The Audi RS4 has the same effect on other road-users as Dirty Harry did on criminals, asking with his lips curled in barely concealed revulsion: "Do you feel lucky, punk? Well do ya?" The answer was obviously no, in most cases, because as stupid and reckless as most Gauteng drivers are, they know that some cars are not to be messed with.
When I was a child, we weren’t allowed to watch age-restricted movies—my parents were pretty strict about this. Of course, whenever Dirty Harry videos were rented, my parents had no idea that my brother, my sister and I would all congregate in the lounge at some predetermined ungodly hour to watch detective Harry Callahan in action.
I can still remember my siblings arguing about what I should and shouldn’t watch—my brother (14 at the time) thought I (a seven-year-old) should watch whatever they watched, but my sister (16 at the time) thought I shouldn’t be allowed to watch the really violent stuff. I didn’t mind not watching the more violent flicks, but if they ever hinted at sending me to bed during a Dirty Harry movie, I would walk towards my parents’ bedroom and threaten to wake them up.
I don’t know what Clint Eastwood had against punks, but the last chase scene in most of the movies, where there was an exchange of gunfire resulting in him towering over the bad guy asking: “Do you feel lucky, punk?” in reference to whether he had in fact fired all the bullets in his .44 magnum revolver, would have us all on the edge of our seats.
Try as we might, there was no remembering if he had fired five or six shots and to the scruffy punk staring down the barrel of a gun that could very well drop an elephant, it was probably the scariest moment of his life.
The Audi RS4 has the same effect on other road-users as Dirty Harry did on criminals, asking with his lips curled in barely concealed revulsion: “Do you feel lucky, punk? Well do ya?”
The answer was obviously no, in most cases, because as stupid and reckless as most Gauteng drivers are, they know that some cars are not to be messed with.
The Audi RS4 is one such car. It’s the Dirty Harry of cars—only it looks much more menacing than Clint Eastwood ever did, even with his signature magnum in his hands.
The RS4 delivers the sort of performance that can only be described as opening up a can of whip-ass.
Perhaps I should put out a gushing alert now because my editor thinks I’m sometimes guilty of gushing about cars and I hate to admit that she might be on to something.
But how can I not gush about a V8 engine with such a hypnotically vicious sound? How can I not gush about the handling that makes you feel like the car has no limits? And how can I not gush about the acceleration that turns you into a performance slave who lives to see that rev counter needle getting closer and closer to the red zone?
I’m not gushing, okay! Especially not when you consider how many grown men have been reduced to slobbering fools when they set eyes on the RS4—few cars have elicited the sort of attention and emotion the RS4 has.
There was one thing that I was a bit disappointed about though. Inside and out, the car can easily be described as a quality vehicle with fit and finishings, upholstery and so on, all combining to make a monster of a car look very appealing and quite classy. But, why then are the front seats not electric? I know, it’s a small thing, but it’s a significant criticism because all cars in this price category (and below) have electric seats and, while I’m aware that the seats in the RS4 are specialist sports seats, Audi could have spent a few cents on this feature that much cheaper cars have.
On the subject of the seats, there’s an “S” button on the steering wheel (the same as the one in the Lambhorgini Gallardo), which when depressed puts the RS4 in to sports mode: the side bolsters on the driver’s seat tighten (as if they weren’t tight enough to begin with) to keep you perfectly in place and the engine’s roar is intensified to sound even more violent.
In its class it’s quicker than the M3 and while the C55 is quicker on the 0-100kph, the RS4 outperforms it upwards of 100kph, so calling it a class-leading car is no exaggeration.
So impressive is the RS4 that it has been compared with performance sedans above its class—namely the M5 and the E63 and I’ve read that it’s no slouch even with these big guns.
The RS4 is obviously equipped with all the necessary safety gizmos such as ABS, ESP, ASR and much more. And the Quattro system is set up with a 60/40 rear-biased torque split, which means that despite this being an all-wheel drive, 60% of the torque is transferred to the rear tyres.
Creature comforts such as a six-CD shuttle, dual-zone climatronic and much more are all standard and the sprinkling of aluminium inside, such as on the steering wheel, the gear knob and the pedals gives it a very fetching sportiness.
Ultimately, the RS4 lives up to the hype and delivers the sort of phenomenal performance and handling that puts it in a class of its own.
Model: Audi RS4
Price: R598 000
Engine: 4,2litre V8
Tech: 309kw, 430Nm
Top Speed: 250kph (governed), 0-100kph in 4,8s
Tank: 70 Litres
Services: 15 000km