Just picked up a US RS4.
Not to antagonize anyone, just want to share my RS4 experience (as short as it is.) I am a long time BMW driver with assorted models in my past to include two recent E46 M3s as well as some P cars. BMW will definitely be looking at what Audi did right and wrong with the RS4 and how figure how to surpass it when they finally release the E90 M3.
RS4 were released in the U.S. in the last couple of days, and I had the good fortune to be able to buy a grey on black one today. I just wanted to post to say if your local Audi dealer gets on that they will let you test drive you should really do it, even for the hell of it.
Firstly, I honestly liked the car more than I thought I would when I went down to check it out. I was really reluctant about the RS4 due to it's weight, relatively low torque (my 545 is 100 lbs. less and has 15 more lb/ft of torque), and my lack of experience with Audis.
Things I liked about it: I found the cockpit was extremely driver centered, reminding me of the BMWs of the past rather than the current direction BMW seems to be taking in my 545, and the E90. Fit and finish of the materials is outstanding. Performance wise Audi recommends to not surpass 6000 rpm for 600 miles during break in, but even with that I was amazed at the feeling of torque from high gears, and at very low rpms, especially for such a relatively heavy car. I was shocked several times to look down and find myself going well over 100 m.p.h. without even trying to.
The gear box, is silky smooth. The steering is extremely well balanced, it gives you no sense that the engine is way out in front. Clutch was effortless. The brakes are huge 8 piston anti-lock brakes with ventilated drilled rotors from the lamorghini. I obviously haven't tried them on the track, but on the 200 mile drive back from the dealer, the car felt like it read my mind and stopped prior to even applying pressure on the brakes. The way that everything was so well balanced reminds me of the whole package experience I have gotten from my 911s.
Best thing about the RS4: Even without going all the way to 8200 rpm yet is the exhaust note which is something that any autophile will find addicting. There is absolutely no need for a stereo in the RS4, the engine supplies the only soundtrack that you could want.
Biggest surprise: Driving the 200 miles from the dealer I got 24 m.p.g. Love to hear what you all think when you drive one.