Audi RS4 signs off with new ‘Competition’ spec
Ever wanted coilovers and P Zero Corsas on a posh Audi wagon? Now's your chance
By Matt Bird / Tuesday, 17 May 2022 / Loading comments
The odds were always stacked against the current Audi RS4 and RS5, replacing as they did the old versions and their mesmerising V8 engine. The twin-turbo V6 models have never quite hit the spot since their 2017 launch; buyers after a six-cylinder coupe were better served by a BMW M4, AMG offered a more compelling fast estate, and for a while the lesser S4 and S5 were also offered with a petrol V6 – making the job of an RS even harder. Seemingly aware of this fact, Audi has belatedly launched the RS4 and RS5 ‘Competition Pack Plus’.
Appearing alongside a regular Competition Pack – speed limit raise, Alcantara, sports exhaust, the usual stuff – the Plus gets some serious upgrades. Chief among them is RS Sport Suspension Pro, aka manually adjustable coilovers. On an RS4. It’s a trick Audi has pulled before with the R8 Performance Parts, but still rates as a surprise here. From the factory a Competition Plus will ride 10mm lower than standard, with a further 10mm reduction available as required. Compression and rebound are also adjustable. In conjunction with stiffer anti-roll bars and springs, Audi claims the modification will “heighten the general driving experience and help shorten lap times” yet without any impact on long distance comfort.
There’s more, too. Audi’s sport differential has been revised, with a dynamic mode that “switches the emphasis to the rear” – a distinction that will be appreciated by anyone who has driven this generation of RS4. Elsewhere, the gearbox has been modified for shorter shift times, the ABS tweaked and eight kilos of sound deadening removed from the engine bay and interior. With the new sports exhaust on top, the Competition Plus RS4 and RS5 “take the sound experience to a new level.”
The really committed can get ceramic brakes and Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres on 20-inch milled wheels for the full “emotional driving experience” (and shorter stopping distances). Sadly, there’s no more power for either RS4 or RS5, meaning the same 450hp and 442lb ft for both from the 2.9 V6, which means both variants will almost certainly fall short of the performance benchmark established by the new BMW M3/4. Nevertheless, it is a slightly forgettable driving experience that has obviously been targeted here, and the hardware changes suggest Audi has taken the Competition Plus spec seriously.
There are minor visual alterations, too (just in case passers-by aren’t sharp enough to spot the more suggestive ride height). There are standard Matrix LED lights (lasers on the RS5), a black styling package that can be upgraded to carbon and new tips for that sports exhaust. Buyers that go without the wheel and tyre package seen here get black rims as standard. The interior gets red accents and ‘RS competition’ entry LEDs. Maybe just remember the cool bits at this point.
In Germany, both upgrades – the RS Competition and RS Competition Plus – have been launched for both models. The regular one costs 7,875 euros (currently £6,700), with the Plus coming in at 11,875, or just over £10k (coilovers don’t come cheap, y’know). As for the UK, Audi has confirmed that some Comp cars will come here, but details are vague at the moment. We’re told to expect it as a ‘double digit limited edition’, so undoubtedly rare, with a detailed spec and pricing for our cars coming later in 2022. With so few inbound, we’re expecting them to be kitted out with everything – brakes, tyres, suspension, the lot. Or, to put it another way, there’s every chance they could turn out to be the RS4 (and RS5) we’ve been waiting five years for.
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