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The Audi RS4 Is An Expensive Addiction

You’re looking for a used German sports sedan but you don’t want an M3. You scan the classifieds and stumble upon a used Audi RS4. The Quattro All wheel drive system makes it practical while the high revving V8 makes your enthusiasts senses tingle. It seems the RS4 is the perfect alternative to a more popular M3 and automatic only C63 AMG. However, the RS4 may seem like a good idea but trust us it’s an expensive addiction.

When the B7 RS4 landed at the 2007 North American International Auto Show Americans got their first glimpse and an Audi RS product they could actually buy. The plan was to import 2,000 of these high-performance sedans into the US market where they sold for approximately $70,000. This high price sedan gave customers a car capable of 170mph top speed and a 0-60 time of only 4.5 seconds. Raw numbers aside, you got a comfortable sedan with an engine fit for a supercar. To prove this claim, Audi used the same FSI V8 in the fist generation Audi R8. A 6-speed Getrag manual was the only transmission offered since Audi’s RS line represents the brand’s best drivers cars.

The RS4 makes all the right noises. It’s exactly what you want from a car with an 8,000rpm redline and 13mpg city rating. If you don’t want to learn anything else about this car do yourself a favor and check out the video at the end of the article. The sounds remind us why turbos are hurting our society and V8s like this need to be preserved. Now for the rest of us, let’s see how feasible it is to own one.

Today these super sedans are very affordable. Prices currently hover around $27,000 for an example in good condition with under 100,000 miles. This is quite a bargain when you look at the prices for a fully loaded Honda Accord that doesn’t even have the V8 you deserve. You’re a sophisticated car enthusiast, you want a car with heritage, luxury, and a high revving V8. So the question is if you can afford to buy an Audi RS4 can you afford to keep it on the road?

It isn’t cheap, but Depending on your bank account and technical prowess it is possible. We used the site Your Mechanic to estimate the cost to maintain an RS4 and a comparable M3. The chart below is my own creation and I hope it doesn’t crush your dreams.

In addition to the high costs associated with basic maintenance, the RS4 has a few other issues that have to be addressed. First, the engine is notorious for carbon build up and needs to be cleaned every 50,000 miles. This necessary services runs around $1,100 and ensures the engine can deliver its peak power smoothly. Second, the adaptive suspension tends to leak. This is an expensive service and we recommend replacing the system with more reliable coil overs. Finally, watch the timing chain closely as some owners have reported issues with as little as 55,000 miles on their chain.

Sure we can look at the RS4 in a logical manner. Buying a limited edition used German sports sedan is never a good idea for your wallet. However, buying a car like this isn’t logical. You want an RS4 because you’re tired of the cookie cutter cars that clutter our roads, you want something special. The flared fenders and raucous V8 of the RS4 offer an escape from reality. Burning more fuel than cruise ship on your way to work, in a car that will surely need an expensive service next week, is what makes loving cars worth it. Because one perfect day you’ll climb into your RS4, it will be working, the gas tank will be full, and you’ll tackle your favorite roads knowing you are living life and everyone else is playing it safe.

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About Chris Okula - Contributor

Chris was raised on Top Gear and automotive magazines, which still dominate most of his free time today (he is not a fan of the new TopGear). After he graduated from Desales University, Chris started his career in the pharmaceutical industry, but missed writing which lead him to the creation of his own automotive blog. This blog lead him to work with Road & Track and now as a contributor here at Shifting Lanes. In his free time, Chris is constantly on the popular automotive auction site, Bring a Trailer, as well as Craigslist looking for ways to destroy his savings account and skip student loan payments.

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