If you take a look at the gallery for this test report, you'll see a lot of absolutely ravishing yellowness. Yes, of course, the evil-looking current RS 4 also turns the inner "I want" knob. But at least for the author of these lines, nothing (and by that I mean very, very little in the big wide car cosmos) beats the forefather, the Big Daddy Boost, the first RS4 Avant, the marvellous B5.

Audi RS 4 Avant edition 25 years im Test (2024)

Boy do I get chicken skin on my arm again. You can hardly build an estate car more beautifully. And now - believe it or not - that was actually 25 years ago. Marketing and product strategists know: You just have to push this special model penalty into the empty goal. Especially when your successor, by which I mean the RS 4 Avant B9 on the left in the picture, is already one and a half legs into well-deserved retirement.

So what had to come came to pass: an RS 4 Avant edition 25 years. We've already had the pleasure of driving it and can tell you whether it's worth buying this, well, not-so-cheap special edition.


Jump directly to: 

Exterior/Interior | Driving report | Things to know | Conclusion


What is it?

It has four or five months left, the last RS 4 Avant without electrification. Oh really: the last RS 4 ever. First a few tears will flow and then at some point an RS 5 Avant will arrive (the next A4 will be an A5), and that will be a plug-in hybrid. We still don't know how that will turn out, so it's high time for a proper farewell party where everything that's fun is allowed again. And in this case, even a little more than that.

Fast data  Audi RS 4 Avant edition 25 years
Engine 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6
Gearbox 8-speed automatic
Drive system All-wheel drive
Power output 470 PS at 5,900-6,500 rpm
Torque 600 Nm at 2,000-5,000 rpm
Base price £115,880

The new "edition 25 years" is basically an RS 4 Avant with Competition Plus package, which has had a few happy pills thrown in for everyone's pleasure. Not only because of the very yellow colour, but also technically. This is already very promising, because as we found out last year, the Competition Plus is a very, very good RS 4 - probably the best since the blessed B7.

The coilover suspension developed with KW is carried over from the Plus, as are the funnier, more rear-heavy attitude of the sports differential, the more relaxed ESP, the more aggressive gear ratios, the less insulation, the audibly more unruly sports exhaust system and the more track-ready Pirelli PZero Corsa tyres.

However, to justify the shockingly high price of £115,880, Audi Sport has to open up the box of delicacies a good deal further, and it does. The 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 was put through the leg press again for the grand finale and can now produce 470 PS (+20) with the same 600 Nm of torque. This makes the new Gelbling the most powerful production RS 4 ever. The extra power is achieved by playing with the boost pressure and engine speed. The "25" revs a little higher and no longer achieves its peak power at 5,700 revs, but between 5,900 and 6,500.

Audi RS 4 Avant edition 25 years im Test (2024)
Audi RS 4 Avant edition 25 years im Test (2024)
Audi RS 4 Avant edition 25 years im Test (2024)

Also worth mentioning is the a pretty crazy two-degree negative camber plus stiffer wishbone bearings on the front axle and a rear subframe that is now rigidly bolted to the body. All of this shouts "motorsport" surprisingly loudly, which is why the four rings also donate a set of damn good-looking lightweight rims including sticky Pirelli PZero Trofeo RS semi-slicks. So the car comes with 8 tyres. That's also good for resale.

The ceramic brakes also come as standard. The nasty price has to come from somewhere. Not standard, but highly recommended for reasons of absolute sexiness, is the Alcantara steering wheel for a somewhat mean €2,270 (approx. £1,930).

In addition to the fantastic Imola yellow of the RS4 Sport from 2001, the 25 is also painted in Mythos Black or Nardo Grey. But of course you (hopefully) want the yellow. There will be 250 of them (50 for the UK). You'll probably have to hurry.

Exterior/interior

We can be relatively brief here. After almost six and a half years of construction, you know what you're getting with the RS 4. In the case of the edition 25 years, all possible add-on parts are either made of carbon fibre or painted gloss black. There is also chic lettering in the rearmost side window and the roof rails have been removed. What's more, the gloss-milled 20-inch wheels have an offset of 18 instead of 22, which means they are four millimetres further out and fill the wheel arch that little bit more beautifully.

Audi RS 4 Avant edition 25 years im Test (2024)
Audi RS 4 Avant edition 25 years im Test (2024)
Audi RS 4 Avant edition 25 years im Test (2024)

Inside, we can see - quite surprisingly - a lot of yellow. Regardless of the exterior colour, by the way. RS nerds will be delighted with the standard carbon bucket seats with yellow quilting for the first time, an X/250 badge on the centre console, a good shot of matt carbon and floor mats in the old-school look with a completely yellow RS 4 logo (which has probably never been seen before). You can also set white "dials" for the digital instruments in the MMI on request. This in turn is a homage to the predecessor of the first RS 4 - the RS2 Avant from 1994, to be precise.

Dimensions Audi RS 4 Avant edition 25 years
Length x width x height 4,782 x 1,866 x 1,438 mm
Wheelbase 2,826 mm
Boot capacity 495 - 1,495 litres
Unladen weight approx. 1,780 kg
Payload 600 kg
Towing capacity erm ... no!

Driving report

Parts of the tarmac towards the mountain roads around Malaga in southern Spain are obviously greasier than a European election campaign. Because pretty much the first thing I notice when driving the new Super RS 4 is how the rear end shears out of nowhere. And it does it hard. I think for a moment: now they're being a bit too good with the driving pleasure in Ingolstadt. Does the crisp camber and the more rear-heavy set-up suddenly turn this Avant into an undriveable beast?

No, of course not. It was really just the - for whatever reason - mirror-smooth tarmac. And perhaps the PZero Corsas had a bit of sleep in their eyes early in the morning. As the mountain tour progressed, the edition 25 years proved to be what you would expect from a sports Audi - a super-fast, grippy beast. Albeit one that is now capable of much more than "just" accelerating and sticking.

Audi RS 4 Avant edition 25 years im Test (2024)
Audi RS 4 edition 25 years im Test
Audi RS 4 Avant edition 25 years im Test (2024)

The RS 4 with the Competition Plus package (highly recommended if you order another one) already demonstrated the new handling self-image of the Audi RS squad. And our yellow friend continues exactly where it left off. Albeit a little crisper and with more traction when turning in due to the sharper front axle geometry.

Overall, the steering is a very good and pleasant compromise. Extremely natural and well weighted (the three possible settings don't differ that much), but not a fidgety bundle of nerves. On the track this is great, on narrow mountain roads even a little more liveliness and directness would be okay. 

Audi RS 4 Avant edition 25 years (2024)

The car drives very neutrally, but feels alert and motivated. With a noticeable turn-in impulse, the car pulls directly towards the apex of the bend. You can clearly feel the coilover suspension. It exudes much more sporty flair than you would expect from a normal RS 4. And, of course, it also bounces more vigorously, but it is not really unpleasant.

Good work can also be attested to in the tuning of the drive. I doubt that you - even as an RS 4 insider - will notice the 20 extra horsepower, but that doesn't really matter, because there was never a lack of thrust. The spread between the individual driving modes is also interesting, because in the everyday driving modes, the 25th anniversary celebratory car proves to be an extremely mannerly type, which can also take it easy if desired.

Driving performance Audi RS 4 Avant edition 25 years
0-52 mph 3.7 seconds
Top speed 186 mph
Fuel consumption WLTP consumption: 9.9 litres
CO2 emissions 225 g/km CO2

But if you turn the right knobs to escalation, then escalation happens. And it really does. This shows that the aggression potential of the engine and gearbox has been successfully honed. The speed and ferocity with which throttle commands are implemented in this RS 4 are noticeably more intense than before. That's a huge thrill. Both in terms of reaction times and the intensity of the propulsion.  

In terms of sound, there is also more than in the "standard" RS 4, as the damping has been removed, and the twin-nine V6 has been given a rather pithy scale. But here, too, everything is within limits, even if the exhaust flaps are unscrewed.

Worth knowing

No desire for an estate, but more steam? The RS 5 also gets more power: the so-called Audi RS 5 Sportback Performance Edition has been created for this purpose, which also delivers 470 PS and a maximum torque of 600 Newton metres. The driving performance is the same as that of the 25th anniversary RS 4.

Audi RS 5 Sportback performance edition

Audi RS 5 Sportback performance edition

It also comes with the RS sports suspension pro as standard, including dynamic steering and the optimised Torsen differential. The starting price in the UK is £115,880 for Nardo Grey, £116,555 for Mythos Black metallic and £119,180 for Imola Yellow from the Audi Exclusive palette.

Conclusion: 8.5/10

Even the ultimate configuration level of the Audi RS 4 Avant is not as wild and has less bumblebee in the bum than a BMW M3 Touring. On the other hand, it is the more relaxed, more pleasant car in everyday use (despite the coilover suspension). 

But one thing should be clear. With the new driving dynamics options, the RS 4 has developed into a serious sports machine and driving pleasure guarantor. The 25th anniversary special edition offers all these options and a little bit more. A fantastic, highly desirable car and a worthy conclusion to the current series. The price is, of course, a little bananas (which fits in with the appearance), but it is not unlikely that this RS 4 will develop collector's value. 

Gallery: Audi RS 4 Avant edition 25 years test (2024)