These days it seems that Audi is prepared to stick an RS badge to practically anything in the range.
However, the ‘B5’ RS4 was only the second model to wear the ‘Renn Sport’ derived moniker, following on from the 1994 RS2 Avant. For us, that makes it a very special car indeed. The original B5 Audi RS4 Avant quattro was introduced by Audi in late 1999, for main production and sale from 2000, as the successor to the Porsche / quattro GmbH joint venture-developed Audi RS2 Avant. Like its RS2 predecessor, it was available only as an Avant and was built on an existing platform – in this case the Volkswagen Group B5 platform shared with the A4 and S4.
Even today “it still feels properly fast.. By the standards of 2000 it went like a rocket with another rocket stuck up its chuff.” – Mike Duff, Pistonheads
It was launched amid gushing reviews from motoring journalists blown away by the car’s power and performance (blown away but not surprised after the joint Audi Porsche RS2). This time around, though, Porsche wasn’t involved. Instead, Audi handed the project over to its newly acquired performance engineering division, Cosworth (famous, of course, for all those fettled Fords). Cosworth did the business big time, turning the S4 Avant into a testosterone-fuelled rocket.
This is the second one I’ve had. The first one I bought back in 2005, in Goodwood Green, met a wet and sodden end when it was completely flooded by a very wet night sat outside my then house in Somerset. Poor thing went to car heaven! There was, however, a silver lining. The insurance paid out and I replaced it with another one. This time I chose one in Misano red, which in my eyes is nicer, and it had a sunroof and 20k miles less on the clock. Bonus!
– 2000 model year, Misano red pearl
– Sunroof, carbon interior trim, black Recaro leather seats
– Purchased in July 2009 with 65000 miles, it now has 99500 miles
– Standard engine with a Viper map on the ECU
Other upgrades include larger EV14 fuel injectors, Bosch 044 full pump, MRC panel air filter, MRC modded air box, Wagner side mount intercoolers and fog light grills, Devilsown watermeth injection system. MRC 3” downpipes, Milltek stainless steal non-resonated exhaust, B7 RS4 front ‘8-pot’ brake callipers, Girodisc 380mm front discs, Neuspeed thicker rear anti-roll bar, Bilstein PSS9 fully adjustable coilover suspension. Loba 650 clutch and single mass flywheel.
Currently the wheels are Omanyt 19” alloys but I still have the original hard 18” alloys.
The car was standard when I got it. I had it mapped by Viper tuning shortly after, running 21psi which is a pretty safe figure for the twin KO4 turbos. Rolling road figures have it at 504ps and 604nm up from the standard 381ps and 440nm
Exterior and Interior
The colour, Misano red pearl, is one of the more rare colours that the car came in. Approximately 85 came to the UK of a total of 400, although that figure does seem to have been surpassed by about another 100 cars that made it to the UK. Still, it’s a very rare sight on the road! Exterior mods that the keen eyed will spot are the Milltek twin exhaust, the front fog grills being the Wagner grills without the fog lights, and of course the larger 19” Omanyt alloys finished in shadow chrome.
Interior has the carbon trim and black leather seats, however I’ve managed to source and fit Recaro pole position front seats, with the matching oem subframes. I’ve had the alcantara cushions stitched red to tie in with the car. Also fitted is a flat bottom steering wheel which came from a company in Germany (I still have the original seats and steering wheel). Another addition to the interior is a Podi boost gauge, which I have found invaluable knowing that the car is boosting to the correct pressure.
My time with the car
It’s been an absolute pleasure. There’s very little I don’t enjoy about it. Perhaps the steering is a little woollen (certainly compared to some more modern stuff) and on twisty back roads you’d do well to see off a well driven Golf Gti for example. But hit the faster flowing stuff and it flies!! Ownership is pretty expensive, but it’s a £50k car from 17 years ago with considerably more power per litre than the 911 turbo of the same era! It deserves the money spent on it. And looked after well, it should look after me!
AUDI RS4 AVANT (B5)
Engine: 2,671cc biturbo V6, 30-valves
Transmission: 6-speed manual, four-wheel drive via Torsen differential
Power (hp): [email protected],000 rpm
Torque (lb ft): [email protected],500-6,000rpm
0-62mph: 4.9 sec (claimed)
Top speed: 162 mph (limited)
Weight: 1,620 kg
On sale: 2000-2001
Price new (2000): £46,500
Price now (est): £18,000 – £28,000