|R8 aside, no other recent Audi gets under your skin like this one|
The RS4 differed from the regular A4, and the also-V8 but yawningly inert S4, in having flared-out wheelarches, aluminium front wings and an aluminium bonnet. Initially it came as a saloon only but an Avant soon followed, then a rather wobbly cabriolet that is perhaps best forgotten.
The RS4’s drivers’ car credentials were cemented by there being just one transmission, a six-speed manual, while a Sport button added to the appeal, sharpening the throttle response and opening bypass valves in the exhaust to release a savage onslaught of combustive percussion.
If the RS4 you’re looking at has the optional Sport pack, it will sit a little lower and ride more firmly. Some prefer it, others favour the standard set-up. This pack also brings front seats whose side bolsters move inwards when the Sport button is pressed, clamping you in place and squeezing your lunch. Given that the standard seats’ bolsters are manually adjustable anyway, this is a slightly annoying gimmick. The standard steering wheel is disappointing, too, the aluminium-look lower part of its rim actually consisting of two pieces of ill-fitting plastic, but a better quality carbonfibre-look alternative was an option.
Don’t worry too much about the steering wheel, though. The RS4 has far deeper attributes to enjoy. This side of an R8 (the cheaper version of which uses the same engine), no other recent Audi gets under your skin quite like this one.