Cast your minds back to August 2016, a stupid young man with curly hair and a big nose is browsing the classifieds for his first “fast” car. That stupid young man was me and I was torn between two German powerhouses. The E92 BMW M3 and the pictured Audi B7 RS4. Both cars utilise naturally aspirated V8 engines with manual gearboxes (if selected in the m3) 414bhp with 8250rpm and 8400rpm redlines! A difficult choice I feel you’ll agree right? Well the purist in me longed for the M3, watching the likes of Clarkson and Harris slide them round on power tests. The feel of the chassis as it aggressively breaks away from you. On the other hand a memory from my childhood really stuck with me….. it’s 2006 I think and Jeremy Clarkson is hammering a misano red RS4 saloon up a cliffside road, racing against a free climber.
I remember to this day laying on the floor at my fathers house completely encapsulated by the film. Those sumptuous sculpted bucket seats , the broad shouldered angry arches and that baritone roar of a high-revving V8 engine. That was it , I knew I had to have one. It was everything I needed, however one small problem…..At the time of release I was 10 years old. But 12 years later the curly haired idiot was in a position to attain his very first dream car! However plot twist, my budget was somewhat restrictive. I wished I’d had £20k to spend on my first RS4 but that just wasn’t the case. I was young and naive having just £14k available, so I was truly up against it! Fate seemed to be mocking me as at the time there were three or four E92 M3’s lurking around in budget with manual gearboxes. Trying to whisk me away to the dark side of BMW. For a laugh go on an insurance comparison site tell them you’re 21 and you want to insure a RWD 400+BHP performance car, I’m sure you can imagine how successfully that went. M3 was now out of contention.
I Remember combing through Autotrader and coming across this Daytona grey RS4. It had the flat bottom wheel completely standard but no bucket seats, however it was only £12k. A bargain back then not a bad price even now 3 and a half years later. So about my first RS4 then … black optics pack (front grill, window surround and satin black exhaust tips), sports suspension which sat a little lower with thicker anti Roll-bars. Satnav and full Audi service history BUT… 140,000 miles. The car was in Middlesbrough and I remember begging my father to take me up the following weekend, for the two 2 hour drive. I must have been the most hyperactive annoying human being on the planet, however it would all pay off. The RS4 was far from perfect covered in dust and looking a little sorry for itself in the corner. But those blistered arches and massive grill won me in a heartbeat and I felt like that 10 year old boy allover again. I saunter into this “lavish” porta-cabin and speak to the salesman who literally threw me the keys as if I’m a Valet in some 80’s movie. The car started perfectly and I began checking it over and couldn’t report fault except the inherent lack of noise. I took the car for a quick blast round the estate and I felt so special in the car, windows down v8 soundtrack and wide angry arches. I felt like a million dollars. I returned to the dealership with a big stupid grin on my face and took the car, drive away insurance sorted and the then £570 road tax paid it was time to go home!
I had the greatest drive home, sports mode on which opened the exhaust valves and sharpened throttle response. I munched through gargantuan amounts of unleaded but it was worth it, what once felt like a pipe dream had become my reality.
What happened next then? Well the RS4 showed some of its 140,000 miles with pride. I had the side skirts painted along with the front bumper, rear three quarters, rear bumper and boot lid. I refurbished my brake callipers in bright white before adding gloss black oem wheels. Lashings of carbon fibre followed (this is where my addiction began). It started with Carbon fibre B-pillars and culminated with a full carbon rear diffuser. The last big modification was a full Milltek exhaust to really let the V8 symphony takeover your soul. (Irritate the crap out of your neighbours)
Once the pathetically fragile Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) let go I fitted Bilstein B14’s a bargain at £815. Which my friend and I fitted over a weekend with copious amounts of bacon and cups of tea. however at around 150,000 miles the car began to misbehave slightly with it needing a major carbon clean and manifold de-flap at the hands of P&G automotive. Their work I can’t recommend highly enough, sadly this was still an £800 bill just before sale. The car sold for I think around £11,500 where I removed the Milltek to claw back a few pennies for the next project. For those whom are interested my first RS4 still lives on at around 170,000 miles, a true testament to Audi’s build quality. This car proved to me that I missed out on nothing despite spending £6-8k less than the mint examples listed. I had the same power the same looks, performance and I loved every minute.