A DO-IT-ALL CAR
By Al Khoury
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We have shown you numerous cars from the Oloi collection and now we are venturing outside the garage. This month we are pleased to feature Denis Silva’s 2007 Audi RS 4 sedan. This is an uncommon vehicle in the United States, having low production volume and only being offered here for two model years.
The Audi RS series denotes the highest-performing production models. “RS” stands for the German RennSport, which translates to “racing sport.” These vehicles showcase Audi’s latest performance and technology advances, putting them above the standard and S series of cars.
The RS name dates back to the RS 2 Avant, which was produced from 1994–95. “Avant” is Audi’s designation for its station wagons. Porsche had a hand in the creation of the RS 2, modifying the engine and taking over the vehicle’s assembly. The RS 2.2’s 5-cylinder turbo engine produced 311 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque.
The RS 4 Avant quattro succeeded the RS 2, followed by the RS 6. The latter was the first RS model offered for sale in the U.S., and for just one year. The 2003 RS 6 sedan used a twin-turbo 4.2-liter V-8 producing 450 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. It was gone all too soon. But Audi was generous enough to send the next RS model overseas, and that’s the one we’re here for.
The RS 4 returned as part of the B7 generation, and was produced from 2006-08. It went on sale in the U.S. as a 2007 model. About 2,000 RS4s were sold stateside, mostly in the sedan style. An even more rare Cabriolet (convertible) version was offered for 2008.
Denis’ 2007 Audi RS 4 is finished in factory Imola Yellow paint, itself a rare color. Its 4.2-liter naturally-aspirated V-8 engine sends power to all four wheels via a 6-speed Getrag manual transmission and Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system. A modified version of this V-8 was used in the first generation R8.
Stock B7 RS 4 power figures run to 420 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. It will do a 0-60 mph run in 4.6 seconds and a quarter mile in 13.2 seconds at 109 mph.
“Here’s a little history behind this car,” Denis shared. “I got this when my first kid, Lucas, was born. He is now seven years old. It was a little present for me and him and he loves the car, too.”
Denis has always been an “Audi guy.” He has owned a B5 S4 twin-turbo and B6 S4. “I wanted something with more style and a little more power,” Denis said. “Something more unique. The RS 4 is rare and you don’t seem them anywhere. You probably see more R8s than RS 4s. It was mostly because of the uniqueness that I got the RS 4. It comes with a wide body from the factory and it’s really something special.”
Denis had been looking for an RS 4 for months and couldn’t find what he wanted. Then he located an Imola Yellow RS 4 in Oregon. It looked good and had only 34,000 miles on the clock. The seller sent pictures and Denis’ interest was piqued. The transaction turned out to be as unique as the car itself.
“I told the guy I will fly out there Saturday morning and if I like the car, he’ll pay for the gas for my drive back,” Denis recounted. “And if I don’t like the car, he’ll pay for my return flight.” The seller agreed.
“I flew there Saturday morning and it took me ten minutes to make my decision,” Denis said. “I looked over the car inside and out. Not a single scratch. It was clean, like a brand-new car. And it had one month left on the warranty. This would be good for my 800-mile drive back. I started the car, signed the papers, and left. The whole thing took less than an hour. I was back home in San Francisco the same day.
“A one-way ticket back then was something like $89 plus tax,” Denis recalls. “The guy gave me enough for two full tanks of gas for the drive back.”
The car’s yellow color probably made it harder to sell than a more common color, which worked in Denis’ favor. You have to find the right person who loves that color. There are fewer than 100 Imola Yellow RS 4s in the States.
Denis has done some work to his RS 4, including cosmetic and performance enhancements. The car was lowered with new coil-overs. A full cat back exhaust was installed. He added a lip and some carbon fiber trim to the exterior.
For a performance boost, Denis swapped in lightweight brakes, crank pulleys, and more weight-reducing parts. A JHM supercharger kit brings the wheel horsepower (WHP) up to about 450. The transmission was rebuilt by JHM and the company’s strongest flywheel and clutch were installed to handle the extra power. Denis’ RS 4 runs the quarter mile in 11.3 seconds at 122 mph. He keeps track of the PSI and air/fuel mixture with a PLX gauge.
What does Denis have in store for his RS 4’s future?
“I might rebuild the motor next year unless I trade in the car,” Denis said. “I’m thinking about getting an RS 7 but I’m not sure. If I keep the RS 4, I’ll change the wheels again, but not in the way you think. Every year and a half or so, I change the wheel colors. I know someone who owns a powder-coat business. I’d rather color the wheels than spend so much money changing them. Now they’re gold, and next year it could be purple or pink or whatever.”
Denis loves his BC two-piece forged wheels. They’re 19x10 inches and are fitted with size 275 tires. The wheels are quite expensive, but he only spends about $800 to give them a new coat of paint.
The RS 4 is a do-it-all car that is as comfortable on a road trip as it is carving canyons or showing off at the track. But Denis is taking it easy with his car.
“I don’t drive it daily, though the car has been reliable so far. Maintenance gets more expensive as a car is driven and modified, and the engine can get damaged.”
Despite this, Denis is clearly enjoying his time with the RS 4, with the odometer currently reading 86,000. That’s more than 50,000 miles of driving bliss.