The ride, look, performance, it is all there! Audi hit a very HIGH point with this car and subsequent automobiles will be hard to out perform. The RS 4 has 2 weak point that I will mention later but overall the car is REALLY sweet. I used to own a M3 and this car (as a total package) outshines it in handling, daily driving and ICE (In-Car Entertainment). Notables: Brakes, V8 engine and exhaust note, crisp handling as well as balanced ride, short throw shifter and Quattro! If you add an aftermarket exhaust (like my car has) it will make it sound like angry RS 4 (which is maybe the way it could have come from the factory).
Great car. It really is a great package, sports car performance with room for 5. Though the rear seats are tight, there fine for my 3 younger children. Great performace, engine, brakes, handling, does all very well. I like the 08 M3 coupe, but it only seats 4, and the 08 M3 sedan looks too much like a plain 3 series. Audi hit a bulls eye with styling for a 4 door car. Bulging wheel flares remind me of a mid 1980's 911 Turbo. Audi builds a great car, and the RS4 is a total package of performance, quality, and style.
It is difficult to find any fault with this extremely well engineered car. Its DRC offers a very compliant ride when desired, but stiffens in the corners for confident handling in aggressive mode. The engine is superb and an aftermarket exhaust system (several are available) actually makes meaningfully more power. Its redline is 8250 rpm and it is a joy to drive with smoothly delivered power across the rpm range. Winter handling with winter tires is exceptional and the car is on rails in hard packed snow. The design is distinctive even compared to current model A4s. Perhaps the only thing that I would change is the seat height, which does not lower sufficiently for me (I am 6').
I would have to say that this car is the most practical performance saloon on the market today. The amount of power you get from that 4.2litre V8 is astonishing. The handling far surpasses anything else in this range. Audis of old used to be really nose heavy and the understeer alot, but with this one you really have the confidence to shove it into the bends. I think this car is better than an M3.
I came out of an S4, and bought the RS4 after an ample test drive. The driving dynamics and engine feel remind me of me 1997 M3 (first of three I owned), which I felt handled better than the 2001 and 2004 models I had. It's still a little nose heavy, but compared to the S4, it's really hardly noticeable, and the braking, engine and lateral stability are outstanding. Its really a wonderful machine, and the all wheel drive in the midwest makes it a near must. If you are an M3 fan, you should really try this car before the next M3, especially if you are in the midwest or northeast. Personally, even though its heavier, I couldn't bring myself to give up the all wheel drive. Try it and see.