The original Audi RS4 Avant was launched in 1999 as the successor to the mighty Audi RS2 Avant. Just like its predecessor, it was available only as an estate, making it a truly unique offering on the market. With just about 6,000 units produced and delivered globally, it was a rare bird, too.
Probably not many of you know that the first-gen RS4 Avant was also exported to some Asian markets. We don’t know the exact number of examples sold in Japan, though we know at least one of these cars is still alive. And it looks nothing like the original car.
Gallery: 2001 Audi RS4 Avant and 2018 Audi RS4 Avant
The video at the top of this article tells the story of a JDM RS4 Avant, exported into the United States. Initially, it was sold to an aftermarket company, which stanced the speedy estate and gave it big wheels. Eventually, the car was sold to its current owner, who had a very different vision of what it should look like.
Enter what is likely the world’s first (and only) RS4 Avant Allroad B5. The build was commissioned by its current owner, who lives in Massachusetts and wants to drive a fast car year around. With an open checkbook, custom shop AI Design created this safari version of the RS4 Avant with lifted suspension, distinctive matte black finish, and proper winter tyres.
In the video, Matt Farah drives the car around a track but it’s far from being a typical track session. The track is wet, the outside temperature is low, and there are patches of snow and ice all around, yet the all-wheel-drive estate is attacking the corners at a pretty decent pace. That’s what you get when you mix a fast 4x4 Audi with off-road upgrades.
In the second half of the video, you can join Farah who visits AI Design’s shop for a detailed walkaround tour of the tuned RS4.