RS 4 vs. The Esses (not the famous esses)


As you know by now, I am absolutley smitten with my RS 4. Small wonder, I know. Hell, my wife has suggested I put a cot in the garage so I can sleep with it. I considered it, but only for a minute.

So, today's post is precipitated by the occasion of some spirited urban driving. I spend most of my driving time on rural by-ways with a little small town drive time thrown in. I do get some expressway time, but with few exceptions, we just can't enjoy real high speed runs in the U.S.A.- well, not for long anyway.

So, I look for challenges in everyday driving that I haven't seen in the RS before. I mentally compare them with the results I've had with previous (and current) cars.

Yesterday, on my trip to and from a football game (American), I had the chance to test the RS on one of my favorite short-cuts to the stadium. There is a series of esses that are marked as 25 MPH turns because of their sharpness. It is literally a 90 degree right followed by a 90 degree left 200 feet later, followed by a 45 degree right, 45 degree left and a final 90 degree right. The entire sequence is less than a 1/4 mile in length. I'm very familiar with this set of turns, and know that 35 - 45 MPH is probably the best speed I've managed in previous vehicles.

A friend who goes to the games with me was along for the ride. He knows me (and my driving) well, and enjoys our sprints to the game. When we approached these turns, I saw him grab the door handle and smile a little. Just before entering the turn complex I passed a slower moving vehicle (3'er, it was) and downshifted for the first right. Because of the length of the stretch, the entire complex was accomplished in 2nd gear using engine braking and hard braking into the turn and accelerating out still in 2nd.

It was phenomenal. The 3'er made an abbreviated effort to keep up into the second turn, then just dissappeared in my mirror. My friend caught a look at the speedo going into the first 45 degree turn - at 55 - and exiting the 2nd 45 at almost 70. His response? "Holy $hit!!"

The lawyer-looking guy driving the BMW (330) caught up to us at the next light. He pulled up on the passenger side. His comment was " I didn't know an A4 was that fast". My buddy, started laughing and pointed to the RS 4 logo on the side and said "If you want to mess with this, you're gonna need an M5!"

We had a good laugh as we left him behind again.

The rest of the ride was uneventful, although the ability to accelerate and brake quickly in traffic maneuvers cannot be overstated when you are trying to get to the same place as 80,000 other people.

I did notice more than a few guys turning to look at the car. In fact, 4 guys who crossed between stopped traffic right in front of me stopped and literally stared at the car as they passed. Here in the states, RS 4's are even more rare than in Europe. I still haven't seen another one on the road.

Well, I just had to share...


You lucky sob! hehe I can only dream of owning an RS of any kind, let alone an RS4. Take good care of her.

We're supposed to be getting a "blemished" example at the shop any day now, I'm told that some test driver got overly ambitious with it and now AoA is donating it to us. Shame that we can't flog it but I'm content just to get the oppurtunity to work on one.

PC Valkyrie

Great write-up about your experience with the RS4. It's obvious to me how much you enjoy driving your car. This reminds me of my late night driving excursions in my C55 when I drive purely for the sake of driving at "enthusiastic" speeds.

With the quattro AWD and Dynamic Ride Control (active suspension), the RS4 should be easier to drive fast on the twisties than its RWD counterparts like the E46 M3 or W203 C55 AMG.

Great car you have there!