People definetely get too carried away with the numbers--of all kinds. Someone was quoting track lap numbers in addition to the hp numbers earlier. What it boils down to is the "driving experience", and there is no way to quantify that. When I was shopping around for my '04 325ci, I remember test driving the 3 liter A4 and the 330ci, both with sports packages. Audi looked nice and all, but the minute it started moving--just pulling out the lot--I could feel a huge difference between how that car moved and how the 330ci moved. The difference was even more pronounced was I started pushing the cars around curves, etc. Almost none of us will race the cars we will be buying. We might track them, but even then, who cares about lap times. It still boils down to how nimble and communicative the car is, to the driving experience and how much fun you are having.
No, I have not driven the RS4, so one can say comparing a 3 liter A4 with the 330ci does not inform the M3 vs RS4/5 discussion. Well, I've driven other Audis and BMWs and I always seem to walk away with the same opinion. The car mags say the same thing. It is hard to imagine RS5 will be a different story. Audis are simply too heavy to begin with. And then there is all the suspension and chasis tuning, etc. But, who knows maybe Audi will prove me wrong...
And the AWD thing really doesn't matter to me even though I live in Boston. Yeah, it snows pretty hard 7-8 days in a year. But the thing is the next morning the roads are all cleared up, and, like most people, I don't live at the end of a dirt path. So, I get a ride from a co-worker who has winter tires on his civic on those 7-8 days, and I am fine with that. AWD is overrated for most urban dwellers.
Last edited by lucid; 05-23-2007 at 11:32 AM.