For a long time it was regarded that to drive a BMW you had to be an idiot. That's why whenever you saw one they were either tailgating you, speeding past you whilst the driver was chatting on their mobile phone or using their discretion and deciding never to indicate during any maneuvers. Yet times they are a' changing as Mr Dylan taught us. Now to be considered a motoring idiot, get used to being behind the wheel of an Audi.
I have to say I think this is harsh. As I've discussed at length before, people who drive slowly are potential murderers and people who are rubbish at driving have no interest in cars and therefore keep Kia in business. Audi drivers may be fast, impatient and posers but they're also far less likely to reverse into a shopping trolley in their pride and joy. I'd consider myself only a partial idiot, but I wholeheartedly want an Audi.
And not just any Audi, oh no, me being me I want the crème de la crème, the stuff I can't really afford. Ladies and Gentlemen I give you: the Audi RS4. Let me start with some statistics before I wax lyrical about why this car is so good. New it cost from £50,000 which is why this article will focus on buying a used Audi RS4, because my wallet has 50 pence in it, oh and because they only made it from 2005 - 2008 so it's ultra rare. It has 4.2 litre V8 engine that develops 414bhp without the need for either a turbo or supercharger. It is quite simply the greatest engine ever made and it'll transport you from 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds and will head-butt the horizon with an electronically limited 155mph. All this in a four door saloon no less. So what's the cost now? Prices start from £29,000 for a 2006 model. Not happy reading for the person who bought it new, not much better reading for me it must be said.
These figures are all very impressive (except for the price one of course), but what I like so much about the RS4 is that anyone with no interest in cars will assume it's nothing more than an Audi saloon, clearly owned by an idiot. They won't notice the twin exhausts, the 19 inch, seven spoke alloy wheels, the flared wheel arches and menacing front grill. This saves you from a host of unwanted attention, the likes of which BMW M3 owners experience with their bonnet bulges, air vents and spoilers.
Despite its power, the RS4 is refined to look at, sit in and drive. The interior is made to the highest order, with quality materials used throughout. Recaro racing seats hold you firmly in place and the steering wheel is flat at the base like a rally car, yet there's no sense of tacky racer here. There's satellite navigation, a Bose sound system, tire pressure monitors, parking sensors, electronic climate control, leather and carbon fibre to name just a few features. In short this car has more gadgets, gizmos and comfort than my house.
It's all well and good sitting in comfort, but the RS4 was built with one thing in mind - to be driven. It has permanent four wheel drive, using Audi's legendary Quattro system so you'll run out of patience trying before the car loses grip. 60% of the power is sent to the rear wheels which provides more power from the end you'd want and lightens the steering. To help the handling further, Audi have mounted the already physically small engine backwards and fitted aluminium front wings. What this means is that despite all the power, all the on board luxury and the big, heavy grin you'll have on your face, the RS4 handles perfectly and eradicates the nose heaviness some previous high-powered Quattro's possessed.
I'd love to say it's perfect and for my needs it would be. Yet in the spirit of being objective let me point out that the Recaro racing seats are so comfortable and roomy that all rear legroom is lost due to the size of the seats. You are therefore paying all that money for a four door saloon that seats two. The word saloon also means the entry point for the boot is narrow and unlike many rivals which are spacious past that point, Audi haven't bothered too much with practicality so even though there'd only be two of you in the car, you won't have much room for luggage or shopping.