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Audi RS4 B7: Buying guide and review (2005-2008)

Audi RS4 B7: Buying guide and review (2005-2008) Classic and Performance Car
Audi RS4 B7 buying guide Audi RS4 B7 buying guide Audi RS4 B7 buying guide Audi RS4 B7 buying guide
The Audi RS4 story started in 2000 with the B5 version and it set a template that remains as compelling now as it was over a decade ago: sure-footed quattro drivetrain, relentless performance, a quietly sinister aesthetic and the sense that 100 years from now, this car will still perform with the same deadly combination of speed, stability and sheer grip. 
 
The second-generation car, the one we’re looking at here, could scarcely have been more different in many respects. Out went the estate-only configuration, the heavily turbocharged engine and a bit of the sense that the RS4 was just a skunkworks project. However, those changes were resoundingly offset by the star feature of the B7 RS4 when it was launched in 2006: a normally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 that revved to 8250rpm and produced 414bhp. 
 
It was as if some rogue BMW M engineers had seen into the future and decided to get out before the turbos arrived, infiltrating quattro GmbH and living out their wildest engineering dreams. One or two might have even made it into the chassis department, because Audi’s usual 50:50 torque split was tweaked so that 60 per cent of drive went to the rear wheels. 
 
Saloon or Avant, this RS4 was something special, with a sensational six-speed manual gearbox and a chassis that coupled Audi’s usual stability-first DNA with some real fluency, adjustability and entertainment. It cemented the RS4’s legendary status, showed us that Audi had the ability and desire to take on BMW head-to-head in dynamic terms and plain just made us happy. 
 

Which Audi RS4 to buy? 

 
The B7-gen RS4 first appeared in summer 2005, though UK sales didn’t get into full swing until early 2006. It was available as a saloon and estate (Avant) and also as a rather unhappy cabriolet (best avoided). It bowed out barely two years later when the B8 version of the A4 appeared. Given such a short production run, it’s surprising just how many you can find in the classifieds, but that’s enduring proof of the way it gripped the petrolhead imagination. The B7 RS4 was simply the best drivers’ Audi since the Ur-Quattro. 
 
Beneath the flared arches and aluminium front wings and bonnet, the spec remained essentially unchanged throughout the run: 414bhp 4.2-litre all-aluminium V8 (basically the same unit that would propel the mid-engined R8 that followed soon after), six-speed manual gearbox only, rear-biased four-wheel drive, those DRC reactive dampers to provide added tautness in corners, and a Sport button to sharpen throttle response and open bypass valves in the exhaust. There was an optional Sport pack, which made the car sit a little lower and ride a little more firmly and which added ‘active’ side bolsters to the front seats. 
 

Performance and specs 

 
Engine V8, 4163cc 
Power 414bhp @ 7800rpm 
Torque 317b ft @ 5500rpm 
Transmission Six-speed manual, four-wheel drive
Weight 1650kg 
0-62mph 4.7sec
Top speed 155mph (limited)
 

Dimensions and weight 

 
Wheelbase 2651mm
Length 4586mm
Width 1816mm
Height 1415mm
Kerb weight 1710kg
 

Common problems

 
• A lot of cars suffer a build-up of carbon around the inlet valves. Not every car is affected, but it’s a common problem after around 60,000 miles. 
 
• You get oil from the breather system in the inlet tract. Direct injection means there’s nothing to wash it off the back of the valves. It’s basically a good day’s work to decoke the heads. 
 
• Telltale signs include an engine light on the dash and embers coming out of the exhaust (noticeable from a following car at night). Avoiding lots of short journeys will delay the inevitable build-up. 
 
• The V8 is otherwise reliable, but some ancillaries can need attention. The two side water radiators are vulnerable to corrosion. Look through the ducts in the bumper for seeping pink antifreeze. If you can get the car on a ramp, also check the oil cooler and pipes for corrosion and seepage. Replacement means taking the front of the car off, and parts alone are over a £1000. 
 
• Service intervals were officially every 19,000 miles, but a good specialist will recommend 10,000 miles or annually. 
 
• Drivetrains are robust but beware a heavy clutch – replacing it takes around eight hours. 
 
• The Dynamic Ride Control dampers are prone to leaking. You can keep replacing them, but many owners go for Bilstein coilovers, which retain the standard ride height. 
 
• Bushes and ball joints in the suspension last pretty well but may need replacing around 80,000 miles, depending on the life they’ve had, so listen out for knocks and bangs from front and back 
 
• Bouncy suspension means the DRC’s gone. There is a drivetrain clonk, but that’s just Audi AWD. 
 
• The brakes are massive – 365mm vented and drilled discs at the front with eight-piston, four-pad calipers. A full set of discs and pads is around £1500 just for the parts, so if they’ve been recently replaced, that’s a big tick. Vibrations through the pedal mean a bill’s looming. 
 
• The driver’s seat outer bolster may show signs of wear, while the swollen arches are prone to stone-chipping. 
 

Owners clubs, forums and websites  

 
• audi-sport.net – Forums and advice
• rs246.com – Forums and advice
• autops.co.uk – Independent specialist
• fontain.co.uk – Independent specialist
• mrctuning.com – Independent specialist
• unit20.com – Independent specialist
 

Summary and prices 

 
The B7 RS4 still enjoys a strong following and prices have levelled out, meaning there’s plenty of support while depreciation is no longer an issue. Running costs can be, though, so be aware of the potential for hefty bills and take care to find a car that’s been well maintained. 
 
Scan the classifieds and you’ll find a vast range of prices. At the bottom end there are high-mileage cars with multiple owners – usually private sales – for as little as £15,000. Don’t necessarily be put off by a high mileage, but an inspection by a specialist is likely to be money well spent. At the very top end, pristine, low-mileage, one-owner cars are advertised for as much £35,000. But around £20,000 gives you a fantastic choice of average-mileage cars with only one or two owners and excellent service histories, and that’s where we’d be looking. It’s worth noting that you’ll pay £250 less road tax a year on cars registered before March 23, 2006. 
Audi RS4 B7 buying guide Audi RS4 B7 buying guide Audi RS4 B7 buying guide Audi RS4 B7 buying guide
Last updated: 20th Sep 2016
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Audi RS4 cars for sale

26 Search results
Audi RS4
18995 47886 GBP
  • Audi RS4

    £47,886 £47,886

    Variant name:Rs4 Avant Special Edition Limited Edition ,Derivative:Limited Edition ,Variant: 4.2 FSI Quattro Limited Edition 5dr S Tronic Audi RS4 4.2 FSI Quattro Limited Edition 5dr S Tronic

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 20000 mi
    • Engine size: 4.2
    For sale
    Prestige Cars Kent-Prestige Cars Kent
    01689 660603 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • Audi RS4

    £37,495 £37,495

    Variant name:Avant ,Variant: 4.2 quattro (450PS) Avant Audi RS4 4.2 quattro (450PS) Avant finished in Suzuka Grey, metallic. Specification includes bang & olufsen sound system, Audi hill-hold assist, privacy glass, sports exhaust, sports package, sports suspension Plus with dynamic ride control (drc), door mirrors - electrically folding and auto dimming, heated front seats, advanced key and Audi connect including car phone.

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 19662 mi
    • Engine size: 4.2
    For sale
  • AUDI RS4 AVANT FSI QUATTRO **DEPOSIT TAKEN** 2014

    £39,995 £39,995

    2014/64 Reg Audi RS4 Avant Finished In Audi Exclusive Java Green (1 OF ONLY 2 UK CARS). Over 14k Of Factory Extras to Include- Full Leather RS4 Bucket Seats, Panoramic Glass Sunroof, Sports Pack Including Sports Exhaust, Sports Suspension Plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), Dynamic Steering and 20in 5 V Spoke Design Finished In Polished Titanium, Driver Assistance Package Including- Adaptive Cruise Control with Braking Guard, Audi Parking System Advanced and Audi Lane Assist, Bang and Olufsen Sound System, Carbon Fibre Interior Inlays, Advanced Key, Reverse Camera, Black Styling Package, Satellite Navigation System, Power Operated Boot, DAB Digital Radio, Heated Front Seats, Privacy Glass.;;THIS AUDI RS4 HAS FULL SERVICE HISTORY AND BALANCE OF MANUFACTURES WARRANTY REMAINING. ;;INDOOR SHOWROOM- LOW RATE FINANCE WITH ZERO DEPOSIT OPTIONS- PART EXCHANGE- FREE DRIVE AWAY INSURANCE- NATIONWIDE DELIVERY. ALL MAJOR CREDIT AND DEBIT CARDS ACCEPTED- VIEWINGS BY APPOINTMENTS ONLY ;

    • Mileage: 40000 mi
    • Engine size: 4.163
    For sale
  • Audi RS4

    £38,995 £38,995

    Variant name:Avant ,Variant: RS4 Quattro 5dr Audi RS4 4.2 quattro (450PS) Avant finished in Daytona Grey, pearl effect. Specification includes bang & olufsen sound system, privacy glass, sports exhaust, sports package, sports suspension Plus with dynamic ride control (drc), door mirrors - with auto dimming function - electrically fo, fine nappa leather with rs embossing, heated front seats and Audi parking system advanced.

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 22121 mi
    • Engine size: 4.2
    For sale
  • AUDI RS4 4.2 Quattro 4dr Saloon 56- 2006

    £18,995 £18,995

    Key Facts;2006 I Saloon I 63,200 miles I Manua I 4.2L I Petrol;;Full Audi History Black Full leather interior, Four wheel-drive, Pearlescent Sprint Blue, All Our Cars Are Newly Mot'd,Serviced And Road Tested Prior To Sale - As An RAC Dealer They Also Come With A Free RAC Warranty And Complimentary Breakdown Cover As Standard, *FINANCE OPTIONS AVAILABLE *VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR MORE DETAILS AND PHOTOS *, GBP 18,995 p/x welcome;;This car comes with;;DVD-Based Satellite Navigation Plus, (With Updated Maps), 6CD Autochanger, Technology Pack, (Adaptive Bi Xenons/Dynamic Bending Light), Sports Suspension Plus, ( With Variable Shocks, Firmer + Approx 10mm Lower ), Comfort Pack (Heated Seats,Cruise Control), Carbon Interior Pack, Audi Exclusive RS4 Black Leather Pack, ( Electric Front Seats ), Leather Flat Bottom Steering Wheel, 19 inch Alloys, Tracker Fitted;

    • Mileage: 63310 mi
    • Engine size: 4.163
    For sale
  • Audi RS4

    £39,990 £39,990

    Variant name:Avant ,Derivative:4.2 quattro (450PS) Avant ,Variant: 4.2 FSI Quattro 5dr S Tronic Audi RS4 4.2 quattro (450PS) Avant finished in Daytona Grey, pearl effect. Specification includes privacy glass, open sky panoramic sunroof, MMI radio Plus, Audi quattro with sports differential, leather armrests in front and rear, matt Aluminium styling package, sports exhaust, sports package and 20" x 9j '5 v-spoke' design polished titanium alloy wheel

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 24961 mi
    • Engine size: 4.2
    For sale
  • Audi B5 RS4

    £19,995 £19,995

    Dressed in carbon fibre, the superb 2.7-litre V6 powerplant is very clean having been well maintained from new. There are eight stamps in the book with the most recent service having been carried out less than 5k miles ago. As with the rest of the car, all components and plastics are in fine order.

    • Year: 2001
    • Mileage: 85287 mi
    For sale
  • Audi RS4

    £44,990 £44,990

    Colour SatNav, Comms Pack, Dual Climate Zones, Bluetooth, Full Leather, iPod Connectivity, Panoramic Sunroof, Powered Folding Mirrors, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Xenon Headlamps, Satellite Navigation, Bang & Olufsen, Auto Lighting, Colour Coded Body, Privacy Glass, Heated Seats, Sports Seats, Adjustable Steering Column, Cruise Control, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Parking Sensors, Power Steering, Stability Control, Traction Control, Trip Computer, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Electric Handbrake, Auto-dip Rearview, Alarm, Anti-Theft System, Central Locking, Immobiliser, Locking Wheel Nuts, Remote Alarm, Remote Central Locking, Tracker Fitted, Rear Spoiler, Metallic Paintwork, Rear Wash/wipe, ABS, Air Bag, Child Locks, Curtain Airbags, Isofix, Multiple Airbags, Quick-Clear Screen, Side Air Bags, Twin Air Bags, 20'' Alloys, 4x4 RUN OUT MODEL FOR THE RS4 HAS MASSIVE SPEC WHICH INCLUDES AUDI EXCLUSIVE INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR,PANORAMIC ROOF,GLOSS BLACK ROTA ALLOYS,BUCKET SEATS,DYNAMIC PACK,FULL AUDI SERVICE HISTORY

    • Mileage: 27000 mi
    • Engine size: 4163
    For sale
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