Tuesday, January 9, 2007

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The RS 4 Cabriolet has numerous features to distinguish it from the standard model. Most notably, the Cabriolet and Avant have been subjected to a rigorous regime of weight reduction measures to make sure that they are equally sporty.

The 420 bhp V8 engine transforms the open-top RS 4 into a veritable sports car that is also ideal for relaxed cruising. Visually, the Cabriolet is recognizable at first glance as a member of the RS 4 family. The rhombus-pattern single-frame grille, the additional air outlets and the new RS 4 wheels lend the open-top four-seater a highly dynamic flavor.

Extensive use of carbon fiber and aluminum for interior trim provide a sporting touch, which the 'engine start' button further enhances. Inside, the seats are the main feature distinguishing the RS 4 Cabriolet from the Avant and saloon. The Cabriolet is equipped with leather-upholstered sports seats, which provide very good support but also take the higher comfort requirements of Cabriolet drivers into account. RS bucket seats are available as an option.

The electro-hydraulic hood of the RS 4 Cabriolet can be opened entirely automatically in 21 seconds. The roof can be operated at up to speeds of 20 mph. This makes it possible to open or close the roof when out and about in town, for instance, or before parking the car. The glass rear window is heated. This guarantees a clear view to the rear in all weather. New fabrics of a higher material density and an additional cushioned mat around the C-post keep the noise level inside the car with the hood almost on a par with the saloon. As with the saloon and Avant, the ride height of the Cabriolet has been lowered by 30 millimeters compared with the A4 Cabriolet. This emphasizes the car's sporty appearance.

Monday, January 8, 2007

One of the best cars to buy on the market today. The RS4, all wheel drive and 420hp

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Make a all wheel drive car, with looks and sex appeal, 420 hp and a 8250 redline, one of the best built v8's engines on the market and you have the RS4. Tipping the scales at just under 4,000 pounds, the new RS4 is no bantamweight, but 90 percent of its torque starts at only 2200 rpm.

The RS4 disguises its weight and defies physics like an Airbus A380 in a Weight Watchers-meets-Houdini act that has much to do with the steering. It’s quite a bit quicker than that of the plain-Jane S4 but remains extremely speed variable. It’s odd to have effortless steering when parking but a tight, heavy rack at speed. It feels a tad fabricated, but hey, it certainly works. Most of the Audi’s tremendous ground covering ability is a result of, as usual, mechanical innovation, coupled with a little dose of expensive electronic trickery.

Take the suspension, for example, in which the dampers of each corner are diagonally connected. Because they share the same reservoir, the rear of the car is able to predict what’s coming next based on the displacement of fluid from the front. The system is fully mechanical and all but eliminates pitch and roll. It’s essentially identical to the Kinetic systems that have been outlawed in WRC competition due to their effectiveness.

The suspension is just one example of how a car that dangles most of its massive V8 ahead of the front axle line manages to throw its weight around like a rear-wheel driver — the revised, rear-biased (40F/60R) TORSEN Quattro system is the other big mechanical reason. The rear bias seems to be exactly what the doctor ordered to cure terminal understeer.

As great as the DSG is, it doesn’t make an appearance in the six-speed RS4, which should make stick-shift lovers happy. The only electronic interference with a damn good time, the ESP, has a two-stage defeat; stage one kills the traction control only, and stage two kills the stability control as well.

There’s a reason these things weigh so much. Like all new Audi's, the RS4 is downright lavish inside. With the “S” button off, it’s reasonably quiet too. Because of American crash regulations, we don’t get the cool, alloy-trimmed D-shaped steering wheel or the Konig bucket seats. (some excerpts are copied from sport compact car web).

From personal experience, I drive a 2006 S4 the model below the RS4, and I can vouch that the fit and finish of these vehicles are top notch. For the 2008 year, the price will come down considerably for the RS4 and that will finally make it one of the most sought after vehicles for the new year.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

AUDI RS4 vs. S4

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There is a lot of mixed emotions when the new RS4 came out over here in the U.S. Most of us AUDI enthusiast begged for the debut years ago, but after many years of answers that circled around the fact that it was going to stay in Europe, many of us purchased S4's thinking we had the top of the line A models. Well in 2006, the RS4 debuted, a cool $20,000 more than what the S4's were priced at. But is there really that much difference? I think that there is not enough difference to warrant that kind of price difference.
Both have awd, both come with the similar comforts (navi, bose, bluetooth, etc.), and both have V8's, but the RS4 is slightly quicker due to the revised FSI engine/fuel management system that the S4's lack. My question is how can AUDI buid two similar looking vehicles with similar engines and then set such a price gap? I think they should do away with the S line altogether and just keep the gap between the A4 model and the RS4, just like they should do the same with the A6 models. The closest competitiors to the RS4 and S4 models are the AMG models for Mercedes and the M lineup by BMW. In the quater mile test the RS4 clocks in at a respectable 12.8, and the S4 comes in about a second or slightly less depending on which magazine you read. For that extra second I think most rational buyers will purchase the S4 models, but for those enthusiast like me every tick counts. Audi builds great cars, but they should spread out the model lineups a little better to make each model like the A4, S4, or the RS4 not compete with each other.