Cars are so much like food. Price, brand, and materials do not dictate how good the experience is.
I recently attended the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix with Stefano and we had the best tickets available to man. Think of it as the Bugatti Chiron of sports tickets. We were located at the Paterson Club Suite, a glass room with so much space, you could fit your house inside.
Far from slaving it out at the grandstands in the heat of the Singaporean night, we sipped champagne and rubbed elbows with oligarchs and celebrities. Right below us - the Ferrari hospitality suite. Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel stopped their cars no more than 5 meters below.
At the Paddock Club, we had a choice of five restaurants outside our suite that were dripping in Michelin Stars. Jean-Georges New York, New York, served Poached Organic Egg and Caviar Oscietra with whipped Crème Fraîche among many other gourmet creations. Then there was Nobu, which had the longest queues of people waiting to get a taste of their Yellowtail Jalapeño, Toro Sashimi, and Wagyu Beef with Matsuhisa Dressing. Everything they served was a delight to the pallet, and Tarte by Cheryl Koh, the most delicious sweet desserts you will ever taste in your life.
Everything was fantastic and it was so, because it was free. Technically not, because our tickets cost an eye-watering $10,000 each - in which case, we should have been able to take home the plates and maybe the front wing of Vettel’s car. Everything we ate was delicious, but the cheap Curry House down the road from our hotel served food that impressed me just as much, and so did the Chicken Rice at the hawker center - which was cheaper than the little piece of tarte I was munching on at the Paddock Club. And that came with clear soup and a large drink too!
A squirting orgasm in the mouth.
The same can be said about cars. You can have the new Ferrari 812 Superfast, which is a technological marvel in every way as far as front-engined cars are concerned, but it is also six times more expensive than a Nissan GT-R. The Ferrari isn’t six times the car. Nothing in this world is six times the car that the GT-R is, but we still aspire to have that Prancing Horse. They’re all different. Some are willing to pay a $200,000 premium on a Porsche 911 R, which is essentially a GT3 RS without a wing and a PDK transmission. It’s too bad that the Porsche have just released a GT3 with Touring Package, which is a 911 R… without the stripes.
I guess it doesn’t matter, because car enthusiasts will always find a way to justify it. WE. LOVE. CARS. and we’ll find any reason to get one. I mean, I recently drove the Lotus Evora 400 for a couple of days and was absolutely smitten by the whole experience. It’s not the fastest, the transmission sucked, but boy was it loud and theatrical. However, at 7 million pesos I would at least want a car that wasn’t perennially stuck in third gear. Also, it would be nice if the engine didn’t stall every time I’d get to a complete halt. When you spend that kind of money, the car needs to work each and every time. That’s why I’d rather have one of these.
The Audi RS4 Avant B8.
Now I know that this car’s replacement, the B9, has arrived, but that’s totally irrelevant to the story. This RS4, in this exact spec, is my personal dream car. While the newer version has downsized from a V8 to a V6 and has gone all geeky with the digital world, this car has a naturally aspirated monster under the bonnet and an analogue spirit.
Also, just look at it. It is pound for pound, along with its larger sibling, the RS6, one of the best wagons there’s ever been. There's something infinitely cool about an estate car that can eat a Porsche 911 for lunch. Born with a face as peaceful as a Labrador, the guys in the RS department have been able to transform that look into a snarling Rottweiler.
"Not so good is the steering, but that is not to say that you can't point the car and come out of a corner absolutely flying."
And then we get to the body. Those flared wheel arches are a teenage boy’s boxers after Heidi Klum passes by and the barrel-chested V8 wail is what makes her panties drop. The overall look just says German Autobahn killer regardless of the weather, and that can’t be any more welcome than here in the Philippines. This country is slowly accepting the concept of a wagon or an estate car, but that is all irrelevant because whether you like it or not, the RS4 Avant is categorically beautiful.
Inside, you can tell that time has passed it by. Even if I am a great fan of analogue gauges, this looks rather dated. The tiny on-board computer screen in the middlIe is a telling sign of the car’s age, or rather, how quickly the times have moved on. This car, after all, isn’t very old. It was produced in 2012-2015, meaning that latest version of this is only two years old. However, the moment you sit inside, you are wrapped in beautifully-made leather seats, a no non-sense cabin, and a tactile steering wheel.
Alcantara and leather orgy.
All it wants you to do is to fire it up, so I did. All 450 horses come to life and the sound of a naturally-aspirated 4.2-liter V8 is such an occasion these days. The deep bellow on idle is subtle, yet horny at the same time. It is still by all means a quick car, but it isn’t BMW M4 quick anymore. It is good for 0-100 km/h of 4.7 seconds and will run up to 280 km/h. They say that when the limiter is removed, it can nudge 290 km/h - now that’s monstrous for an estate car. The dual clutch transmission is a hoot to use, but a part of me prefers to have this one with three pedals and a gear lever.
Not so good is the steering. It is void of feel, but that is not to say that you can't point the car in one direction and come out of the corner absolutely flying. As a matter of fact, in the right conditions, you can push this car very sideways and balance it out with the throttle. The car also lacks low end torque. I may have gotten used to the turbocharged nature of most performance cars today, but this RS4 could use some more. You really need to rev the daylights out of it. When you don’t, the only thing that reminds you that you are in a super fast Audi is the ride, because it's stiff AF. Google it.
"I love this RS4, because it is quite simply one of the most beautiful estate cars that there’s ever been."
Needless to say, I absolutely love it still. I can’t really fit anyone comfortably behind with my driving position, but that’s pretty much my fault. Not everyone stands at 6’2, so I am certain that your passengers will be just fine. If they aren’t, just turn up that lovely Bang & Olufsen stereo system and let them enjoy a sound stage they’ve never experienced before. However, if I were in your shoes, I’d put my foot down and drown out all that music to the tune of a free-revving engine that sings at 8,250 rpm. After all, that is the only band you’d want to hear in this ridiculous tarmac-eating machine. Those flowery brakes, they can rip your face too.
If I am honest, I could really care less about the performance figures or how much quicker it can take a corner with its Quattro all-wheel-drive system. All of those pieces of information are good to know, but they are far from the reason why I desire this car so much. I love this RS4, because it is quite simply one of the most beautiful estate cars that there’s ever been and that it is relentless in offering bits of driving pleasure here and there that in turn, create memories of drives and trips that we will never forget. It is that special feat that makes it an absolutely special car. It is an RS Audi with a slightly brighter light shining on it. F the price.
An automotive orgasm.