew at that moment the RS4 would be the one in control.
Racing into the second corner at great pace, I hit the brakes and did they ever work! This corner was considerably steeper but the RS4 offered no hesitation. With no down shifting the vehicle was almost stopped before coming into the turn from speeds of over 65 miles per hour in what felt like no distance at all. By this time I was into the fifth right hand corner, only now was I getting a true feeling for what a monster the RS4 was and why Audi had put such detail into things like the ceramic coated engine manifold, carbon fiber interior trim, aluminum hood, fenders and the trunk bonnet. The RS4 was meant to be driven.
I pushed through this very steep right hand corner with the Quattro drive train harnessing the brute power from the engine. I knew I was in good hands and felt in complete control knowing I could do this in the dry, wet or even a snow covered track (with appropriate winter tires mounted, of course). Continuing on with great confidence my speeds increased and my skill behind the wheel of the RS4 did as well. As our first dance around the beautiful course came to an end I was not fatigued at all and neither was the RS4, as a matter of fact it was just getting warmed up.
know now, after proper introduction the first time I had approached the RS4 I was in great disillusion of what power it truly possessed. To come to grips with the RS4′s true potential, time has to be spent behind the wheel and a relationship has to built with the machine.
As for me, there will be the many endless laps spent and a great bond built with the RS4 throughout the rolling hills of Infineon Raceway and beyond.
I took these photographs to capture what will be the last of a brand new B7 RS4. I will continue to showcase original content in order to be your top source for Portland Oregon Audi.