2008 Audi RS4 – Click above for high-res image gallery My buddy Chris was beaming as his body pressed into the two-tone Recaro on the passenger side. "This thing is completely unbelievable," he said, his voice a blend of awe and disbelief. Around us, the scenery flicked by as the crisp Sunday morning air was sucked in through the open windows. The radio was on, but the volume was turned all the way down. At the moment, the only soundtrack in which we were interested was the guttural roar coming from the big oval pipes poking through the rear valance. "Chris," I replied, snicking the shifter into third, "This thing is ridiculous." The "thing" in question is the 2008 Audi RS4, and neither of us were exaggerating. %Gallery-24045%All photos Copyright ©2008 Alex Núñez / Weblogs, Inc. The current B7 Audi A4 is a lame duck, due to be replaced shortly by a new car on a new platform that promises to bring manifold improvements to Audi's bread-and-butter nameplate. Drive a current RS4, however, and you'll find yourself wondering why the hell they've got to change anything. Unlike the A4 and S4, which are decidedly non-threatening in appearance, the RS4 radiates a sense of menace. Its bodywork is distinctly muscular, with gills on the lower front fascia merging into bulging wheel arches. The space around the rear wheel openings is equally swollen, helping the car adopt an athletic, wider stance. The rear bumper has a blacked-out insert that's flanked by large oval exhaust outlets. Their openings are wide enough to swallow a Blackberry rotated lengthwise while in its leather case. Our car was finished in Avus Silver and further enhanced by the presence of the Titanium Package. This lets the RS4 get more in touch with its dark side, blacking out the grille and window frames, as well as applying an anthracite finish to the 19" wheels and the exhaust tips. It's not possible to overstate how much better the car looks as a result. This thing is cooler than Boba Fett. The goodness continues inside, where the seats and trim are finished in a spectacular black-and-red motif, courtesy of the $3,800 Audi Exclusive package. I simply referred to the color combo as "Darth Maul" and envisioned some deep space tannery where Audi prepares Sith hides specifically for use in its sedan über alles. Piano black inserts (also part of the Titanium package), aluminum accents, and RS4-emblazoned floormats finish off the upscale interior. As for the cabin's layout and instrumentation, it's the same as what you'll find in any other A4 variant. The MMI controller is on the audio system, which incorporates an LCD screen and features nav, satellite radio, and the other accoutrements you expect to find in a primo machine like this. Flick open the familiar Audi switchblade key, twist on the ignition, and a deep exhaust burble penetrates the cabin as the RS-trim 4.2-liter V8 comes alive. There's a reason the same engine also finds its way …
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|MPG||13 City / 20 Hwy|
|Transmission||6-spd man w/OD|
|Power||420 @ 7800 rpm|
|Drivetrain||quattro all wheel|
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