The final V8 RS4 isn't the most fondly recalled – good thing for those wanting to buy one, then…
By Matt Bird / Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Entirely justified though it very well might be, there has been a good deal of carping on about small Audi estates in the automotive media in recent years. The RS2 had its 25th anniversary last year, then in 2020 the first RS4 turned 20 and the famed B7 generation marked 15 years on sale. Combine that with the 40th anniversary of Quattro and the uberwagon adulation was as predictable as it was extensive.
One car has been excused the fanfare, though: the B8 RS4. Which, given it shares a glorious V8 with the car that preceded it and the butch good looks that have defined every fast Audi, seems a bit unfair. It's the last naturally-aspirated RS, after all, still looks great and combines the familiar Audi appeal elsewhere – lovely cabin, flawless automatic gearbox – that makes them such appealing everyday prospects.
Granted, there's no denying one or two problems. Where the previous B7 proved that a great fast Audi didn't require active this or dynamic that, the B8 ushered in a lot more configurable technology – to precious little discernible benefit. What was satisfying and rewarding became more synthetic and aloof, which was a difficult for some to deal with despite the similarities between B7 and B8. Avoiding too many options seems to be the key to a rewarding RS4, things like Dynamic Steering and the larger wheels. Easier said than done, granted, given how good it looked on big rims…
Moreover, such is the difference in collectability that it's now possible for RS4s comparable on mileage, but many years apart in age, to be available at similar money. And, for everyday use, the additional conveniences that come with a newer design might prove persuasive. After all, not every drive in a family estate is spent revelling in chassis balance or steering response. Sometimes you're stuck in roadworks, where having an automatic and a fathomable infotainment system are quite useful.
This one looks especially nice. It conflicts all previous advice – having both the 20-inch wheels and Dynamic Steering – but there are plenty more cars available. We're just suckers for Sepang Blue, and aim to avoid black wheels at all costs. As a car registered in 2015 it's a reasonably late B8, and has yet to breach 50,000 miles. As such, while this generation does kick off at around £25k now, this one will set you back £33,490 from Audi Newbury.
Sure, that money also accesses a mint condition B7 or a C63 AMG with even more power – and those cars are certainly not without merit – but given its talents the B8 seems unreasonably overlooked at the moment. Especially given that the car which replaced it was no great revelation – and swapped the V8 for something less memorable. For a combination of atmospheric V8, supreme quality, ample space and year-round traction (the fast Audi trademarks, basically) the B8 still ticks a lot of boxes. As something newer and more powerful than the B7 as well as less prohibitively expensive than an RS6, it has the makings of a great winter wagon.
AUDI RS4 (B8) | SPECIFICATION
Engine: 4,163cc, V8
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto,four-wheel drive
Power (hp): [email protected],800rpm
Torque (lb ft): [email protected],000rpm
MPG: 26.4 (NEDC combined)
First registered: 2015
Recorded mileage: 49,000
Price new: £54,925 (before options)
Yours for: £33,490
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