As if the performance-oriented S4 wasn’t enough, Audi adds the all-new RS4 for 2007, offering sports car performance in the company’s tried-and-true sedan model. The RS4 is strictly a four-door sedan, while the S4 continues to be offered as a sedan, four-door Avant (wagon) and two-door cabriolet. The cabriolet model, which was a carryover design from 2005 to 2006 when the rest of the line-up was redesigned, now sports the same styling as its A4/S4 siblings, and features a new acoustic top to reduce noise.
Changes to the S4 sedan include more aggressive bumper design. Other S4 line-up changes include a redesigned Symphony radio with MP3 capability, a larger screen and deletion of the cassette player; a new 18-inch wheel pattern; standard sunroof; increased Alcantara interior colour combinations; and glossy black-painted calipers.
All S4 models use a 4.2-litre V8 with six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic with Tiptronic. The RS4 also uses a 4.2-litre, but with a rating of 420 hp, and mated exclusively to a six-speed manual. The RS4 shares its roof and front doors with the A4, but features an exclusive front end, flared wheel wells and integrated spoiler.
Features on the S4 sedan include 18-inch alloy wheels, S4-tuned sport suspension, dual climate control, bi-Xenon adaptive self-levelling headlamps with washers, cruise control, power sunroof, heated leather power-adjustable Recaro sport seats, heated mirrors, folding rear seatback with pass-through and ski sack, three-spoke leather-wrapped multifunction wheel, satellite radio preparation, speed-sensitive power steering, and in-dash six-CD Audi Symphony stereo. The S4 Avant adds aluminum roof rails.
The S4 Cabriolet adds a master switch that lowers all windows at the same time and an active rollover protection system.
The RS4 adds 19-inch alloy wheels, RS-specific exterior design features, parking system, 60/40 split folding rear seat, carbon fibre interior trim, three-spoke RS steering wheel, and tire pressure monitoring system.
The S4’s premium over the regular A4 line-up has always made it more of a serious enthusiast’s car; the extra step up to the RS4’s price will be even more so, and Audi expects to import only about 100 vehicles for the Canadian market. But it’s a screamer – it’s even faster than the S6 – it’s nimble, and its exclusivity will be a plus for German sport fans.