Cigar Aficionado

Fast Fun

Porsche Killer II. That image kept jumping into the teenage boy part of my brain every time I punched the accelerator of the Audi RS4 I had for the weekend. I could see the faces in my rear-view mirror, some of them having stayed on the bumper to get a glimpse of exactly what was riding on those 19-inch tires, but by the time they got close enough, I wasn’t close anymore.

The facts: a 420-horsepower V8 in an Audi A4 body. A six-speed manual transmission with a tight, but very precise clutch and gates on the gearbox. Quattro, or for those who don’t know the Audi lingo, all-wheel drive. Combine all those things and a touch of the teenager in your blood, and you can push 0 to 60 in 4.6 seconds. But the Audi honchos also describe the engine as having an instantaneous response, which I can attest is true…0 to 60 is nothing in this baby. You can’t believe how quick 60 to 90 happens. In effect, it’s one of those mysterious cars where what you think, happens, when you hit the gas. The car was a beautiful deep Indigo blue (called Mugello Blue Pearl) and had all the interior amenities one would come to expect in a $66,000 car. That’s right. Nearly $30,000 less than a standard Porsche. Oh, and I hasten to mention that if you’re hankering after the new Audi R8, which car lovers have dubbed the real Porsche Killer I, the RS 4 has the same engine and it’s nearly $50,000 less.

One reason that I’ve always loved Audis is that at the pinnacle of their performance series, they are sports cars built for speed but they are also easy to ride in automobiles that you can fit your family into, or as I did this past  weekend, the bulk purchases from 30 minutes of shopping at Costco.

Now, I don’t have an RS version in my garage normally, but thanks to the wonders of a “press fleet,” I was lucky enough to have this beast for the weekend. No speeding tickets because I didn’t exceed the speed limit, at least not when I could see a speed limit sign. It is a car that you should lust after.

The car handles like a dream. The Quattro four-wheel action, plus a very tight sports suspension keeps it glued to the road. Having a six-speed also provided a constant optimum engine rev going into the winding curves on the Saw Mill River Parkway, which runs north out of New York City. There were a couple of times where other anxious boys on the road were trying to stay on my tail, but as we got halfway through of those curves, they faded into the background.

I know. I know. $66,000 isn’t cheap. But like the Corvette, which many call the best value high performance sports car on the market, this car delivers the kind of performance that normally you spend more than $100,000 to get. I’m also smart enough to know that three days in that car is enough; as I said to my wife, this car has too much power for an every day car. She laughed and said, “yeah, you’d be looking for every stretch of open road where you know there are no speedtraps, and going as fast you could.”

Better to remember the thrills of a RS weekend. Good luck, if you decide to buy one.