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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

41 Search results
Audi RS4
19490 46495 GBP
  • Audi RS4

    £34,900 £34,900

    Variant name:Avant ,Variant: 4.2 quattro (450PS) Avant Audi RS4 4.2 FSI Quattro 5dr S Tronic

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 38818 mi
    • Engine size: 4.2
    For sale
    Lookers Group -Newcastle Audi
    0845 149 9100 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • Audi RS4

    POA POA

    Upgraded Miltek Exhaust, Open Sky Panoramic Glass Roof, Phone Prep, Advanced Key, Driver Assistance Pack, Audi Parking Advanced, Lane Departure Warning, Climate Control, Cruise Control, Electric Heated Memory Seats, Bang & Olufsen Sound, Secrecy Glass, Multi Function Steering Wheel inc Gear Shift Paddles, Full RS Styling and 20" 5 Arm Rotor Alloys. Full Audi Service History. Due In Soon. www.imperials.co.uk ------ Please call us to Confirm which of our 3 Essex Showrooms your desired vehicle is located at before travelling to see us, Everyone of Our Cars Goes Through Our In House Work Shop Prior to Sale by Our Fully Qualified and Experienced Technicians - Buy with Confidence, For up to 20 images of this vehicle and an Instant Finance Quote please view www.imperials.co.uk, For Out of Office Hours Enquiries please call Tony 07956 564440 and he will be happy to help, We are also good buyers of all prestige, Sports and 4x4 vehicles so why not give us a call for a price on yours, Please Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter, Thank You, www.imperials.co.uk

    • Year: 2013
    • Mileage: 30000 mi
    For sale
  • Audi RS4

    £32,995 £32,995

    Variant name:Avant ,Variant: 4.2 FSI Quattro 5dr S Tronic Viewing by appointment please. Stunning Audi RS4 4.2 V8 Finished in Misano Red with Matt aluminum styling pack. Massive additional specification including: Bang & Olufsen Souns System Sports Package Sports Exhaust System Dynamic Ride Control Dynamic Steering 20x9J 5-Arm Rotor Titanium Alloys- Just refurbished Advanced Technology Pack Audi Parking System Advanced Adaptive Cruise control Lane Departure Warning Electric Front Seats Driver Memory Fine Nappa Leather with piping MMI Navigation Plus Voice Dialogue System DVD Player DAB Digital Radio Reversible Load Floor Mat Storage Pack Advance Key Power Operated Tailgate Exterior Mirror Electric/ Folding/ Heated/ Memory/ Dimming Privacy Glass Full Audi Service History- Just had Oil Change Service including All Diff Oils and Gear Box Oil. Please Contact Michael Salt on- 07515557847 for more information.

    • Year: 2013
    • Mileage: 49000 mi
    • Engine size: 4.2
    For sale
  • Audi RS4 RS4 Saloon RS4 QUATTRO

    £21,950 £21,950

    Body: Saloon Transmission: Manual Mileage: 50,000 Fuel Type: Petrol Registered: 2007 (57) Doors: 4 Engine Size: 4.2 Finished in: DAYTONA GREY METALLIC WITH BLACK LEATHER 19" alloys Bose sound Satellite Navigation System

    • Year: 2007
    • Mileage: 50000 mi
    For sale
  • 2007 Audi RS4 Quattro

    POA POA

    FULL SERVICE HISTORY, Recaro Bucket Seats, Heated Seats, FLAT-BOTTOM Steering Wheel, SAT NAV, Front and Rear Parking Sensors, BI XENON, Bose Sound System, Full MILLTEK Sports Exhaust With Valve control, Carbon Interior Inlays, 19 Alloys In Graphite, Privacy Glass, Climate, A/C, Computer. Driver's seat manual height adjustment, Electric front/rear windows, Electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, Electronic Differential Lock + traction control, Electronic climate control (ECC), Engine Height/reach adjustable steering column, Interior light pack - A4/S4, Load area pack - RS4, RS bucket seats, Storage pack - RS4, Thatcham Category 1 alarm, Very good Example.

    For sale
  • Audi RS4

    £34,995 £34,995

    Audi RS4 Avant 4.2 Quattro This Important Classic Has Its Pedigree Firmly Strengthened By Having Just The One Private Registered Keeper From New And Of Course A Detailed Audi Past Historical Service Inventory, With Visits Recorded At 7435, 11674, 14308 & 16861 Miles, With The Last Logged By Amersham Audi In January 2017. Phantom Black Metallic, This Perfect Low Mileage Example Is Presented In Phantom Black Metallic With Black Nappa RS4 Embossed Leather Bucket Seats Delicately Detailed With Dark Grey Twin Needle Stitch Work, A Dramatic Black Dash That Wraps Around The Cabin, Black Fabric Roof Lining, Black Leather & Chromed Flat Bottom Steering Wheel, Black Carpets And Beautifully Decorated With Quattro Embossed Carbon Atlas Interior Inlays. Excellent Factory Options Include The Full Colour Information Screen With Satellite Navigation System Plus, Dual Zone Climate Control, Variable Heated Front Seating, Adaptive Seat Adjust, Cruise Control, Bose Speaker Sound Package, Front And Rear Park Distance Control, Adaptive Xenon Headlights With Power Wash Function, Audi Steel Pedal Set, Aluminium Embossed Internal Kick Plates, Sun Protection Privacy Glass, SD1 & SD2 Card Readers, Electric Heated Chromed Mirrors, Roof Mounted Shark Fin, Push Button Start, Drivers Arm Rest, Day Time Running Lights, Audi Approved I Pod Connection, Multi Change CD System Housed In The Glove Box, Audi Phone Preparation, 19" 7 Double Spoke RS4 Alloy Wheels Which All Sit On Branded Tyres, Remote Central Locking With Alarm, Blackened Front Hexagon Grille And So Much More. The Car Also Boasts All The Booklet Packs, A Full Key Set And Is Fully Hpi Cleared.. For Further Details Please Contact Either Jonathan Or Mark On 01623 622627. We Can Also Offer Attractive Funding Options, With Full Details Available Upon Request - £34,995

    • Year: 2007
    • Mileage: 19337 mi
    • Engine size: 4.2
    For sale
  • Audi B5 RS4

    £21,995 £21,995

    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

    £25,000 £25,000

    12 Months Genuine Audi Warranty (optional at £484), Imola Yellow Solid Paint , RS4 Carbon Fibre Interior Inlays , Audi Recaro Bucket Exclusive RS4 Leather Pack, Black (silver piping) Silk Nappa leather seats, Black optic pack, Factory Fitted Privacy Glass, Sports Suspension Plus, Audi Symphony radio with MP3-com 6-CD changer , Mobile telephone preparation with Bluetooth , Reversing Assist camera (Optional extra), Satellite Navigation system Plus, Heated Seats, HPI Clear (Complete with certificate), Full service history , Remote central locking (2 keys), ----- Services offered:, Credit and Debit card Facilities (2.9% fee), Part Exchange welcome, Bespoke finance packages specifically for you, 24/7 text line:07876627581, 4x4

    • Mileage: 52843 mi
    • Engine size: 4163
    For sale
  • Audi RS4

    £45,990 £45,990

    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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