Audi RS 4 B7 Typ 8E quattro
|Predecessor||Audi B5 RS 4|
|Successor||Audi B8 RS 4|
|Body style||4-door saloon/sedan, 5-door Avant (estate/wagon), 2-door Cabriolet|
|Platform||Volkswagen Group B7|
|Engine||4.2 L V8 FSI 2 × DOHC|
|Transmission||6-speed Getrag manual|
|Wheelbase||2,648 mm (104.3 in), Cabrio: 2,650 mm (104.3 in)|
|Length||4,589 mm (180.7 in), Cabrio: 4,555 mm (179.3 in)|
|Width||1,816 mm (71.5 in), Cabrio: 1,814 mm (71.4 in)|
|Height||1,415 mm (55.7 in),Cabrio: 1,391 mm (54.8 in)|
|Kerb weight||saloon: 1,650–1,680 kg (3,638–3,704 lb), Avant: 1,710 kg (3,770 lb), Cabrio: 1,845 kg (4,068 lb)|
|Related||Audi B7 A4 Audi B7 S4 SEAT Exeo|
An Imola Yellow RS 4 saloon came down a replica of a ski jump, then rotated several times on an ice rink, before coming to rest in the centre of the ice. After several minutes to allow the assembled media and guests to examine the car, the RS 4 climbed the ski jump and parked near the top. The ski jump was a homage to an Audi commercial from 1986; where an Audi climbed a ski jump in Finland to showcase its superior traction due to Audi's trademark quattro drivetrain.
The RS 4 became available to European customers in mid 2006. It was introduced at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in January, and arrived in June 2006 in North America. The production run of the B7 RS 4 was 2006 to 2008 inclusive, although only 2007 and 2008 model year were sold in the United States. To date, approximately 10,000 B7 RS 4s have been built, of which around 2,500 are in the USA.
The B7 RS 4 Cabriolet, available in Europe from late 2006 to 2008, was made available as a model year 2008 vehicle in the USA.
Audi factory numbers indicate that the B7 RS 4 saloon can accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour (0 to 62.1 mph) in 4.8 seconds, and arrive at 0 to 200 kilometres per hour (0 to 124.3 mph) in 16.6 seconds. Most European magazines recorded results in line with the November 2009 comparison of "ultimate sedans", in Road & Track, which recorded a 0 to 60 time of 4.5 seconds. This is consistent with the pattern of conservatism that is usually found in Audi's official performance numbers. For the Avant, 0 to 100 kilometres per hour (0 to 62.1 mph) is reached in 4.9 seconds. Top speed for all variants is "officially" electronically limited to 250 kilometres per hour (155.3 mph), though some owners have reported that the speed limiter is rather "liberal", conforming to the pattern of previous Audi "RS" cars, with genuine top speeds of 270 kilometres per hour (170 mph) being recorded.
|0-60 mph |
|Fuel Economy |
|Road Tax |
|4.2 FSI Petrol||414||4.6||20||42||£515||4,589|
B7 bodywork and styling
The B7 RS 4 is an almost complete departure from previous Audi "RS" cars, as it was initially available as a four-door five-seat saloon/sedan; with a five-door five-seat Avant (estate/wagon), and two-door four-seat Cabriolet (convertible) versions arriving later. Only the Audi RS 6 had taken this similar route (saloon and Avant) before; the previous RS 4 and RS 2 were available exclusively as Avants.
Constructed from fully galvanised steel in a monocoque (unitary/unibody) design, the B7 RS 4 uses lightweight aluminium for its front wings (fenders) and bonnet (hood). The saloon version features a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.31, from a frontal area of 2.17 m2.
Like its B5 predecessor, visually, the B7 RS 4 differs from its related B7 S4, by having even wider flared front and rear wheel arches (fenders), to allow for a wider axle track. Over the B7 A4, it also includes two larger frontal side air intake (for the two additional side-mounted coolant radiators). The trim on the saloon and roof rails on the estate are chrome as standard but can also be found in black with the addition of the Optic Pack which includes black front grill, all exterior trim and black roof rails on the estate version. The B7 RS 4 also includes an optional adaptive headlights to complement the standard "Xenon Plus"(Bi-Xenon arc) High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps, which swivel around corners in conjunction with steering wheel movements. Also standard are daytime running lights (DRLs),found within the main headlamp housings, identical to its related B7 A4 and S4, and use a conventional tungsten filament bulb. An acoustic parking system with front and rear sensors is also standard fitment. Unique carbon fibre interior trims, along with a lap timer within the central Driver Information System (DIS), aluminium pedal caps and footrest,and RS 4 logos complete the look.
In the saloon, luggage space, measured according to the VDA 'block method' is 460 litres (16.2 cu ft) with the rear seats in the upright position and 720 to 833 litres (25.4 to 29.4 cu ft) with the seats folded flat (dependent on specification). For the Avant, 442 litres (15.6 cu ft) is available with the seats upright (under the retractable load cover), and 1,354 litres (47.8 cu ft) being available with the rear seats folded flat (loaded to the roofline). Kerb weight of the saloon variant starts at 1,650 kilograms (3,638 lb (dependent on specification).
A BOSE ten-speaker sound system, with 190 watt output and automatic dynamic noise compensation (which replaces the 'GALA' found on earlier units), with "Concert II" radio and single CD player is standard in car entertainment (ICE) equipment. Factory fitted ICE options to complement the standard BOSE include the "Symphony II"system which features twin radio tuners, a single-slot loading six-CD changer and a cassette player all integrated into a double-DIN sized unit. Navigation option is the RNS-E "Audi Navigation System plus" DVD-ROM GPS satellite navigation, which includes a folding widescreen 6.5-inch screen, two SD-memory card readers, and MMI-like logic control.
B7 interior safety
To achieve maximum body stiffness with controlled deformation crumple zones, the B7 RS 4 features laser beam welding of major seams of the high-strength steel body shell, which helps improve overall structural rigidity, particularly in the "passenger cell", over traditional spot welding methods.
Two-stage driver and front seat passenger frontal airbags are standard,as is Audi's "sideguard" head protection curtain airbag system. This latter system completely covers all of the side windows, from the front 'A pillar' to the rear "C-" or "D pillars". The body-hugging Recaro shell-type RS race bucket seats (not available in North American markets), complete with electrically inflatable upper and lower side bolsters and adjustable lumbar support, are constructed so as not to need lower side airbags to comply with European crash safety standards.In North America, the only front seats available are the more traditional Recaro seats (identical to those in the B6 and B7 S4), which include lower side airbags; these were also available as a no-cost option in other markets. Lower side airbags are optional for the standard-fit Recaro rear seats. Front, and outer rear seatbelts include pyrotechnic belt pretensioners, whilst all belts include an excess load limit function.
The engine of the B7 RS 4 is started by an "Engine Start" button on the centre console and is based on the existing all-alloy 4.2 V8 from the B6 S4, and shares many parts, and Fuel Stratified Injection, with the 4.2 FSI V8 engine in the Q7. The engine includes new cylinder block construction, and is a highly reworked, high-revving variant (redline at 8,000 rpm; rev limit of 8,250 rpm).
The parts code and version is 079.D and the identification code is BNS.
The engine has increased crankcase breathing, a low-pressure fuel return system and a baffled oil sump, to prevent engine lubricant cavitation at high engine speeds and high-G cornering. It has four valves per cylinder (instead of five on the earlier variant) and two overhead camshafts on each cylinder bank (so it is 'quad cam') and these are driven by roller chains with variable valve timing for both inlet and exhaust camshafts, along with a cast magnesium alloy fixed tract length intake manifold with adjustable tumble flaps (to improve low engine speed combustion). On 98 RON (93 AKI) Super-Unleaded petrol it produces 309 kilowatts (420 PS; 414 bhp) at 7,800 rpm giving it a specific power output of 74.2 kW (100.9 PS; 99.5 bhp) per litre. Based on a kerb weight of 1,680 kilograms (3,704 lb), this results in a power-to-weight ratio of 184 watts per kilogram. This engine also produces 430 newton metres (317 lbf·ft) of torque at 5,500 rpm, 90 percent of the total torque being available between 2,250 and 7,600 rpm. (Using lower 95 RON (91 AKI) standard unleaded fuel slightly reduces engine output, and therefore performance, and slightly worsens fuel economy). Exhaust gas escapes through two '4-into-2-into-1' fan-branch alloy steel exhaust manifolds and four high-flow metallic sports catalytic converters into twin oval tail pipes with integral dynamic silencer/muffler valves. The engine is controlled by two Bosch DI-Motronic MED 9.1 electronic engine control units (working as 'master' and 'slave', because of the high-revving nature of the engine), and uses Bosch 'E-Gas'electronic throttle control (also known as drive by wire), comprising throttle device, accelerator-pedal module, and ECU. The ignition system uses eight individual single-spark coils, using mapped direct ignition, with Bosch single iridium electrode or NGK triple-electrode long-life spark plugs. Ignition timing is monitored with the aid of four knock sensors. The engine complies with the Euro4 European emission standards. The saloon version produces 322-329 grams of CO2 per kilometre (g/km), and the Avant starts from 324 g/km.
A six-speed Getrag manual gearbox (parts code: 0A3, identification codes: HLD, JHM) is the only transmission available. The gear ratios are 1st: 3.667, 2nd: 2.211, 3rd: 1.520, 4th: 1.133, 5th: 0.919, 6th: 0.778.
The Audi B7 RS 4 was the only "RS" Audi powered by a naturally aspirated engine until the Audi RS5 was presented at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. The RS5 uses a more powerful variant of the RS 4's V8 engine which makes 331 kW(444 hp), with improvements like oil-on-demand and different cylinder head design to reduce carbon fouling. The RS5 also dropped the Getrag 6-speed manual in favour of a 7-speed "S tronic" dual clutch semi-automatic.
Another focus of the B7 RS 4 was on the introduction of the latest development of Audi's 'trademark' quattro permanent four-wheel drive system. This utilised the 'third generation' asymmetric/dynamicTorsen T-3 'automatic torque biasing' (ATB) centre differential, featuring a 'default' 40:60 front-to-rear torque split under normal conditions. Audi stressed that this would result in a more neutral response in corners, and a more dynamic driving experience. Also, a more aggressive Torque Bias Ratio (TBR) was used, and set to 4:1, as opposed to 2:1 (and later variants 3:1 TBR) on standard A4.That means that one side of the differential can handle up to 80%, while the other side would have to only handle 20% of applied torque.
Front and rear axle differentials are conventional "open" types, with a final drive ratio of 4.111.
Traction is assisted by way of Audi's "Electronic Differential Lock" (EDL), which is a specific function of the Robert Bosch GmbH ESP 8.0 Electronic Stability Programme system. EDL monitors the rotational speeds of the left and right wheels across an individual axle, and if one wheel should rotate faster than the other (exceeding the pre-defined parameters), indicating loss of traction, or "wheel spin" on one wheel, the EDL applies the brakes to that individual spinning wheel and thus results in transferring torque across the open differential to the wheel on the other side deemed to have grip, hence traction. Also included in the ESP 8.0 is "Anti Slip Regulation" (ASR)—Audi's name for Traction Control System.
The result of all these features is that under normal circumstances (driving straight on dry or even wet road surfaces) the car never loses traction, even when accelerating at full throttle in the first gear.
B7 suspension and steering
The B7 RS 4 also incorporates Audi's "Dynamic Ride Control" (DRC)"Sports Suspension mechanism. The dampers (shock absorbers) are made for Audi by KW, and central reservoirs/valves made by KYB (Kayaba). In the RS 4 suspension, a fluid hydraulic linkage between diagonally opposing front and rear suspension dampers (left front to right rear, and vice-versa) is used to counteract vehicle pitch and roll Lightweight magnesium/aluminium alloy multi-link suspension arms (four arm with virtual steering axis up front, and trapezoidal arm with unequal length track control arms at the rear) locate each hub/brake/roadwheel assembly in a controllable fashion, whilst minimising unsprung masses. Lightweight hollow tubular anti-roll bars are standard front and rear. Compared to standard B7 A4 models, the RS 4 features a 30 millimetres (1.2 in) lower ride height An optional "Sports Suspension Plus"lowers the car by a further 10 millimetres (0.4 in), and marginally further stiffens the damper rates.
Axle track has also been increased over standard A4s; the front widened by 37 millimetres (1.5 in) to 1,559 millimetres (61.4 in)and the rear by 47 millimetres (1.9 in) to 1,569 millimetres (61.8 in)
Speed sensitive "servotronic variable-assistance electro-hydraulic power assisted steering (PAS) is controlled from a compact flat-bottomed steering wheel, finished in perforated leather with mock-aluminium trim. The steering rack ratio is 13.1:1, and the turning circle is 11.1 metres (36.42 ft)
B7 brakes, wheels and tyres
The standard brakeson the RS 4 are of two-piece construction. The cast iron discs are cross-drilled and radially ventilated and float on aluminium alloy disc hubs. The two-piece disc construction reduces unsprung mass and also reduces the transmission of heat generated by the brakes to the wheel bearings.
The front discs are 365 millimetres (14.4 in) in diameter and 34 millimetres (1.34 in) thick, and use gloss black Brembo monoblock eight-opposed-piston fixed calipers. These and the transmission are supplied with a cooling airflow directed from NACA ducts located in the engine front undertray.
The rear brakesare drilled, vented and floating 324 millimetres (12.8 in) by 22 millimetres (0.87 in) iron discs, with gloss black Lucas-Girling TRW single piston floating calipers with an integrated mechanical handbrake mechanism.
A lighter, and higher performing, "Audi ceramic" front brake system was an option from 2007 model year onwards (and only with 19 inch wheels). It comprised cross-drilled, radially vented and floating Carbon fibre-reinforced Silicon Carbide (C/SiC) composite SGL Carbon discs, 380 millimetres (15.0 in) diameter and 38 millimetres (1.50 in) thick, with grey Brembo monoblock six-opposed-piston fixed aluminium alloy calipers. The discs have a much greater tolerance to thermal differences, virtually eliminating brake fade, and have a duration of five times greater than conventional iron discs. The ceramic brakes also reduce unsprung mass by around 50% and thereby improve steering response and overall handling.
A specifically 'tuned' "sport-biased" Bosch ESP 8.0 Electronic Stability Programme is standard, and includes Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), and Brake Assist (BA). This ESP system has three user-selectable settings: the standard default full protection mode, increased slip mode (which turns off the ASR and EDL), and ESP fully off. A useful feature of the ESP 8.0 is 'disc wiping', whereby in wet weather the ESP system applies the brakes frequently but momentarily. This removes water from the disc and pad surfaces, and helps to maintain the braking performance of dry weather. This operation is undetectable by the driver.
In the UK and Japan, the standard wheels are 19 inch alloy wheels (9Jx19" ET29 "7-arm double spoke") with 255/35 ZR19 96Y XL (eXtraLoad) high performance tyres. This 19" wheel and tyre package was an option for the North American, and some European markets. Factory supplied tyres included Continental SportContact 3, Michelin Pilot Sport PS2, or Pirelli P-Zero Rosso — although many owners have questioned the load-carrying abilities of the Pirellis (from unexplained sidewall failures and dubious dynamic stability), opting for the more durable Michelins at replacement time. A no-cost option of 18 inch alloy wheels (8½Jx18" ET24 "5-spoke design") with 255/40 ZR18 Y XL tyres was also available, and these are standard in North American markets A winter wheel and tire package was also available as an option, and included 245/40 R18 96V Dunlop SP WinterSport 3D tyres.
A direct-acting Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is standard fitment. This system monitors the pressure in all four tyres every three seconds, and when any loss in pressure is detected, audible and visual warnings are given to alert the driver via the Driver Information System (DIS) in a timely manner.
The Audi RS 4 won Top Gear's Most Surprising Car of the Year in 2005. In 2007, the Audi RS 4 was the winner in the "World Performance Car" category of the International World Car of the Year (WCOTY). It beat illustrious rivals, including its larger sibling, the Audi C6 S6, the Porsche 911 Turbo, Porsche 911 GT3, Ferrari 599 GTB, and Jaguar XKR.