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2008 Audi RS 4

Overview
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2008 Audi RS 4 Review

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The 2008 Audi RS 4 is the German automaker's latest effort, especially in the U.S. market, to establish itself as a brand known for performance and exclusivity. The limited-production, high-tech RS 4, with its four-door sports-car attitude, fits perfectly with Audi's marketing philosophy that a commitment to racing and high performance will impress and attract more buyers to the regular production series of A4 models.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2008 Audi RS 4 offers the best of both worlds for anyone turned on by the guttural sound and performance of a highly-tuned V8 muscle car, but who also demands the sophisticated agility of a European sport sedan. All-wheel drive satisfies those who live in four-season climate zones and crave a high-performance sport sedan that does not have to hibernate during snowy winters.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2008 Audi RS 4 is definitely for the hardcore driving enthusiast willing to put up with a stiffer ride, snug-fitting sports seats and an engine that can, when provoked, sing louder than the stereo. Those who prefer looking sporty while riding smoothly will be better served by an S4 or A4.

What's New for 2008

SIRIUS satellite radio is made standard and there are two new packages. The Titanium Package adds titanium-colored 19-inch wheels, black grille and trim, black headliner and Piano Black inlays, and the Exclusive Package adds red leather seat centers, contrasting red piping and red stitching on the shift boot, hand brake and steering wheel.

Driving the RS 4

Driving Impressions The RS 4 is one of the best handling cars---with either two or four doors---we have driven recently. The DRC suspension, which controls pitch and roll via fluid transfer between...

diagonally-connected dampers that share a central reservoir, makes the RS 4 feel incredibly balanced no matter the speed or road conditions. At the same time, the ride, though firm, remains comfortable enough to not rattle your teeth. The combination of DRC and a sport-tuned all-wheel-drive system produces an incredible level of cornering grip that, in concert with the responsive and communicative steering, allows the driver to place the RS 4 exactly where desired, and the big disc brakes provide confident and impressive stopping power. The growl and responsiveness of the V8, however, is more like an American muscle car. Pushing the dash-mounted "S" button invokes the Sport Mode for an even louder exhaust note and quicker throttle response---the latter best suited for the track. Audi claims acceleration for zero to 60 miles per hour of 4.8 seconds, but that seems conservative.
Favorite Features

4.2-Liter FSI V8 Engine
The heart of the RS 4 is the high-revving 420-horsepower V8. It responds instantly to any degree of accelerator-pedal pressure in any part of its wide-ranging operating band. Adding to the rush of instant acceleration is an exhaust note that ranges from a low growl to a high-pitched wail as the engine works toward its redline at 8250 rpm.

Dynamic Ride Control (DRC)
The simple, but extremely effective, Dynamic Ride Control works better than many electronically-adjustable suspension setups in adapting to changing road conditions. It provides a firm ride that never seems to get caught out by dips, potholes or other irregularities in the road surface. The result is a car that responds with a high degree of precision in practically all driving situations.

2008 Audi RS 4 Details
Interior

Carbon fiber, aluminum and leather dominate the interior, with the steering wheel, shift knob and emergency brake handle covered in leather with grippy perforations. Thickly-bolstered Recaro sports seats, supportive but a bit snug, are covered in luxurious Nappa hide with embossed RS 4 logos in the upper backrest. The pedals, including a substantial-sized left footrest, feature aluminum accents. A stopwatch with lap timer function has been added to the standard full-color LCD display panel that dominates the center stack.

Exterior
2008 Audi RS 4 photo

The 2008 Audi RS 4 pushes the already-aggressive stance of regular production Audis, with boldly-contoured fender flares draped over seven-spoke 19-inch wheels that have, in comparison to the S4, been stretched farther apart by 1.5 inches in front and 1.9 inches in the rear. To save weight, the front fenders and hood are aluminum. Flared lower side sills enhance the effect of the 1.2-inch lower suspension height, the rear deck lid incorporates a spoiler lip that flows into the rear fender contours and aluminum-colored side mirrors are mounted on twin-stalk pedestals. Up front, the grille opening is basic black honeycomb discretely accented with narrow silver bright-work.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The list of standard equipment for the RS 4 includes a 420-horsepower 4.2-liter V8, six-speed manual transmission and permanent all-wheel drive. Other features include a 1.2-inch lower ride height, Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) suspension, 19 x 9.0-inch alloy wheels with 255/35 tires and large brakes that feature cross-drilled rotors and are cooled from ducts in the undertray. Standard equipment also includes dual-zone climate control, a 10-speaker audio system with six-disc in-dash CD changer and MP3 capability, multi-function steering wheel controls, 12-way power-adjustable leather Recaro sports seats with memory, rear parking sensors, power glass sunroof, five-function trip computer and heated windshield, headlamp washers and exterior mirrors. The safety items include dual-stage front airbags, seat-mounted side airbags, side-curtain airbags, tire pressure monitoring system, automatic self-leveling Bi-xenon headlamps and adaptive front lighting that pivots with the steering at certain speeds.

Optional Equipment

Since the RS 4 is marketed as an exclusive vehicle tailored for luxury sport sedan driving enthusiasts, the list of options is a short one. A Premium Package includes a DVD-based navigation system, Bose premium sound, HomeLink, Bluetooth phone preparation and heated rear seats. Other packages include the Titanium and Exclusive. Rear-seat side airbags are a stand-alone option. No-charge options allow for deletion of the sunroof and substituting brushed aluminum for the carbon fiber interior trim.

Under the Hood

The RS 4 is powered by a high-performance, normally-aspirated version of the 4.2-liter V8 used in the A6, A8, and Q7. The four-valve, all-aluminum engine features FSI direct gasoline injection, delivers a maximum of 317 pound-feet of torque at 5500 rpm, with 90 percent of that torque available between 2250 and 7600 rpm, and makes 420 horsepower at 7800 rpm. It thus achieves the traditional high-performance target of 100 horsepower per liter, and gives the RS 4 a weight-to-power ratio of just 10.6 pounds per horsepower.

4.2-liter V8
420 horsepower @ 7800 rpm
317 lb.-ft. of torque @ 6000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/20

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2008 Audi RS 4 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.8
Out of 10

Based on 18 Ratings for the 2007 - 2008 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.6/10
    Quality
    9.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.8/10
    Performance
    10.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.6/10
    Styling
    9.9/10

This car is an all weather rocket

By on Saturday, December 17, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Engine, sound, 4 wheel drive"

Cons: "Gas mileage, rear seat room"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I wish I could keep it forever, but at some point, the maintenance will likely get ugly. Overall, this car is unmatched for the money. I've had an e46 m3 and driven many 911s and m5s, but the overall package of this car is unbeatable. My m3 was more fun on the track, but I'm not on the track 99.9 percent of the time. All weather stability, the best sound you can ask for, and a big high revving v8 is sublime. I would highly recommend."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Very practical sports car

By on Monday, October 31, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Acceleration, Quattro traction, Exhaust, Safety"

Cons: "Limited leg room in the back seat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The RS4 is very responsive and powerful yet it can be driven year round in Colorado. It is a fun car to drive in the city or in the mountains. The unassuming appearance turns heads when accelerating due to the quick start and awesome stock exhaust sound. In addition, the Quattro traction, safety features, four doors and large trunk make it a practical family sports car."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Not just a flash in the pan!

By on Sunday, August 15, 2010

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"I have driven my RS4 90,000 miles. In that amount of time, I became very familiar with my car. The RS4 has had a few minor gliches along the way, one just recently corrected with the engine needing a new Intake Manifold. I bought the extended warranty and most was covered. The engine uses oil. The same engine in the R8 also uses oil. You can expect to add a quart about every 7 to 8K miles. For a high reving normally aspirated engine, I feel that is no big deal. The Quattro has been wonderful, in any weather the car tracks straight and tru. I have switched to All season sport tires to make it a machine for ice and snow. The famous Audi interior is still as sharp today as when it was new. The cornering and acceleration as with all the mechanics are now back to 100%. I've replaced the exhaust with a full Milltek custom sport exhaust system that has no resonators but does have the Sport Valves like the OEM system. Along with a Level II Revo Sport ECU computer upgrade, the car now pulls somewhere above 450 to 460 HP. The power band seems endless and the 8400RPM redline is incredible. I would say my car could easily pass the 160 MPH mark and could easily reach a 180 MPH top speed. I've had it since it was new, and it still turns heads, and it's still just as fun to drive now as it was when I picked it up. Audi is reaching their stride in the quality and performance of their cars. My next car will be another Product of Audi GmbH, the RS5. That will sit in the garage next to my 5.2L V-10 R8. So many cars and so little garage space!"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Audi is at the top of their game!

By on Sunday, May 02, 2010

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"I first purchased an Audi tt years ago when they increased the power. As I developed a love for the Audi brand, the RS4 was announced. Without even a test drive, I ordered one there and then. It took a year and a half before the car made it to Oklahoma. It was well worth the wait. No other car can touch me in quickness, speed nor comfort. With a top speed at 136 mph few cars can keep up. Since those first days I've installed sport cats and exhaust system that allows the V8 to scream. Now with 80k miles, it's the best car I've owned or driven. That is unless of course, you count my Audi R8. But thats a whole different review."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Excellent vehicle

By on Thursday, March 25, 2010

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"The RS4 is a beast. Replaced a V8 S4 with it, and it's not even close. RS4 pulls harder, sounds better, handles better, more comfort...it has it all. Exhaust note is killer, and it's got that high performance "whine" to the engine note. One observer said it sounded like "an F1 car." Can't get this car to slip on dry pavement. The Quattro just sticks to the road. Interior is typical high quality that you expect from Audi. Audi service has been excellent- I got this car in 12/06, so I have the 48K/4 yr free maintainance. Only issue is I had to replace the front brakes and rotors at 25,000 miles, which is more due to the way I drive than a problem with the design. Had to have it aligned a couple of times, which is pricey. Nice to have four tires all the same size- you can rotate freely and reduce wear, unlike an M3, where the front and rears are of different size. Still have the OEM Michelin Pilot Sport 2's after 32,000 miles (I strongly recommend NitroFill for tire wear and performance). Better exhaust note than the V8 M3, which is my wife's car. M3 is a touch quicker, and more fun to drive, but for trips, the RS4 is clearly superior in comfort and stowage space, as well as being a better everyday driver. This is just a fantastic automobile, and Audi afforded all the owners a bit of exclusivity with the limited two year production run, as well as bringing only 1500 RS4's to North America. This car will keep me in the Audi brand for as long as I drive performance vehicles. It's a stellar vehicle."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

RS4: The Sedan Elite

By on Tuesday, October 06, 2009

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"The RS4 is just an incredible car. I've had this car for about 2 years now and it just never gets old. The acceleration thrusts you back into the seat as you approach the redline. From the factory the stock exhaust sounds amazing in S mode. The car looks amazing and I often get compliments and nods of approval from both the young and the old. The car has been extremely reliable and gets good gas mileage for a high revving car with 420hp. I average right around 20mpg city/highway. The all wheel drive system keeps you safe and gives you confidence during inclement weather. This is a true sports sedan, I can drop the kids off to daycare and then have some fun on the way to work. The interior appointments are very classy and the sport seats are comfy and supportive. I can't really say enough about this car. If you are considering this car for purchase, test drive it - without the salesperson. Also, you should know that most of the fun happens at over 4000rpm...Happy motoring."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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